Rounding out my eighties weekend I had a chance to catch Kevin Dubrow and Quiet Riot over at Antone's. I heard Antone's had a new light kit I was dying to try out, and had already contacted the band and gotten a promise of a press pass so I was good to go. Or so I thought.
Arriving early I found that my name wasn't on the list. Not knowing if the band had just not submitted it yet or whether it had gotten lost in the shuffle, I was fortunate to have run into the promoter at the L.A. Gun's show a few days before and was able to get it worked out. Good thing too because the first band was starting just as I set my bag down.
Yayo of Rubber Monster at Antone's - more photos... photo by jeff barringer - staff photographer
The first band was literally a bunch of kids in a band called Rubber Monster. I had missed them when they had opened a few nights before for the L.A. Guns and made it a point to get there early enough to catch them this time .Based in Austin and fronted by a 14 year old named Yayo on guitar and vox, these guys show a lot of promise.
The mix was a little rough, the lighting was a little rough and Yayo seemed to have a bit too much to do playing both lead and doing vox, but for 14 he did pretty damn good. I imagine Rubber Monster will work out the kinks with more practice, but they are surely a diamond in the rough at this stage. Still, for a bunch of (barely) high school kid's to be sharing a stage first with the L.A. Guns and then a few days later with Quiet Riot at the world famous Antone's, that's quiet a feather in their cap. Kudos go out to Rubber Monster's drummer Brandon as well. Rubber Monster played about a 40 minute set.
Jason McMaster of Broken Teethat Antone's - more photos... photo by jeff barringer - staff photographer
Austin's Jason McMaster and Broken Teeth were next. I had been hoping for a chance to get them under some decent lights and this was it. Playing to a pretty packed house, Jason again showed the finesse working the audience that he picked up from all those years fronting Dangerous Toys. From my perspective their set went on without flaw, and the audience loved every minute of it. A bit sleazier than Dangerous Toys and less mainstream, Broken Teeth has become the fixture sleaze metal band here in Austin.
Kevin Dubrow and Alex Grossi of Quiet Riot - more photos... photo by jeff barringer - staff photographer
Finally Quiet Riot hit the stage. When I first heard them back in the 80's I was not a big fan. Something about the band always seemed a little "forced" to me, like the kid down the street always trying too hard to fit in. Dubrow's vocals were always a bit more on the screaming side than I cared for, and frankly I think MTV's oversaturation of their cover of Slade's "Cum On Feel The Noize" did more to hurt them than to help in the long run. Regardless of my opinion, in fact MTV's replaying of the song ad nauseum helped propel the band on to a number 1 slot in Billboard's Album charts, knocking off The Police's "Synchronicity" in the process. Quite Riot's debut "Metal Health" became the first metal album to reach the top of the Billboard charts.
In the twenty odd years since those days, much has changed and the band I saw was nothing like the high strung, running around with their hair on fire Quiet Riot of my youth. In it's place was a band comprised of seasoned pros. Kevin Dubrow is still in there doing the vocals, and Frankie Banali is still doing drums, but Carlos Cavazo has moved on, replaced by Alex Grossi on guitar, and Rudy Sarzo has been replaced on bass by Chuck Wright. Quiet Riot blazed through all their hits one after another, and it sounded just great. Though they did in fact pull up in Kevin's mini-van, they have a sound that rightfully should be filling mega-stadiums. If you are a fan of 80's hair metal and missed them when they were touring the big halls, this is a great opportunity to see them in more intimate surroundings.