Banging Heads in the Rain with Quiet Riot!

Photo by: Jon van Woerden

By the time Quiet Riot hit the stage at Boca Raton’s Sunset Cove Amphitheater the rain had resumed and the 300 rain soaked fans who had braved the elements were ready to bang their heads a bit. And they got what they wanted.

The rain and swirling lightning made a good Heavy Metal backdrop for what was going to be an explosive set. The night was far from the perfect setting, with weather so bad that a vast majority of ticket holders didn’t dare take the chance. Their loss as the guys rocked it.

This band, featuring original drummer Frankie Banali, is a tight unit and sounded particularly sharp amidst the chaos that mother nature was throwing out. Bassist Chuck Wright, who played on several of the tracks on the multi-platinum album Metal Health was in great form and on fire. His powerful bass lines were in sync, showing why he is one of the most revered bassists in heavy metal.

Guitarist Alex Grossi sounded every bit as edgy as expected, hitting all the solos exactly as the fans remembered them played by Carlos Cavazo. With a great flair of showmanship, Grossi embraced the moment and it showed. Sounding especially good on ‘Slick Black Cadillac’ and the crowd favorite “Cum on Feel the Noize”. Grossi is a pure metal guitarist, who manages to bring stage presence to fray in a way that would make any fan from 1983 proud.

New vocalist Scott Vokoun did a good job working the crowd, and while one never really replaces the late great Kevin DuBrow, Vokoun’s strong vocals are a great fit for the band’s sound. Will be interesting to see what he will do when the band records new material later this year. Will be very interesting.

Still, the show belonged to Banali, the only original member left in the band. Banali who cares deeply for the band’s legacy and especially the fans, has carried the Quiet Riot mantle since DuBrow’s death in 2007. This dedication shows from the first bass kick as he works each song with a passion that is simply great to see live. Besides being an exceptional rock drummer, he delivers with a flair that exudes rock and roll showmanship at it’s best.

In a poignant moment he comes center stage to remember his lost bandmates with a touching tribute to Randy Rhoads, Kenny Hillary and of course Banali’s best friend DuBrow. Sometimes the human element to all of this gets lost in the frenzy of it all, and Banali was spot on with his words. These guys were not only great musicians, but were great friends. That comes across as their names and spirit live on through the music.

The show ended as the rain poured down from the heavens to the classic “Metal Health”. It was great to see the crowd pumping their fists, singing each note and just having a hell of a time. This band meant a lot to so many people. They opened the gates to an era that may well have been forever banished to the backstreets of LA had Frankie Banali not started the lead to “Noize” with such a hook driven beat.

So to the fans who braved the night  now were all well drenched, they too were well rocked!

Hart Baur



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