New singer of Quiet Riot, Mark Huff performing at the Grizzly Rose. Photo by Paul Edmisson.
When there were rumors about Quiet Riot getting back together with a new singer, disbelief was the first thing on most peoples minds. Once it became clear that Quiet Riot was indeed getting back together with a new singer and touring I heard people saying things like, “It’s not even the original band, no thanks.” People seriously did not want to see Quiet Riot because it wasn’t the original band. Yes, Frankie Banali is the only original member left, but bands change line ups all the time. Many times before a band even makes it big they may have only one or two original members left by the time they break out of their local scene. Here’s the thing. Frankie may be the only original member left but if you look back at the original Randy Rhoads line up even Frankie wasn’t the original drummer. So the band that everybody calls the original line up: Kevin Dubrow, bassist Rudy Sarzo, guitarist Carlos Cavazo and the aforementioned Frankie on the drums, was not the original line up. Now we come to the so called new line up. First things first. Alex Grossi is a Quiet Riot veteran. The time that Alex spent with the band was Kevin’s favorite touring line up, and Kevin was also quoted as saying it was also the most stable line up. Make no mistake….Alex can play a guitar and honestly never fails to amaze me. Next. Chuck Wright is a definite veteran of Quiet Riot and first came aboard during Metal Health and in fact played on the song Metal Health itself, and sang backing vocals on the entire album. For Kevin to call the current line up (minus Kevin) his favorite should say something to most people. To me it says that this band, while not original members has members that have spent their time in Quiet Riot, toured with Quiet Riot and recorded with Quiet Riot. Although Kevin’s voice was a huge part of what Quiet Riot was throughout the years, Quiet riot also found another vocalist in Paul Shortino.
The Paul version of Quiet riot was short lived because - I believe - he didn’t sound like Kevin Dubrow. Which brings me to the show at the Grizzly Rose.
If people weren’t into the Paul era of Quiet Riot because of the voice they should eat up the vocals from current vocalist Mark Huff. During certain times during the set he sounded uncannily like Kevin Dubrow and if you were to close your eyes you may not have been able to tell a difference.
Frankie Banali performing with Quiet Riot at the Grizzly Rose.
Photo by Paul Edmisson
His stage presence is still a little shaky, but give the guy a break, he has some mighty big shoes to fill. There were some parts during the set where it seemed that Mark forgot the words or forgot where he was in the song. He would look down at his feet quite often, maybe in concentration, and I’m almost positive that while he was performing he was also reading something down by his mic stand. Maybe it was just the set list and he was trying to remember all the words before they went into the next song……I don’t know, but whatever the case may be, he did a fine job and whenever he looked unsure both Chuck and Alex kept everything moving smoothly and flowing in the right direction.
The set consisted of Quiet Riot hits, and there is nothing wrong with that. When I say hits I mean the ones everyone considers the hits and then a few more that were on the radio all the time, but people might not remember.
Everyone remembers Metal Health, Cum On Feel The Noize and maybe even Slick Black Cadillac, but does everyone remember Party All Night or Thunderbird? All these songs were played beautifully by the band and as I said Chuck and Alex are no slouches. Between those two and Frankie the music sounded great! Everything sounded as it should which made the show incredible, because it was live and with not much practice to speak of.
Alex Grossi performing with Quiet Riot at the Grizzly Rose.
Photo by Paul Edmisson.
I loved the fact that Frankie, Chuck and Alex each had their moment to rip out some kind of solo…..to show they still have it and can still use it. Frankie is a madman on the drums finishing a sweet drum solo off with his hands, banging the hell out of those drums. Chuck’s solo had Frankie playing along but just to keep the rhythm. Chuck flew up and down that fret board like a man possessed and by the time he was done the crowd was yelling pretty good, and the solo from Alex was one for the books. That dude can shred! I have seen him many times in other bands, but never like this.
Kevin Dubrow used to dedicate the song Thunderbird to the late, great Randy Rhoads, but this time it was Frankie’s turn to dedicate the song to both Randy and Kevin. If anybody doubted Frankie’s sincerity about the passing of Kevin before that point, let me tell you…..the man is sincere.
When Frankie asked the crowd to quiet down a bit so he could dedicate Thunderbird, one overzealous fan got under Frankie’s skin and was promptly told to, “Shut the fuck up”, by Frankie himself. The dedication was heartfelt and you could tell Frankie was missing his friend at that moment.
As I said earlier the whole show was played brilliantly and kicked ass. It doesn’t really matter who played on what album, what matters is…can you play it like it was played on the album? They can! Alex nailed everything that Carlos did and Chuck nailed everything that Rudy did and everything he, himself did on the Metal Health album. And of course, Frankie is Frankie, and will probably always be Frankie…..one hell of a drummer that is trying to keep Quiet Riot alive.
Bottom line is, if you don’t go see them because they are not the “original” band you’re missing out on a great show, and after some time of being on the road, in the studio…whatever, it will probably be an even better show. Mark Huff is sure to grow into his role and become more comfortable during the live shows especially once he’s singing songs he helped create and record in the studio.
If you were once a Quiet Riot fan or are a new Quiet Riot fan, I implore you to go to a Quiet Riot concert and give them a chance to blow you away. Re-live some memories or create new ones at a show, but don’t expect to come away from the show unimpressed. Because they do impress……
Chuck Wright performing with Quiet Riot at the Grizzly Rose. Photo by Paul Edmisson.
The first couple lines of this song are appropriate. Don't you think?
Upcoming Quiet Riot shows
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