First up for the night were the Naked Beggars. I'd never seen the band (or heard them for that matter), but I knew Eric Brittingham of Cinderella was in the band. I looked long and hard and couldn't find him. I even had to ask Amy, "Which guy from Cinderella is in this band?" She reassured me it was Eric. After about 15min, it hit me like a ton of bricks. Eric Brittingham lost the long, blonde locks and is now rocking a short, black hairdo. Wow. I felt like an idiot for not figuring it out sooner. The band sounded good. They didn't blow me away or anything, but they were pretty decent. Their lead singer, Inga Brittingham (Eric's better half), has a fantastic rock voice on her.
Next on stage was Great White. I wasn't really sure what to expect from them. I never had the pleasure of seeing them live and I always considered them to be one of best bands of the era, so I was pretty excited to see them. I didn't jump out of my seat for them, but I did really enjoy listening to them. I thought there were some sound issues during their set, but I could be wrong. I couldn't tell if it was the fault of a bad sound man, or if it was the band just messing up.
Regardless, the mistakes were few and far between. Jack Russell's voice sounded pretty good, a lot better than I thought it would, but certainly not as great as it was. He did make a funny comment during the show, "I bet you're all wondering how I look so good after all these years. Lots of plastic surgery." Well, he should have stuck with mother nature instead of going under the knife. I prefer my aging rockers to age gracefully...but to each his own. Looks don't matter anyway, right? As long as he rocks, that's all that matters. Great White certainly rocked. They put on a really great show.
My friend Amy was able to get me into the Great White meet & greet (she's the best thing in the whole world. Seriously). All the guys were very nice and very accomodating for everyone.
Unfortunately, since I was busy meeting Great White, I missed Ratt. I know, I know! Shame! Shame! Shame! I should've known better! No worries. I was able to watch part of Ratt's set from one of the venue's office windows. From what I could see and hear, they were great! I can't say that Stephen Pearcy's voice was up to par, but it was good; there were definitely a couple shaky moments for him though. The crowd was really going crazy for them, as well they should have been.
Once again, Amy came through like the rock super hero that she is and got me back into the Ratt meet & greet. At first, Stephen Pearcy was the only one out signing autographs. Then I saw this guy walk by me and once I realized who it was, I almost had an accident in my pants: it was John Corabi. Warren DeMartini came out for a little while, but not long enough for me to get a picture taken with him unfortunately.
Then Amy dragged me back to Ratt's dressing room to see if we could get a picture with Eric Brittingham. While I was standing in that dressing room, I almost had a heart attack. NEVER in a million years, in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would be in a room surrounded by these 80's rock stars. Eric Brittingham was in front of me talking to Bobby Blotzer. Stephen Pearcy and Audie Desbrow were to the right of me (Audie was flat ironing his hair). I think Robbie Crane was in there somewhere too...and the guitarist from Danger Danger was sitting in a chair behind me (he's the new guitarist, Rob Marcello). It was fucking surreal. I just kept turning my head and looking and freaking out in my mind. I just kept thinking, "Oh my god. Oh my god. Oh my god..." I kept my cool though. I wasn't able to get my picture taken with Eric, but I wasn't disappointed. Just standing in that room with all those people was enough for me.
After we left, I saw John Corabi just sitting with some girl. Amy of course took the initiative to introduce herself, and he was nice enough to take some pictures. I was a little giggly, being the idiot that I am, and John totally giggled at me...not with me. I apologized for being an idiot, and he reassured me that I was not. Yeah, right. You know what the really surprising thing was? NO ONE paid any attention to John Corabi. It's like they didn't even know who he was. I was stunned. He was just sitting off to the side talking to some girl, while all the lemmings threw themselves at Stephen Pearcy. It was crazy.
It was truly one of the most memorable evenings I've had in a really long time. It's funny to think back to when I was in 2nd or 3rd grade and wrote Ratt all over my notebooks and had posters of these people up on my wall...and there I was last night, like 20yrs later, meeting all of them. Amazing. Simply amazing.
A BIG thank you to Amy because she fucking rocks!