The Riviera Theatre
North Tonawanda, NY
Saturday December 16, 2017
Review/Photos: Joseph Suto
Quiet Riot are back and with new singer James Durbin now on board the band is out to celebrate their history and start another new chapter. It hadn’t been easy since the death of original vocalist Kevin DuBrow in 2007. Drummer and leader Frankie Banali at first was going to retire the name and sail into the sunset. After the urging of DuBrow’s mother and family, Banali finally resurrected the band in 2010. After going through five vocalists the band was able to land Durbin who finished fourth on the tenth season of American Idol. Durbin seems to be a good fit as he is trying to add his own style to the classic songs from the band’s catalog.
Joining Banali and Durbin were longtime bassist Chuck Wright as well as guitarist Alex Grossi who started playing with the band in 2004 replacing “Metal Health” era guitar great Carlos Cavazo after he left the band.
The band came out fast and furious hitting the half-filled crowd with a triple blast of “Run For Cover”, “Slick Black Cadillac” and “Mama Weer All Crazee Now”. The band slipped in a rare track 1995’s “Whatever It Takes”.
Durbin has really jelled quite well considering he has only been in the band since March. In the middle of the show in particular was where he really shined. “Love’s A Bitch”, the classic gem from Metal Health started it off followed a stirring rendition of “Condition Critical” which featured Banali literally beating the hell out of his drum kit.
In the past the band had always dedicated “Thunderbird” to the late great Randy Rhoads, these days they also dedicate it to DuBrow and ask for a moment of silence before playing it.
The crowd sat down during the show for the most part. It wasn’t until the band’s biggest charting hit “Cum On Feel The Noize”, the old Slade cover, finally brought everyone out of their chairs. To be fair it was an older crowd which made it a wise choice to hold the show in the historic seated Riviera Theatre as opposed to a standing room only bar like days passed.
“Metal Health (Bang Your Head)” closed out the 95-minute affair but not before the band surprised the crowd by returning for the AC/DC cover of “Highway To Hell” which they covered and released on their Alive and Well album.
While Quiet Riot may never see the success they achieved in 1983, they are still a formidable live act now that Durbin is aboard. I was one of the skeptics and against Banali reforming the band after his initial resistance to do so following DuBrow’s passing. After witnessing the current version of the band, I can see what Banali is trying to accomplish. He is keeping the music of Quiet Riot alive and well the only way he knows how. If he wasn’t out there playing the songs and celebrating the bands rich history they would be just a distant memory. Kevin DuBrow deserved more than that.
Run For Cover
Slick Black Cadillac
Mama Weer All Crazee Now
Whatever It Takes
Sign Of The Times
Love’s A Bitch
Put Up Or Shut Up
Party All Night
Can’t Get Enough
The Wild and The Young
Let’s Get Crazy
Cum On Feel The Noize
Metal Health (Bang Yer Head)
Highway To Hell
Side Note: Opening the show with a dazzling set of their own were Phil and John. John Rogers is also a member of Brighton Rock who have a big following in their native Canada. Phil Naro of course as most Buffalonians remember him from his stint in Talas as well as having played the area many times over the years. While Naro is widely known in the Toronto-Buffalo-Rochester music scene, it is surprising this guy never hit it as big as say his old bandmate Billy Sheehan. Naro is a great vocalist and guitar player and is vastly underrated. Check out a show whenever he is in town and you will agree.