RATT and Scorpions Tribute Bands Play Louie G’s Pizza

In the mid 1980s, RATT opened for Scorpions at the Tacoma Dome. On March 2nd, tribute bands Ratts and Second Sting recreated that show just down the street – at Louie G’s Pizza in Fife.

RATTS
Jeff Bridges of Ratts – Louie G’s Pizza in Fife WA, 2 March 2018. Photo by Kurt Clark / NehiStripes MusicZine / kurtclark.us

Ratts opened the show for a large crowd, with 80s Glam Rock flair and signature RATT sound – medium-fast beat, high-flying guitar solos, and a heavy bass line that carried the entire combination. RATT songs are a blend of rock music and 80s heavy pop lyrics – catchy word choices and musical hooks that have endured and endeared listeners over the thirty-plus years since their heyday in the mid 1980s. There’s a certain feeling to their music, something persistent, playful and suggestive, that tells the listener it’s a RATT song.

RATTS
Ratts – Louie G’s Pizza in Fife WA, 2 March 2018. Photo by Kurt Clark / NehiStripes MusicZine / kurtclark.us

And I’m not surprised that a band wanted to pay tribute to this classic lineup.

RATTS
Jon Rydeen of Ratts – Louie G’s Pizza in Fife WA, 2 March 2018.Photo by Kurt Clark / NehiStripes MusicZine / kurtclark.us

Jon Rydeen’s vocals were high, gritty and faithful to Stephen Pearcy’s unmistakable growl, while his stage presence embodied all of Pearcy’s movements and shenanigans. Lenny Low keeps a steady bass line for the band, and has the perfect permed look of an 80s rock musician. He had little sometimes-subtle moves on stage that showed he was really in the part and music. Guitarists for the band are Jeff Bridges (as Warren DeMartini) on the blistering leads, Ken Anderson as “Robin Crosby” on guitar – sometimes performing dual leads with Jeff, and Kevin Hammond is “Bobby Blotzer” on drums.

RATTS
Ken Anderson of Ratts – Louie G’s Pizza in Fife WA, 2 March 2018. Photo by Kurt Clark / NehiStripes MusicZine / kurtclark.us

My two favorite songs of the night – my all-time favorite RATT songs – were Lay It Down (from album Invasion Of Your Privacy), and Ratts’ final song in their set: Round And Round (from album Out Of The Cellar). Ratts’ versions were loud, accurate and had the crowd smiling.

The crowd remained in high spirits as Second Sting came on stage to perform their Scorpions set.

Second Sting
Second Sting – Louie G’s Pizza in Fife WA, 2 March 2018. Photo by Kurt Clark / NehiStripes MusicZine / kurtclark.us

Mike Graham is the band’s vocalist, performing at Klaus Meine. Chris Colwell is “Rudy Schenker” on rhythm guitar. Dave Ames plays “Francis Buchholz” on bass, while Aaron Cheney is “Matthias Jabs” on lead guitar. Tod Hobart plays “Herman Rarebell” on drums.

The crowd always loves the boys in Sting; the stunning Mrs. Clark and I have seen them countless times over the last four years, because their shows are always exciting and true to the 1980s Scorpions experience. The band members even choose wardrobe that matches the musician they are playing.

Aaron Cheney got in touch with Mattias a couple years back to run some wardrobe choices past him, and got the big thumbs up.

Second Sting
Aaron Cheney of Second Sting – Louie G’s in Fife WA, 2 March 2018. Photo by Kurt Clark / NehiStripes MusicZine / kurtclark.us

Aaron is skilled at channeling Mattias Jabs’ lead guitar work on stage, and spends a lot of time interacting with Chris and Dave while mimicking the Scorpions’ synchronized movements. A favorite part of the concert for all fans is when Aaron brings out “The Talk Box” for the Scorpions song “The Zoo.”

With each passing year the audience has gotten larger and larger, to the point now that I have trouble moving from one side of the stage to the other because of the crowd size! Everyone sings, fist pumps, high fives, and moves with the legendary Scorpions sound.

Mike Graham interacts with the crowd a lot, in the same way that Klause Meine gets close to the audience and throws drumsticks etc. I have never heard someone duplicate the original Scorpions vocals as well as Mike does.

Second Sting
Mike Graham of Second Sting – Louie G’s Pizza in Fife WA, 2 March 2018. Photo by Kurt Clark / NehiStripes MusicZine / kurtclark.us

Chris Colwell holds to Rudy Schenker’s excitable personality on stage, moving all over the place, smiling, jumping off the drum riser, and posing for photos throughout the show.

Second Sting
Chris Colwell of Second Sting – Louie G’s Pizza in Fife WA, 2 March 2018. Photo by Kurt Clark / NehiStripes MusicZine / kurtclark.us

Dave Ames takes his bass and drops into a stance that shows he means business. But he poses and pouts better than most, giving the crowd a reason to stay on his side of the stage. At the show I was taking pictures of Tod the drummer, and when I turned around Dave was standing nearby – waiting for me to take his photo too! Dave is certainly a fan favorite.

Second Sting
Dave Ames of Second Sting – Louie G’s Pizza in Fife WA, 2 March 2018. Photo by Kurt Clark / NehiStripes MusicZine / kurtclark.us

Tod Hobart is a longtime musician from the area, and brings a rock-solid beat to Second Sting. Hidden on stage behind the drum set, Tod provides strong percussion for all of the popular Scorpions songs the band plays. Without him, there’s no “Herman Ze German” in Second Sting.

Second Sting
Tod Hobart of Second Sting – Louie G’s Pizza in Fife WA, 2 March 2018. Photo by Kurt Clark / NehiStripes MusicZine / kurtclark.us

Ratts played for an hour, and Second Sting played for 1 1/2 hours. The audience clearly had terrific time – just like the 1980s RATT / Scorpions concert in the Tacoma Dome.

The music was fan-fucking-tastic. The musicians were RAD! The music these guys are paying tribute to made the crowd happy. The venue was welcoming and worked hard to keep everyone happy. People of all ages were in attendance, which shows that these bands have a universal and multi-generational appeal. If anything, they make the original music seem more relevant when performed live today. And in my case, I ended up buying two RATT albums on MP3 because I saw Ratts’ play! I missed having their sound in my MP3 collection 🙂

Find Ratts and Second Sting on Facebook, and catch a show this year!

https://www.facebook.com/RattTributeSeattle/

https://www.facebook.com/secondsting/

**Well written and fantastic account of the show! I own all the RATT original albums on vinyl and I WAS at this concert at the Tacoma Dome! Came out without shoes!GrungeGal50 (Cindy Cavins) Editor/Journalist/Website-Owner!

 

 

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