Quiet Riot’s concert Wednesday night at a packed Gas Monkey Bar n’ Grill in Dallas was anything but a throwback concert. It was a testament to the band’s indelible mark on metal music. Having soared to overnight success in the early eighties with “Cum on Feel the Noize” and “Metal Health,” Quiet Riot’s signature party sound and aura continue to resonate loud and clear.
Taking the stage to Queen’s “We Will Rock You,” and meaning every bit of it, were Quiet Riot’s original drummer Frankie Banali, longtime bassist Chuck Wright, guitarist Alex Grossi and vocalist Jizzy Pearl. The lineup proved to be electric with each member providing rapid fire precision to every note of QR’s classic songs including “Slick Black Cadillac” and “Mama Weer All Crazy Now.”
Wright and Banali’s pounding rhythm section brought intense beats, bass and bedlam to the set as Pearl prowled charismatically from one side of the stage to the other, eyeing the audience as if they were prey for the onslaught of metal about to be delivered.
Validating the intensity of the show, Banali came out from behind his kit midway through the set to show off his broken drum pedal. “Never phone it in!” Banali declared as the crowd roared with approval.
Banali then set the stage for one of the evening’s most powerful and emotional moments — a tribute to the fallen members of Quiet Riot. Guitarist Randy Rhodes (1982) and lead singer Kevin DuBrow (2007) were remembered as well as Banali’s friend “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott of Pantera and Damageplan, who was slained onstage in Ohio in 2004.
“The best way to honor them tonight is with a moment of silence,” Banali said. With that, complete quietness filled the Gas Monkey revealing the deep and mighty devotion of Quiet Riot fans.
Fittingly, the band then eased their way into the power ballad “Thunderbird” before picking up the pace again with rock & roll party anthems “Let’s Get Crazy” and “Party All Night.”
Those partying at the Gas Monkey were a diverse lot, something keenly observed by Pearl. “We have old school here tonight and we have elementary school,” Pearl joked as he pointed to a group of young teenagers in the front row. “Some of you know some of the songs. But all of you know one song,” Pearl declared as the band ripped into a fiery version of “Cum on Feel the Noize.” The moment was so intense and electric, with fans singing along as loud as they could, that Gas Monkey’s outdoor patio bar suddenly felt like a sold-out arena. The band’s energy pulsated throughout the crowd and with the opening chords of “Metal Health” came a rapture of pure elation. Like the song suggests, maybe metal health can drive you mad.
Through triumph and tragedy, Quiet Riot has never phoned it in. But then again, with a sound and aura so electrifying, how could they?