LIVE AT THE US FESTIVAL 1983
The death of Kevin Dubrow a few years ago really put an explanation point on the hair band era. There’s really no doubt at all that Quiet Riot’s METAL HEALTH was the starting point to a decade of glitz rock and metal like none that’s been seen before or since. Dubrow’s death kind of put the final dagger in that genre once and for all, given that he was the face of this style’s initial rise to prominence. To many, the US Festival was the official launching point for this style of music, with both Motley Crue and Quiet Riot becoming huge largely due to their performances here.
Listening to LIVE AT THE US FESTIVAL 1983, it’s clear that a young, hungry Quiet Riot took the stage almost 30 years ago determined to destroy all those in front of them. Listening to the recording, this is definitely not the best concert Quiet Riot would ever perform, but it’s certainly one of the most energetic. It’s interesting to hear Dubrow, and hear how close his live vocal was to his recorded work. While there’s a lot more frenetic energy from Dubrow throughout songs like “Love’s A Bitch”, he sounds startling similar to his recorded work. The rest of the band doesn’t fair so well. Carlos Cavazo’s guitar sound is surprisingly sloppy on this recording; surprising because he would go on to become one of the better players throughout the era and even with his work now in Ratt. Drummer Frankie Banali sounds decent here, although the overall recording of the drums is a bit shaky on this recording. Bassist Rudy Sarzo sounds decent, although understated throughout.
Still, this live performance is not so much about the precision playing as it is about the energy of the day. Even early in their career in what had to be the biggest show they’d ever played to that point, Quiet Riot commanded the crowd to react. Dubrow was always good at interacting with the crowd, and it’s clear he was very comfortable from his earliest moments in front of big audiences. Hearing him rev the crowd up on songs like “Cum On Feel The Noize” and “Metal Health” brings back memories that most of us 40 somethings won’t forget.
PITRIFF RATING – 82/100 - I would bet that people that attended this show would give this a perfect score. That said, this is a true live recording with no studio enhancements and it suffers a bit from that. Still, it’s a historic moment in 80s metal history, and that alone makes it worth hearing. Decent set from Quiet Riot, although they would go on to play many better ones in their career.