Southwind Casino
Newkirk, Oklahoma
September 23, 2017

By Jeb Wright

Set List:
Run for Cover |Slick Black Cadillac | Mama Weer All Crazee Now (Slade cover) |Whatever It Takes |Sign of the Times | Love's a Bitch | Condition Critical |Put Up or Shut Up | Thunderbird | Party All Night |Can't Get Enough | The Wild and the Young | Let's Get Crazy | Cum On Feel the Noize  (Slade cover) |Metal Health (Bang Your Head)

QUIET RIOT is one hardworking band. These guys are all over the map. They are committed to playing for their fans and are willing to forgo sleep to entertain. They are more punctual than the US mail!   Neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow, nor sleep, nor food, nor laundry, nor anything else will keep them from hopping on one flight…or two flights…or three flights a day to get to the next gig. That kind of dedication gives this writer hope that real rock ‘n roll may just stay alive long enough to become cool again! QUIET RIOT is doing their part…and so are their fans.

The band, led by drummer Frankie Banali, who has been around since the early days, don’t just work hard…they play hard as well. Joining Banali on stage is long time bass wizard Chuck Wright, guitarist Alex Grossi and newcomer, vocalist and American Idol contestant James Durbin.

The band is trotting around the world in support of their 2017 Frontiers Records release Road Rage. The album was recorded with another vocalist, but Banali had Durbin re-record the vocals for the official release.  He was wise to do so as James brings not only fresh blood to the project, but a youthful energy as well.

The band performed “Can’t Get Enough” from the new album and “Put Up or Shut Up” from 2014’s Quiet Riot 10. They surprised everyone with the inclusion of the rare album cut “Whatever It Takes” from 1995’s Down to the Bone.  As well as these songs were received, however, it was the tunes from the 1983 classic Metal Health and the following year’s Condition Critical that drew the largest applause.

Metal Health brought the house down with the last two songs of the evening.  “Metal Heath (Bang Your Head)” and the Slade cover “Cum on Feel the Noize” are not just hit songs…they are classic 1980’s Metal that will live on longer than anyone in the band.

Many other tunes in the set were from that classic album as well…and why not…the music on that album all is killer.  In little old Newkirk, Oklahoma the band blasted out rockin’ version of the two classics as well as “Slick Black Cadillac,” “Loves a Bitch,” “Run for Cover,” “Let’s Get Crazy” and the original tribute to Randy Rhoads and now Kevin DuBrow “Thunderbird.”

Before the song began Frankie Banali left the drum kit to take center stage.  Before asking for a moment of silence for the memory of Randy and Kevin, he gave a shout out to me from the stage. Frankie and I have been buds for many years. I was also good friends with Kevin as well.  It meant a lot to me personally...it was kind of a dream come true. I probably should be more professional than to even mention it in the review, but how often does a rock writer from Kansas get that kind of rock star treatment? The following moment of silence for the two real rock stars was poignant and a great precursor to one of the best songs the band has ever pumped out.

There is one thing I really don’t understand. QUIET RIOT seems to always get a ton of shit from people.  It seems to be in their DNA.  DuBrow used to run his mouth a bit and that led to some interesting press. The band had some low times that are well documented.  But, despite being constantly counted out…they kept fighting back.  A good example of their tenacity is the fact that they made the second best album of their career in 2006 titled Rehab, one year before DuBrow passed away.

After Kevin died there were many lineup changes…mostly in the lead vocalist area.  Truthfully, some were better than others.  Now, with youngster James Durbin, the band has an extremely talented singer.  No one can replace the attitude and snarl of Kevin DuBrow, but Durbin can fucking flat out sing. On this night, with little to no sleep, and being the third gig in as many nights, the American Idol contestant put on one hell of a show.

It’s not just Durbin, however as Chuck Wright is such a veteran of rock n’ roll that he doesn’t have to do anything to come across as one damn cool dude. He was wearing a cool bass player type hat the only made him look even cooler! While he rarely cracked a smile he kept the low end driving the ship throughout the set.

Guitarist Alex Grossi has been around QUIET RIOT since 2005 and has worked with Steven Adler, Jani Lane, Dizzy Read and Skid Row. He knows the riffs, the solos and seems to enjoy himself on stage.

It was Frankie Banali, however, who all eyes were on this night. He is the cheerleader…and the drummer…and the man in charge…and the backbone…and the travel agent…and the one who bleeds QUIET RIOT every day of his life. His passion for all rock music is evident, but it is his dedication to this band, as well as the legacy of Kevin DuBrow, that show what he’s truly made of.

At the end of the day QUIET RIOT is still here and it appears there really is no way back.  There is, however, a future for them as they move forward. Hopefully Durbin will stick around and this band can continue to grow.

These boys were fun live.  They were in a tiny town in Oklahoma…they could have just gone through the motions and gone home.  Instead, they played like they were back at The Us Festival. 

Things appear to be going good in the QUIET RIOT camp…and there is no reason for them not to get even better. 

Check out their tour dates at the links below.