Myself and a buddy (who not having heard of the band graciously joined me on very short notice) met up in the parking lot outside the Next Bar. The band was doing a do-it-yourself tour and had parked their van with trailer nearby. I recognized Al the lead singer walking out of the bar and we ended up chatting for a while. The other band members eventually came over and they all were extremely cool and down-to-earth.
It turned out that the other support bands couldn’t play in the bar due to having members that were under 21 – you’d think that someone might have realized this could be a problem beforehand and addressed it, but I guess not. This left Ravage as the only band left to play, so they headed in to set up. My buddy and I also headed in to have a beer and b.s.
Well, it was not exactly a packed house inside – maybe about 15 people about the time the band started their set. The bar itself had a cool setup/deco job but the stage area was fairly small, even for small bar standards. Prominent in the front center of the stage was a nice stripper pole.(?) In front of the pole was a 1-foot wide small rectangular section of stage that could be described as a plank, just asking for some lead singer to fall off it in mid-set. As the band filed in and started their setup, I only half-jokingly asked Al not to pull a Steve Tyler during the show.
Set list was as follows:
Freedom Fighter [take 1 – stage power went out, causing a couple mins delay until it was fixed
Freedom Fighter [take 2]
Nightcrawler [Judas Priest cover]
The Nightmare’s Hold [both parts together]
Ravage Part 1: Damage
Grapes of Wrath
(Pete drum solo)
The Shredder [again]
The setlist was kinda short (due to the band usually playing with other bands on the tour, as well as Pete --freshly recruited at the time-- not having had a chance to learn more material), but it was still a good show (other than the crappy sound system
). Pete's drum solo and the Shredder repeat were cool considering they didn't have to do them. The emcee/soundman came on at the end to promptly forget the band’s name and say they were from Pennsylvania…when they were actually from Massachusetts.
After the show, I bought a shirt and a couple CD’s from Al. I joked at the time that this would hopefully make a dent towards the band’s gas money. Got a pic with the band and called it a night. Little did they know about the van problems to come that would force them to miss/cancel the majority of their remaining dates on the tour. This ended up being their only California show! Overall a cool show - hopefully the hard work these guys have put in for the last decade will one day pay off in terms of some success…