A line formed early for a night of ROME ROCKS. Rome, a small town northwest of Atlanta, very seldom welcomes hard rock names. The little town recently began accepting better known acts, but to have Warrant fronting for Skid Row was definitely a treat for Romans at the Forum on the night of October 20, 2012.
Warrant is one of the great “hair bands” hailing from Hollywood, California, in the prime of what is referred to now as Hair Metal a term for the heavily hair-sprayed, “permed” and big haired appearance adopted by Sunset Strip Metal bands of the late eighties. From 1989 to 1996, Warrant claimed five albums and sales world-wide of over 10 million. Standing front and center of the group at that time, was lead singer and songwriter, Jani Lane. They hit Double Platinum with their first album, Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich, which was branded with the #1 hit single, Heaven. DRFSR was followed by Cherry Pie, and the title track brought the controversial song into every household and to every backseat! Warrant’s next album, Dog Eat Dog, was their first album to go gold despite losing popularity to the new phase of music on the scene. Warrant and Lane, parted ways, and over the span of some 20 odd years, the band has replaced the position twice. Fronting them now is Robert Mason, previously of Lynch Mob, who has been with the band since 2008. Rockaholic, was released in May of 2011, and climbed all the way to No. 22 on the Billboard Hard Rock chart.
Teaming up with Skid Row for a 2012 tour has definitely been the show to see this year. Taking the stage after local band, Bloody Red Hearts, Romans were more than ready to rock with the Downboys, who opened with the song of the same name, sending the crowd roaring and set the tone for the fast paced action of the evening. It was the 80’s all over again as Mason belted out the lyrics with a commitment and passion that surprised even the most skeptical in attendance. Warrant’s sound was very strong and as they slowed it down for Sometimes She Cries, guitarist, Erik Turner made his axe cry, as Mason requested. The crowd became quiet for the ballad and continued to remain that way during Mr. Rainmaker and I Saw Red.
Breaking into new songs from their Rockaholic CD, Sex and Love and Home did not get the audience back to the rowdiness expected. The band not getting the response from the crowd seemed to change the atmosphere between band and the audience, which brought a lack of connection between the two.
Warrant and Mason continued to give the show their full attention, although the audience did finally participate in singing along when they returned to the powerful Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Maybe it was an unenthusiastic crowd not giving the band enough energy to feed and loop back to them; don’t forget, a small town brought a small crowd, which in turn brought a small reaction until the favorites were played. Finishing tight with Cherry Pie, Rome finally woke up and rocked as the Warrant favorite ended the night.