In early 1992 I began discovering heavy metal, attending my first metal concert in 1993 (Iron Maiden). My first Riot experience wasn't that spectacular, because it was just a two tracks from the Brethren of the Long House album (Glory Calling and the title track) on a teaser CD around 1996. I enjoyed the songs, but was - at that time - looking for more extreme stuff. I found it in Spastic Ink when their debut came out in 1997. Much to my surprise I realized that Bobby and Pete also played with Riot. In the summer of 1998 I finally became an actual Riot fan via "Angel Eyes" (and the whole Inishmore album, eventually), Fire Down Under and Thundersteel. A bit later I also found a copy of Privilege of Power (on vinyl). I loved the progressive touch of the whole thing.
Now my first Riot live experience is worth mentioning, I guess. When the band played at the Bang Your Head festival Germany in 1999 I went there primarily to see Riot. Little did I know that this was one of the last gigs of the Inishmore line-up. It was a beautiful day for an open air show and the audience was in a very good mood. So it was easy for the band to deliver a great show, filled with their most popular songs (Outlaw, Warrior, Swords & Tequila, Thundersteel) and a bunch of newer tracks (Angel Eyes was the opener, of course). As if that wasn't enough, they also introduced the brand-new (i.e., not yet released) title track of Sons of Society, which was a total blast. Bobby Jarzombek hit those drums with a determination I haven't seen since. Finally, Riot played a cover of "Emerald" (Thin Lizzy) - again a rare treat and a great song. (The song was a substitute for "Burn", which wasn't played, because Deep Purple were actually the headliner that day.) Mike DiMeo's vocals were a thrill and the axemen did a great job. And Ligaya sang powerful harmonies.
I only saw Riot once more, one year later in January 2000 during the Sons of Society tour (in Stuttgart, Germany). Again, the band delivered a very good show, albeit quite short (Anvil and Agent Steel played later on) and somewhat raw due to the club setting and the new drummer (who just wasn't Bobby J. but gave 110% and hit really hard on those skins). I'm looking forward to the upcoming Tour with Hammerfall and the new album - "Wings Are for Angels" is already a very promising track (love it!).
Johannes "Jutze" Schult