Bob Geldof - lead vocals, guitar; Pete Briquette - bass, vocals; Gerry Cott - guitar; Simon Crowe - drums, vocals; Johnn fingers - keyboards; Garry Roberts - guitar, vocals
The Boomtown Rats were still an opening act when this show was recorded at the legendary Roxy Theater in Los Angeles. The band played with more energy and enthusiasm than can found on either of their two Fox Theater 1979 shows (also available at Wolfgang's Vault).
Lead singer Bob Geldof (later on to become Sir Robert Geldof, the mastermind behind Live Aid and Live 8) sings with more vigor than you'll hear on any of the band's records. In addition, the material during this five-song set is better than what the band released in subsequent years.
Opening with "Rat Trap," Geldof snarls his lyrics, especially the line: "It's a rat trap… and you've been caught!" The band then launches into "Kicks," which clocks in at a tidy one-minute forty one seconds in true punk bravado. The highlight of the show, "Joey," is next. It will remind you of early Springsteen, had he been born in Ireland instead of Long Branch, NJ.
Even though the Boomtown Rats (and Geldof's solo career) never really took off in the States, they did have their pockets of devout fans. The West Coast and Manhattan seemed to be where they had the most support, and this show backs that up.
The band began its career with controversy. At the time of the first album's release, an overzealous Columbia Records promotional staffer decided to buy 2,000 dead sewer rats from the New York City Department of Sanitation. They had the dead animals (along with the band's album) mailed to music journalists and radio programmers around the country, preserved in formaldehyde and sealed in a plastic zip-lock bag. Needless to say, the mailings were met with horror and disgust. Still, the band endured and chipped a place into rock history.
Geldof would remain with the Rats for a few more albums and tours, before stopping to become a world hunger advocate. He would resume his solo career in 1986 and continues to record and tour today.