Great White, who enjoyed great success throughout the 80’s and 90’s, rocked Club Regent on the weekend.
Original singer, Jack Russell, isn’t with the band anymore, and ex-XYZ singer, Terry Ilous, took over vocal duties in the summer of 2010.
Unfortunately, long time pals, Jack Russell and lead guitarist Mark Kendall, had to settle their differences in court. Russell had been using the Great White name in 2011, which resulted in the court’s deciding, in September of 2013, that the name belongs to long time (and current members) Kendall, Michael Lardie (guitar, keyboards, harmonica and backing vocals) and drummer, Audie Desbrow. Russell is allowed to tour under the name, Jack Russell’s Great White.
Enough of these unpleasantries, and on to things that are more fun.
Great White rocked the joint. They were having a good time and so was the audience. The show started off with a recording of the famous Jaws movie music and dialogue from the same movie, before the ‘Great White’ surfaced and attacked. And attack our senses is what they did, for 76 minutes, as the sold out crowd sang along, cheered and had a damn good, rockin’ time.
Great White started off in Los Angeles in 1977, recorded their debut album in 1984, and toured with the likes of Whitesnake, Judas Priest and Dokken. By 1991, they were headliners with the Scorpions supporting them on tour.
They called it quits in 2001, and in 2002, Russell did a solo tour, then toured as Jack Russell’s Great White (with Kendall). They took another break in 2005, then the band had a reunion in 2006.
The first tune of the evening was the title track from their hugely successful second release in 1986, Shot in the Dark, with Lardie’s airy keyboards floating above the song.
They then blazed into ‘Lady Red Light’, from the 1987 platinum album, Once Bitten…; saving the big hit, ‘Rock Me’, from the same album until the second last song of the evening with Lardie playing harmonica. And Rock Me, and everyone else there, is what they did.
They also performed the 1991 song, ‘Desert Moon’, which was a sing-along, after which Terry Ilous acknowledged Neil Young growing up here, saying, “You should be proud.”
Ilous then informed the crowd, “I’ve got something for you … me!” and played the only song of the evening from the 2012 Elation album, which was the first album release with Ilous on vocals. Still has that classic Great White sound.
Then, they pulled out two love songs, ‘House of Broken Love’ and ‘Save Your Love’ – a couple of hard ballads.
Mark Kendall displayed his chops on the guitar with a fine solo before Ilous proclaimed, “I know you love the blues,” as they did the bluesy rock number, ‘Mista Bone’.
‘Big Goodbye’ was next, but they weren’t leaving just yet. They went back to 1986 with ‘Can’t Shake It’ followed by ‘Rock Me’, with bass player, Scott Snyder, playing a mean, solid bass (he’s been with the band since 2008).
They ended the evening with their monster hit, ‘Once Bitten, Twice Shy’. The audience was loving it and knew all the words to the song that Ian Hunter wrote in 1975 for his first solo album, after leaving Mott the Hoople.
Terry Ilous and the audience went back and forth with Ilous singing one line and the audience the next. Yeah, it’s a cover, but a damn great cover. Nothing wrong with a cover tune to pay tribute to the people who have influenced you. What a way to end the evening.
The band came out to the t-shirt table for a meet and greet after the show. It seems like the fans were’t the only ones pumped up after a great performance.
Opening act, Slaughter, put on a powerful 50-minute set of tunes. Five out of the seven tunes were from the 1990 debut album, Stick It To Ya, which achieved double platinum status and spawned such hits as, ‘Burnin’ Bridges’, ‘Spend My Life’, ‘Mad About You’ and ‘Up All Night’.
Of course, Mark Slaughter and the boys (which includes long time collaborator, Dana Strum, on bass) did justice to these classic hard rock tunes. In the middle of the song ‘Mad About You’, while Mark introduced the band members, guitarist Jeff Bland broke into a little jam with ‘I Just Want to Make Love to You’.
Their follow up album, Wild Life, from 1992, went gold, and they played the title track as well as ‘Real Love’.
Mark Slaughter dedicated the song, ‘Fly to the Angels’ to “all the friends and family we’ve lost over the years.” I was quite impressed with his vocals. He’s still hitting those high notes, and when he challenged the audience to a vocal duel, we just couldn’t compete (or keep up for that matter).
I must say, drummer Zoltan Chaney, certainly had a lot of energy, jumping up and down and bashing away on his drums.
A good time was had by all. (Just drop the ‘S’ from Slaughter and what do you get? Laughter, of course).
All photos by Doug Kretchmer
Great White set list:
Intro music with Jaws movie dialogue
1. Shot in the Dark (1986)
2. Lady Red Light (1987)
3. Desert Moon (1991)
4. (I’ve Got) Something For You (2012)
5. House of Broken Love (1989)
6. Save Your Love (1987)
7. Mista Bone (1989)
8. Big Goodbye (1992)
9. Can’t Shake It (1986)
10. Rock Me (1987)
11. Once Bitten, Twice Shy (Ian Hunter cover) (1989)
Slaughter set list:
1. Wild Life (1992)
2. Burnin’ Bridges (1990)
3. Spend My Life (1990)
4. Mad About You (1990)(with band intros
and a bit of ‘I Just Want to Make Love to You’)
5. Real Love (1992)
6. Fly to the Angels (1990)
7. Up All Night (1990)