NAMM Weekend: Great White at the House of Blues Anaheim

NAMM concert weekend
Great White
House of Blues Anaheim
Jan. 24, 2015

Some wonderful things came out of the ’70s: Star Wars, disco, Atari, cassette tapes and some of the best rock music ever to grace the planet. Enter Great White, one of the myriad of rock bands that were born of the ’70s–but one of the few that is still going strong with a recent 2012 release and a consistent touring schedule. These fab five bring rock & roll–no fluff, no glitter, no auto-tune, no over-production, no glam, no posing. Even though they rose from the trenches of Hollywood, they are certainly not as dangerous as their name pretends to be. But rather, they offer a good solid rock show that you can count on.

Long time members Mark Kendall (guitar), Michael Lardie (rhythm guitar, keyboard), Audie DesBrow (drums), Scott Snyder (bass player as of 2008), and Terry Ilous (lead vocalist as of 2010) have banded together for this latest and newest incarnation of Great White. You might immediately be thinking, “But it’s just not the same without original vocalist Jack Russell,” and you would be correct. But Ilous brings a fresh energy to our favorite tracks. Maybe it’s his sexy, international flavor, his zinging excitement, or the pure exuberant machismo he displays onstage. He is not Jack Russell–he’s better.

The band opened with “I’ve Got Something For You,” from their latest album, Elation. It’s a fun and exciting track that created a lot of energy with the crowd. It was also a great choice to expose more fans to an updated Great White sound. This was followed by some better known favorites, such as “Lady Red Light” and “Face the Day,” a harder-edged, bluesy favorite which is from their second album, Shot In the Dark. The all-time favorite ballad, “Save Your Love,” followed, with hearts swooning like it was 1987 all over again. Hair metal fan Monica Woodward said that, for her, “’Save Your Love’ is the best rock ballad ever written.” I can’t disagree with that.

Sultry and sweet (and not too be confused with boy band One Direction’s song with the same name), “Rock Me” is perhaps one of my favorite rock & roll songs ever. The slow cruising tempo and grinding chorus is like a Friday night date that starts off sweet and ends in the throes of unadulterated passion. Of course, they ended their set with their most popular: “Once Bitten, Twice Shy.”

I see a lot of shows, from almost every genre of music. The music can be fantastic and beyond entertaining, but there’s just one element that makes me walk away feeling like a satisfied patron–and that’s authenticity. Great White is authentic, and you get to witness that onstage. It holds a different message for the fans, whether they realize it or not. Great White are seasoned rockers. They don’t need all the bells and whistles others might, in order to deliver. They just deliver, and they do it well.

Set List:

I’ve Got Something For You | Desert Moon | Lady Red Light | Down On Your Knees | Face the Day | House of Broken Love | Save Your Love | Mista Bone | Big Goodbye | Can’t Shake It | Rock Me | Hard To Say Goodbye | Once Bitten, Twice Shy