Great White, one of the 80s seminal rock bands, took the stage at Houston’s House of Blues Friday night while promoting their newest album Elation. The Los Angeles-based band who started their career in bars on the Sunset Strip, seemed to be in their element as they showcased songs from their beginnings up to their newest release in the moderately-filled music house.
Lead singer Terry Ilous, who recently replaced Great White’s long-time lead singer Jack Russell while he recovers from intestinal issues, is a charismatic lead singer with the moves and persona of a sort of combination between Elvis and Mick Jagger. Ilous, better known for being the lead singer of another 80s band XYZ, had no problem getting the crowd pumped for the show with his energetic air and colorful showmanship. His excitement, and his smile, was infectious, and he looked as if he was having the time of his life. .
Lead guitarist and founding Great White member, Mark Kendall, was the standout of the night, decked out in dark sunglasses, head-to-toe black and red Chuck Taylors. Kendall, whose white hair gave the band their iconic name, and his guitar ripped through each and every song, stealing the show. His bluesy riffs and guitar solos sent you straight back to 1989 all over again, when GnR were king, black leather and long teased hair were the epitome of rock n’ roll.
The highlights of the show included the crowd singing along with the band to “Save Your Love” from Once Bitten… and “Can’t Shake It” with an incredible guitar solo from Kendall while Ilous videotaped the band and the crowd with his iPhone. The last song of the night, and the band’s biggest hit, “Once Bitten, Twice Shy” had the crowd singing every word and featured an almost ten minute guitar solo from Kendall as the band ended their set to a huge round of applause from an otherwise modest crowd.
Ilous, always the crowd-pleaser, told the crowd during the final song to hang around after the show where they would be signing autographs and taking photos.
The Bottom Line: Terry Ilous’ vocals with Great White is almost as good as Russell’s, although there has been some criticism of the replacement. The band’s energy ran high, the song choice was solid and the crowd seemed happy with the performance. The biggest part of the slightly-older crowd appeared to have been to previous Great White concerts from what I overheard and I didn’t hear a complaint from one.
Personal Note: While photographing the show for review, Ilous reached down during the third song and took the camera strap from around my neck and attempted to take photos of the crowd before handing the camera back to me. Unfortunately, the photos did not take (it’s a tricky camera, y’all!), but you can check out lots of photos of the band in the slideshow above.
Did you catch Great White’s show at the Houston House of Blues? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below!
Follow me on Twitter!