GREAT WHITE HAM ‘N’ JAM FESTIVAL
Show Date: July 28, 2007
Location: Peoria, Illinois, U.S.A.
Venue: Expo Gardens
Reviewer: Graham LaMontagne
Band Website: www.mistabone.com
Great Band, Great Songs, Great Concert…It Must Be Great White.
On Saturday July 28, 2007, Great White rocked Peoria, IL at the Ham N Jam Cruise for Kids.
Since it was a charity event, yes you could deduct a Great White concert from your taxes.
The current Great White tour is the 25th Anniversary Tour in support of their new album Back To The Rhythm, which is one of the best albums of the year. Every song is worth listening to, and while there may not be a “Mista Bone” on the album, there certainly is no filler.
Though Great White basically played to a beer garden on Saturday night, you would have thought the venue was Madison Square Garden due to their dedicated showmanship.
Jack Russell‘s vocals have not diminished at all over his 25 year career, and the band sounded tighter than ever. Great White‘s legacy shined brightest during the goose bump inducing “Save All Your Love”, which is the epitome of the metal ballad. Other stand out songs were the raucous and racy “Mista Bone”, “Rollin Stoned”, “Rock Me”, “Face The Day”, and of course “Once Bitten Twice Shy” (the third encore). “Once Bitten Twice Shy” just might be the best cover of all time – Great White owns that song. Do people even realize that it is originally an Ian Hunter song? It does not matter because it is officially a part of the Great White legacy.
Great White is also known for playing Led Zeppelin songs in concert, and as an obsessed Led Zeppelin fanatic, I knew I would be in for a treat. I said to my buddy before we left for the show, “I will freak if they play No Quarter.” Jack Russell announced that the second encore would in fact be “No Quarter” and I absolutely went nuts. Russell mimicked Robert Plant so perfectly that if you closed your eyes, you swore you were at a Zeppelin concert. Earlier in the show they had segued from “On Your Knees” into Zeppelin‘s “Achilles’ Last Stand”, which proved to be a unique mix.
Lots of bands try to pull off Zeppelin covers, but Great White is the ONLY band that can deliver. All other bands shouldn’t even attempt the feat. Even Jack Russell said, “A few years back we did all Zeppelin shows, because we can,” and though the quote may sound arrogant, it is completely true. Drummer Audie Desbrow looks just as wild as John Bonham on the drum kit, Mark Kendall has done his Jimmy Page homework and delivered every Zeppelin note, Sean McNabb and Michael Lardie flawlessly captured John Paul Jones‘ bass and piano/organ sound, and Jack Russell is a Robert Plant clone.
Great White proved to the adoring audience that they truly are Back To The Rhythm and better than ever. Their bluesy 80’s metal will continue to be respected indefinitely in the history and evolution of rock ‘n’ roll.