at House Of Blues, Chicago, IL, USA, December 7, 2002

Great White

Downtown Chicago on a cold Saturday afternoon, I get this weird feeling when I see the House Of Blues announcing Great White, like it was the same band playing as back in the day. Ok, I bet they simply need to sell the tickets, I say to myself. Which they did – Jack Russell’s Great White featuring special guest Mark Kendall sold out the place, and here’s a few reasons why: Jack Russell is still one hell of a singer, spanning from his Robert Plant inspired high pitch to his cooler-than-everyone tounge-in-cheeck voice that has made him famous. Mark Kendall is without doubt one of the greatest guitar players out there, delivering so much rock’n roll attitude and intense chilling emotions with his always dead-on playing. Sure, others can wipe the floor with him in terms of trained technique, but that’s not at all what playing guitar is about. It’s about being into what you do, and show you can get carried away because you are simply dedicated to your music. The white shark, this time with his head shaven, is godlike in his approach, and I had to catch my breath a few times watching him from a few meters distance. And what else? Ty Longley, kind of doing half of Michael Lardie’s job, though he did all of the mighty K’s stuff a few years ago, showed he could do amazing dual leads with the master of “blues metal”, actually adding another dimension and potential to the current Jack Russell line-up. With a solid rhythm section and a nice little keyboarder, this came out as the best Russell/Kendall show I have seen in ages!

Starting off the with the incredible “Lady Red Light”, moving on to “All Over Now”, then “House Of Broken Love”, “On Your Knees”, it was quickly clear that this show was worth my more than 20 hours travel alone, including a car trip from Cleveland. At first I thought this was a show featuring Jack Russell’s recent solo effort, without the might K, then presenting a few oldies with sharkmighty K, then call it a night. Not being thrilled by “For You”, which I believe was more for Jack himself then me, I almost skipped the whole thing. Then I decided to give the guys, that I reckon have the same chemistry level as Page/Plant, Oliva/Oliva, Tate/DeGarmo and Harnell/Tekro, a last chance, and now I am the happiest kid at Christmas because I did.

So there were the reasons; Jack, Mark, Ty, the rest of the band (with all respect to the drummer, only Audie was missed this night, simply because he belongs), the future potential in this band, the set list… I can go on and on, but on a final note; hats off to the fantastic House Of Blues, a place that always makes sure there are the best lights possible for a stage in this size, a great sound and a relaxed atmosphere.
Jack Russell, Mark Kendall, Jack Russell’s Great White, Russell/Kendall, Great White – these guys can call themselves whatever they want and I won’t care as long as they carry on. Jack said it best from the stage: “This is too good, I just couldn’t stop it…”

Thank you… Goodnight! I really hope to catch you again soon!


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