Jack Russell’s Great White
October 7, 2016
Englewood Event Center
When I heard that Jack Russell’s Great White was going to be performing nearby, I was excited but skeptical. Why? You ask? Well, I have heard all kinds of stories about the legendary singer, from people bashing him and writing him off as washed up and others referring to Jack Russell as a dead man walking because of his addiction problems.
As most of you know, Great White separated into two bands in 2011, with Jack Russell forming his version and Mark Kendall, Audie Desbrow and Michael Lardie continuing on with former XYZ vocalist, Terry Ilous.
So, how did Jack’s version of Great White do, you ask? Let me start by addressing one of the rumors that I’ve heard, and that’s Jack Russell is touring with a group of average musicians and just cashing in on the Great White name and legacy. Nothing could be further from the truth. This band is not only loaded with talent but they were as good as any rock band I’ve ever seen live, if not better. The band comprised of Jack Russell, Robby Lochner, Dan McNay, Dicki Fliszar and Tony Montana (who was absent do to personal obligations) were absolutely sensational.
When Jack hit the stage, he was full of energy and looked like a man with a mission. Despite all of his health related issues over the years, his voice sounds exactly as it did in the 1980’s. I was simply blown away that not only can he still hit those high notes but he can hold them too. He roamed the stage, interacted and entertained the energetic crowd with amusing comments between songs. The band played for 2 hours straight and played all of the hits throughout Great White‘s lengthy career. They opened with “On Your Knees” followed by All Over Now, Desert Moon, Mista Bone, Going To California (Led Zeppelin cover), Save Your Love, Lady Red Light, Shake It, Face The Day, Call It Rock N’ Roll, Rock Me and for the encore they performed Immigrant Song (another Led Zeppelin cover) and closed with Once Bitten Twice Shy. I was completely blown away by guitarist Robby Lochner who performed an unbelievable solo that lasted almost 10 minutes. Fused with classical style guitar and Eddie Van Halen’s two-finger tapping technique, Lochner brought the crowd to a frenzy with his ability. Robby Lochner is the great, great, great grandson of the great classical composer Robert Schuman. Bass player, Dan McNay set a pounding heavy rhythm along with drummer Dicki Fliszar that provided the backbone for the band to storm through the fantastic set list. McNay has performed with everyone from Dave Meniketti (Y&T), Eric Martin (Mr. Big), Tesla, and Ronnie Montrose. Dicki Fliszar has performed with Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden) and countless other bands.
Jack Russell really seemed to care about each and every fan who attended the show. He spoke honestly about his problems with addiction, how he had been a coma for 5 straight days because of his bouts with alcoholism and his heartfelt loss of good friend, Jani Lane (Warrant). He warned everyone of the dangers of alcoholism and addiction and pleaded with anyone who’s facing those issues to seek help. He mentioned that he had been sober for 1 year and counting and he teared up and had to take a moment to compose himself after dedicating Going To California to the memory of another friend who had succumbed to alcoholism recently. His friend’s wife was in attendance and Jack held her hand and sang to her during the song. It was a really honest and emotional moment unlike any other that I’ve ever seen at a live performance.
He also mentioned some exciting news, reporting that Jack Russell’s Great White had signed with Frontiers Records and would have a new album called “Stay The Course” to be released in or around February 2017.
To any of the naysayers out there, I just have this to say: Jack Russell is back with a vengeance. If you’re looking for a concert that’s worth your hard earned ticket money this version of Great White is “The Real Deal”.