30 YEARS: LIVE FROM THE SUNSET STRIP
There's a very awkward moment on 30 YEARS: LIVE FROM THE SUNSET STRIP wherein current vocalist Terry Ilous claims the night as a special night as the band has been together for 30 years. Sorry guys, I know the band has been around for all this time, but it REALLY is hard to accept Great White without Jack Russell at the helm. I really want to. Mark Kendall has been a friend for years, as has new vocalist Terry Ilous. But, being honest, their studio album without vocalist Jack Russell was very much outside the feeling one expects from a Great White album. That's not to say it was terrible, but there was a flair missing that just can't be replaced in the framework of what I consider to be Great White. Being honest, coming into this live release, I kind of had my doubts. Thankfully, the band captured a good performance. While it still doesn't have the bluesy flair that Jack Russell brought to the band, 30 YEARS: LIVE FROM THE SUNSET STRIP is a solid representation of what the band is today.
To be fair to Great White and specifically Terry Ilous, he has to score points for not going out there and doing a Jack Russell imitation. From the beginning with "Desert Moon", Ilous has his own take on what is a very signature song in the band's arsenal. I remember the first time I saw Van Halen with Sammy Hagar and he was trying so hard to throw in some of the Roth sounds and signatures. It wasn't until he moved away from doing that that he found his identity in the band. Ilous has seemingly cut out his own place with Great White already. Listening to songs like "Lady Red Light" prove that Ilous has taken these songs, morphed the vocal lines to his sound and style, and is not at all ashamed of the work he's doing. To the contrary, he's clearly happy to be there and singing these songs.
As for the rest of the band, well...they sound like Great White. It's been awhile since I've seen Great White live, but this recording seems to have a bit more "rock" and a bit less "blues" than I remember them coming to the table with. Sure, songs like "Mista Bone" and "House Of Broken Love" have that patented bluesy vibe, but for the most part, the band just rocks onward. Guitarist Mark Kendall still has a lot of fire in his fingers, breaking off some cool riffs and solos on songs like "Face The Day" and the always popular "Rock Me". The band, as a whole, sounds just fine.
PITRIFF RATING - 75/100 - They have better live releases than this in their catalog. They have sounded better. They don't sound exactly the same as we all remember them. Yet, after saying all that, the current lineup of Great White still brings their best foot forward with new vocalist Terry Ilous. 30 YEARS - LIVE FROM THE SUNSET STRIP is a fun look into a live show coming to a club near you soon enough.