orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

Entertainment

August 11, 2013

Great White member talks band, record and tour ahead of Beaumont show

BEAUMONT — Shark Week is happening now on the Discovery Channel, but a shark sighting is looming just ahead for Southeast Texas.

Rock band Great White will perform at Ford Arena in Beaumont on Saturday, Aug. 17 as the main support act for Motley Crue vocalist Vince Neil. The doors open at 5 p.m. and opening act is Slaughter. Local rock band Hear N Ade will perform pre-show.

Tickets are $18-$38 and are on sale now at all Ticketmaster outlets, the Ford Park box office, Beaumont Civic Center box office, Lake Charles Civic Center box office, H.E.B. location on Dowlen Road in Beaumont, online at www.ticketmaster.com or charge by phone at 800-745-3000.

Great White, which still features core members Mark Kendall, guitar; Audie Desbrow, drums; and Michael Lardie, keyboard and guitar, is touring in support of its May 2012 release, “Elation.” The band, which parted ways with original vocalist Jack Russell a few years ago, now features Terry Ilous of XYZ-fame as its singer.

The band, which last performed in Beaumont in the early 1990s, has never stopped writing and recording new material, one of the few bands from the hard rocking ’80s to maintain that work ethic. The group still tours, albeit a bit more business conscious.

“We do a lot of fly dates now, which means we fly-in and fly-out for our shows,” Lardie said in a telephone interview. “It just makes more sense. We can fly out on Thursday and do three shows and come back home on Sunday. It really has become more popular with bands of our genre and age. It’s definitely more cost effective.”

Although the voice of the band has changed, Lardie said fans have been very receptive of the addition of Terry Ilous.

“It’s been great having him. Terry came in as a substitute for us on a show back in 2009,” Lardie explained. “He has a reputation in the music industry as a go-to-guy when someone needed a fill-in vocalist for a show because he is a quick study. At the time he helped us, we had no idea it would eventually become a permanent thing.

“He is a good, solid, strong songwriter as well,” Lardie continued. “Mark (Kendall) and I had already written the next album, but when Terry sat down with Mark and I and we started playing around on the guitars we came up with some stuff that away our other stuff we had put away for the record. Ten of the twelve songs on the new CD are part of those writing sessions.”

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