Photos by Heidi Horvath Photography
I was extremely fortunate to have been invited to the 96.7 KCAL Christmas Party at the Vibe Nightclub/Morongo Casino in Cabazon, CA. After just about two hours on the road, I arrived at the casino and made my way straight to Great White’s dressing room to find the band huddled, almost football style, running through a quick medley of vocals for their set. Drummer Audie Debrow was seated on the couch next to them, playing the drum beats alongside them on the table. It didn’t take long to figure out that this was exactly where I was supposed to be!
Not only did I receive VIP treatment for the show, I also experienced two amazing and unique Great White sets from right in front of the stage! Great white’s first set was at 8:00pm and they had another set at 9:15pm, with a thirty-minute break in between. As far as I know, this ‘double header’ was a first for the band, and for the fans lucky enough to be privy for both.
After the KCAL DJ’s got the crowd all worked up with raffles and giveaways, including a five thousand dollar cash prize, Great White started out the show with “House of Broken Love,” which is definitely one of my favorite Great White songs.
Every member of the band is an exceptional player and is as physically fit and musically primed as ever. The entire band was full of energy, with all the front members rotating throughout the stage, engaging with fans, and giving each one of them a unique and individual experience of their own.
Terry Illous is known for taking that personal interaction to the next level by ‘borrowing’ fan’s cameras to do video of the band, the crowd, and himself. I witnessed him do this at least twice during the night, and I guarantee that those fans are going to have a video and memories to last a lifetime.
Personal highlights (from the combined sets) include “Lady Red Light,” “Face the Day,” “Save All Your Love,” “On Your Knees,” and of course the classic that we all know and love, “Once Bitten, Twice Shy.”
For the last song of the night, KCAL staff, fans, and Mrs. Santa ‘hotties’ filled the stage for a colorful and fun performance of “Once Bitten, Twice Shy.” I loved seeing Terry pass the microphone around the stage and found it interesting as to who knew the lyrics and who didn’t. (Part of me wanted to be onstage belting out a line myself!)
The venue and crowd definitely displayed a Christmas ‘Vibe’ (no pun intended) and it was nice to see so much Christmas spirit and support for the legendary rock band Great White! The scantily clad ‘Clause’s’ seemed to lift the spirit of the night as well.
I’d like to give special mention to Michael Lardie, who was on triple duty during the show, nailing down the guitar, keyboard, and harmonica throughout the show.
All in all, it was an amazing dual performance and special night for all. I am happy to have been part of it. Special thanks go out to Terry Illous, Al Bane, and Catherine Noonan making this special night happen.
- Shot In The Dark
- Lady Red Light
- Face the Day
- On Your Knees
- House of Broken Love
- Save All Your Love
- Desert Moon
- Big Goodbye
- Shake It
- Rock Me
- Once Bitten Twice Shy