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Current Generation of Great White Carries On Music Tradition in Las Vegas

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American hard rock band Great White will appear with fellow surviving 70s-80s band Slaughter in Las Vegas at the Events Center at Eastside Cannery on Saturday, Feb. 1 at 8:30 p.m. The five-member male group that was formed in Los Angeles in 1977 is re-charged and re-focused with three of the group’s veterans at the helm: founder Mark Kendall on guitar; 28-year-veteran Michael Lardie on guitar and keyboard; and Audie Desbrow an original on drums. They are joined by lead singer Terry Ilous and bassist Scott Snyder.

While original member Jack Russell has another group out there, Lardie points out that he and Kendall have been Great White’s primary writers and have played on every studio record, which is the “core and heart” of the band.

The band’s 12th studio album “Elation” that came out in 2012 thrives on Great White’s signature grit and blues-hued sound and was co-produced by Kendall and Lardie, who was struck by the band’s teamwork in the studio. Everyone was completely present and contributed to the making of this album.

“We get bursts of inspiration,” Lardie said. “We had two songs written; then, we suddenly had 12 songs and mixed in 35 days.”

“This is a new birth of the band,” Desbrow said. “I wanted to call the album ‘Tabula Rasa’ which means rebirth, but we went for ‘Elation’ because of the euphoria in the atmosphere.”

Kendall, one of rock’s most notable guitarists, echoed Desbrow’s pure excitement. “The energy in the studio was amazing,” Kendall said. “This is the most excited I’ve been since I was 9-years-old and got my first guitar."

There is no strict rule to Great White’s bookings any more. They used to spend five to seven months on the road on a bus and now they mostly work weekends and do about half the dates, which is 70 to 80 gigs a year. Their next Nevada booking is April 25-27 in Laughlin, Nev., at the Riverside Resort Hotel & Casino.

Lardie lived in Las Vegas twice in the past 10 years and now is the only band member residing in Northern California while the rest are in Southern California.

Lardie acknowledges thankfully that Great White didn’t fall prey to the trapping of success like so many young bands do. “We’re still doing what we love,” he said. “My dad’s advice was great. He said you can either burn out or make music a career.”

Tickets for their Eastside Cannery show range from $14.95 to $26.95. Purchase online at http://www.eastsidecannery.com/.

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