On This Day in History

On this date in history, 6/8/1999, hair metal had long since been put out to pasture by the grunge movement, but some of the bands were still out there making the rounds.

This was such an occasion. Poison, Ratt, Great White, and L.A. Guns converged at Deer Creek to recreate and re-live some of the glorious days of their hair sprayed, spandex glory.

It actually was pretty successful. After all, the music of that time was all about fun and it translated well into the outdoor summertime vibe in Noblesville.

L.A. Guns kicked off the show with a killer set and set the tone for all that followed. They were my primary reason for going, because they were the only band I hadn’t seen before.

I would have preferred a longer set, but with 4 bands, everyone had to sacrifice a little. This undoubtedly trimmed some of the fat, so to speak, and left us with mostly the best these bands had to offer.

Great White were next, and remained consistent with what I had seen from them in the past.

Ratt had a different singer, John Corabi, but otherwise were the same dependably raucous bunch as ever. Corabi actually sounds enough like Stephen Pearcy and resembles his look from a distance that most of the crowd didn’t even notice the change.

Poison headlined and did what they do, party rock with a lot of flash and plenty of smiles for the ladies. No big messages here, just solid fun and loud singalong anthems. Everyone indeed had “Nothin’ But a Good Time!”

Written By Braddon S. Williams aka The Concert Critic

On This Day in History

On this date in history, 6/4/1989, a hair metal show featuring Ratt, Great White, and Warrant descended on the still brand new Deer Creek facility in Noblesville, IN.

As I have already reported, the first rock show at that venue had occurred just a couple of weeks previously.

2224a26e448365fc551ed588c03f3530The hair metal phenomenon was in full swing and this was a good lineup of bands that more or less complimented each other’s styles.


Warrant opened the show with their stylized choreography, pop metal, hook filled songs featuring the soaring lead vocals of Jani Lane and plenty of flashy guitar solos. The ‘80s hair metal scene produced its share of great music.

Great White followed with a much bluesier approach, but Jack OutoftheNightGWRussell’s vocals were also in the high register and lead guitar was the guiding force of the music.

Ratt were champions of the sleaze rock style and probably owe Aerosmith a great amount of thanks for showing them the way to do it.

Stephen Pearcy sang with a much grittier and harsher vocal style that set his band apart from the rest of the hair metal scene, but ratt2010aWarren DeMartini’s blazing guitar talent planted Ratt firmly in the upper echelon of hair nation.

I was already firmly becoming of fan of the Deer Creek venue and am eagerly looking forward to more experiences there this summer.

Written By Braddon S. Williams aka  The Concert Critic




On This Day in History


On this date in history I saw Great White in 1993. They performed at The Vogue, a nightclub probably not all that different from the club that caught fire during one of their shows a decade later.

More than a hundred people died at that show and many more suffered horrible injuries. By the time of that incident, the band was actually called Jack Russell’s Great White, but the media latched onto the more well known version for their reporting.

I don’t recall them using any pyrotechnics at our show, but it does make one think about the potential dangers at any live event. Tragedy occurs from time to time in the music world, but more often it is celebration and good feelings that are remembered. These are the reasons I have never stopped attending shows.

It is sad that Great White is mostly associated with the disastrous fire, because they were an amazing band in their day. Jack Russell had an insane vocal range and the looks and personality of a born frontman. Mark Kendall played solid lead guitar, preferring melodic bluesy lines over the “million notes per second” style that everyone else seemed to be going for at the time. They had some really good songs, too. Even though they had their best success with a cover song, they were wise enough to pick one that was just obscure enough that most people thought they wrote it. The song I’m referring to is “Once Bitten, Twice Shy” by Ian Hunter, and Great White used it to propel themselves into a pretty good run for awhile.


The band Asphalt Ballet opened for them at The Vogue and I enjoyed their set, too. My heart goes out to the victims of the fire that scarred Great White’s career (including Ty Longley, who played guitar in the band that night), but I remain grateful that I saw them when the only fire was the heat of their music.


Written By Braddon S. Williams  AKA The Concert Critic

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