That Music Magazine » Keyboardist/producer Michael Larkie brings Great White to Philadelphia’s Rivers Casino tomorrow night
Written by Eric Sperrazza
Growing up in the ’80s & ’90s, you would have been hard-pressed to turn on MTV and not see a video of some high-haired band, straight off the Sunset Strip. Amidst the LA onslaught of Whisky A Go Go alumni were Great White!
Since 1977, the band had been shredding licks and belting out their own brand of blues/metal. Ten years later, they truly landed with the seminal platinum album, Once Bitten. That would kick off Billboard Top 100 singles like “Once Bitten, Twice Shy” and one of my personal favorites, “The Angel Song.”
Today, Great White is still performing. Longtime band keyboardist and producer, Michael Larkie, spoke with me and explained what being on the road these days is like.
“We figured out a really cool way of doing it. We go out on a Thursday and perform Friday, Saturday and Sunday. That way, we are home for Monday and have a few days off,” Larkie revealed.
In fact, Great White is performing on October 29th, alongside Slaughter, at the Rivers Casino in Philadelphia, making for a big show of classic hair band-era rock. The band will feature a new lead vocalist, Mitch Malloy, to take on the classic Great White tunes.
When talking about the differences between Malloy and the original frontman, Jack Russell, Larkie was quoted as saying, “Mitch is a great frontman. Very agile and very active on stage. He engages the crowd, very very well! Mitch is different from Jack only in the fact that his solo stuff is more Journey & Bryan Adams, so this is new to him; being in a band that plays the kind of music we do. But he does it well!”
Playing Philadelphia is definitely not new to Larkie and Great White. Larkie went on to spin tales of playing the Spectrum and having fans charge down the ramp to the tour buses, putting him and his bandmates in a Beatles-esque panic, forever solidifying why Philly is a must-stop when Great White goes on tour!
And what of new music with Mitch and the band? With all of this chemistry and the joy of being back and playing Great White hits to rock-starved fans, Larkie was asked about the prospect of laying down a new album.
“We are looking at the 1st quarter of the new year to flush out some ideas but I will tell you this! It will sound like every bit of a Great White record,” Larkie explained.
It is not just the time-honored and battle-tested fans that Larkie and Great White hope to see this Friday. The band issues an open invite to anyone that wants to escape and enjoy music that makes you feel good.
“I guarantee you when we hit the apex of our set, and the crowd is singing along with us to ‘Once Bitten, Twice Shy,’ it’s a PARTY! Come; come be Rockstars with us!” said Larkie to new and hopeful fans looking for a good time on a Friday night in Philadelphia.
Come be rockstars with us; probably the most truthful tagline of any great rock show. The curtain goes up at 8 pm at Rivers Casino, which is located at 1001 North Delaware Avenue in Philadelphia. Tickets are still available here.
I know I, for one, will be taking Larkie up on his offer. With my torn jeans on and flannel tied properly around my waist, consider me an honorary rockstar as I belt out “The Angel Song” from the crowd.
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