Jack Russell’s Great White, with He Kill 3, Distant Warning, Elevated Sickness, FN Wylde, Saturday, Dec. 8, 6 p.m., sunshinestudioslive.com.
The first rule of Led Zeppelin impersonation is that you do not talk about impersonating Led Zeppelin. At least that’s been the standard operating procedure for bands ranging from the original incarnation of Jane’s Addiction to the newly emerged, and impressively unoriginal, Greta Van Fleet. For better or worse, Great White frontman Jack Russell never got that memo. He’s been gleefully wearing his Robert Plant heart on his sleeve ever since the group found mainstream success during L.A.’s ‘80s hair-band heyday. Great White would go on to sell 10 million records, fueled in large part by their 1989 cover of Ian Hunter’s “Once Bitten, Twice Shy.” A decade later, the group paid homage to their heroes with a tribute album Great Zeppelin
, and broke up shortly thereafter. From there, everything went south, hitting rock bottom in 2003, when the singer’s new band, billed as “Jack Russell’s Great White,” played a Rhode Island nightclub called The Station, where a fire triggered by pyrotechnics resulted in the deaths of 100 people, including the band’s guitarist. “There are so many times,” Russell told an LA Weekly
interviewer last year, “when I’ll see a sunrise and I’ll just start crying because there’s 100 people that will never see that again.” Today, Jack Russell’s Great White continues to tour under a licensing agreement with his former bandmates, who have retained rights to the group’s official name. Count on Russell’s version of the band to trot out the hits, along with a few tracks from their latest album He Saw It Comin’
, and at least one Led Zeppelin cover.