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Photos: America Rocks (Jack Russell’s Great White, Faster Pussycat, The Bulletboys, Pretty Boy Floyd)

As most of Columbus was out of power on Friday night, the fact that the America Rocks show went off without a hitch was pretty amazing. True, most of the bands on the lineup retained only one original member, but the hits are the hits and ’80s hair metal fans were treated to hours worth of recognizable tunes.

Lillian Axe kicked things off with a heavier-than-expected set and closed with the only song of theirs I remember (“Show a Little Love”). Those looking for straight-up Metal Edge nostalgia needn’t look any further than Pretty Boy Floyd who wore teased hair and leather pants. The Bulletboys tossed a few newer songs into their Van Halen-sounding set (I asked by buddy Shawn is “Hell on My Heels” was from Van Halen I or Van Halen II!). Faster Pussycat went the glam-goth route in the mid-90s and retain that look but have gone back to the sleaze rock sound they were known for. Jack Russell’s Great White closed out the night with a bluesy, classic rock sound and a set full of recognizable hits – I’m guessing of all the bands on the tour, these guys are the most likely to stick to their group when not performing.

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America Rocks tour happening tonight at the Alrosa Villa

As mentioned in the Jack Russell interview posted earlier this week, the America Rocks tour hits Columbus tonight and features a who’s who of early ’90s Metal Edge favorites (Jack Russell’s Great White, Faster Pussycat, Bulletboys, Pretty Boy Floyd, Lillian Axe).

Doors open at 6:30, music starts around 7. Grab your favorite pair of leather pants, tease your hair, and come join me at the Alrosa Villa!

Interview: Jack Russell (Great White); performing at the Alrosa on Friday night as part of the America Rocks tour

If you’re reading this, you’re probably already a Great White fan or at least a fan of the ‘80s hair metal genre. And, if that’s the case, you probably already know that last year singer Jack Russell had a falling out with the other members of Great White (guitarist Mark Kendall, drummer Audie Desbrow, keyboardist Michael Lardie) and depending on who is telling the truth, either Jack fired the other members or the other members fired Jack. That stuff will all, most likely, be settled in a court of law, but the result is that there are now two versions of Great White out there. Jack, for the time being, is on the short-end and has to call his band Jack Russell’s Great White while the other guys recruited Terry Illous (XYZ) to sing on Elation which was released, under the name Great White, last month by Frontier Records.

Jack Russell’s Great White is hitting the road this summer, headlining the America Rocks tour which also features Faster Pussycat, Bulletboys, Pretty Boy Floyd and Lillian Axe. The America Rocks tour hits the Columbia Music Arena in Portsmouth on Wednesday night ($20/advance) and the Alrosa Villa in Columbus on Friday night ($28/advance).

I’m a HUGE fan of the ‘80s hair metal genre and anytime I get the chance to talk to somebody I grew up lip-synching to in front of my bedroom mirror as a teenager, it’s a thrill. Talking to Jack was no different – the 17-year-old me was pulling a Chris Farley interviewing Paul McCartney (“Remember when you toured with Whitesnake? Remember you played in Cleveland? I was there. It was AWESOME!”).

Here’s what Jack had to say.
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