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23rd 2008. "ROCK2WGTN Rocktacular", Westpac Stadium, Wellington, New Zealand
||Photos by Steve Lambert.
(Sorry to take so long uploading them Steve!)
Click the thumbnails to expand.
26th 2008. The Tivoli, Brisbane, Australia
"It was the first time I've been to a gig at the Tivoli, the first time I've seen Whitesnake and the first time I've seen David Coverdale. Not a very large crowd and the pub up the road was practically deserted beforehand as well. Stood right next to the mixing desk. In the Tivoli there is a sign: "...due to noise restrictions sound level not to exceed 103db at the mixing desk..." This resulted in a good sound without being deafening. Coverdale certainly a supreme frontman although he seemed to be giving a very tongue in cheek performance, as if he wasn't taking himself seriously.
Which leads on to the vocal performance.' Is This Love' : Coverdale hardly sang it, relying on the audience and his backing singers ( ie the band). Oh dear. Early on and the band and the audience are doing the singing and I for one didn't pay 100 bucks to sing the the fucking songs myself! That was the low point.
It improved from there, mostly, and really they were a good rocking band (apart from the finger tapping) and put on a very enjoyable performance. Hell, I even joined in the sing-a-longs. And to his credit he did manage to put in a pretty good performace for Still Of The Night.
I got the set list from the mixing desk courtesy of the sound engineer. They didn't play Burn. Both The sound engineer and the lighting engineer were asking what was going on. They expected Burn but the house lights went up and that was it. Here's the set list. Note the spelling!"
30th 2008. Palace Theatre, Melbourne, Australia
"This was a classic rock gig - big powerful guitars, sledgehammer drums and a screaming singer. Not the Whitesnake that I remember so fondly from the early 80s. The blues and the light and shade of the original Snakes are gone. I enjoyed the new songs, Best Days is a good track and I still find myself singing it, and the 1987 era songs are faithfully reproduced as almost metal tracks. Coverdale was on great form and seemed to be really enjoying himself. He was a bit low in the mix and seemed to be singing at full throttle for most of the show. Not that soulful blues of the early days.
I couldn't enjoy the old songs. Fool for Your Loving was almost unrecognisable and Crying in the Rain was horrible. Even Ain't no Love seems to have lost its soul. The musicianship is fairly average - the solo spots were very dull and I have no idea why Timothy Drury is required, because he is inaudible amongst the guitars.
So if you like the Whitesnake of the last 20 years you will love it. If you are a fan of the originals this will be a mixed experience. When this tour gets to the UK it will be interesting to see if Whitesnake are heavier than Def Leppard. I can't imagine anyone thinking about that back in 1980!!"
| March 31st 2008. Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide, Australia
"Whitesnake were on stage for about 100 minutes, 14 songs mostly about love, good love, bad love, my love, your love, ol’ love. David did take a shine to one of the local lovelies; well at least until she pointed out that the guy next to her was her husband! The band was David Coverdale : vocals, Doug Alrich : guitar and vocals, Reb Beach : guitar and vocals, Uriah Duffy : bass and vocals, Timothy Drury : keyboards and vocals, and new recruit, Chris Frazier : drums, but no vocals. Is there a reason why there are so many backing up David’s vocals? In a word yes!
Given that this is only the fifth gig with Chris Frazier and it is at the start of a “world” tour there are many reasons to be worried. I trust that things will improve, both vocally and musically...."
Full Adelaide reviews...
|May 9th 2008. CrediCard Hall, São Paulo, Brazil
" Whitesnake has played last night here in
São Paulo, as part of the most extensive Brazilian
tour they have ever done.
The set list was better than I expected, and
longer. It ran for 100
minutes and included many old songs.
David Coverdale still possesses incredible
charisma, and took complete control over the 5,000
His voice is not the same any more, as everybody
knows. At the beginning of the show it was still good,
but it was running down as show progresssed, and he did
insist on screaming.
Whitesnake means David Coverdale, and the band left no doubt about that. When he was off stage the
crowd sat down. The guitar duo Beach and
Aldrich did an horrible solo spot, and made a strong effort
to mangle the solos in "Crying in the Rain" and "Burn".
The bass and drums could have been anyone with
But David is the difference!
The set list was:
BEST YEARS, FOOL FOR YOUR LOVING, BAD BOYS, CAN YOU
HEAR THE WIND BLOW, LOVE AIN´T NO STRANGER (dedicated
to Mel Galley), LAY DOWN YOUR LOVE, IS THIS LOVE,
CRYING IN THE RAIN, THE DEEPER THE LOVE (acoustic with
David / Reb Beach), GIMME ALL YOUR LOVE, HERE I GO AGAIN,
followed by the encores: AIN´T NO LOVE IN THE HEART OF
THE CITY, GUILTY OF LOVE, STILL OF THE NIGHT, and BURN
(with the intro of Stormbringer inserted).
|June 10th 2008. Laugardalsholl, Reykjavik, Iceland
Another long drive to yet another concert. This time it is Whitenske (or David Coverdale and his current band), playing in a hall that holds 5,500 and which Deep Purple filled twice in 2004 and once again in 2006. Good for a old band in a country of just over 300,000. For Whitesnake I would guess that around 3,500 souls stepped into the hall.
The concert was OK - the band is very good (one can argue that his blues rock outfit were better and all that). Coverdale was still in good form as a frontman, but his voice was not and this night was a big disappointment for anyone for who came along to hear him sing. He is getting older and it showed. I hate to say this, because Coverdale is one of my all time favorites - but I guess this is his last tour and I will need to return to my old LP´s to celebrate the voice that I love.
The concert began with a 'big rock bang', followed by a long slow middle section plus solo spots, before ending on a high with Burn, which had everyone on their feet.
Coverdale tried hard to get the crowd to participate, and he succeeded despite Icelanders not being the most willing bunch to take part and sing along.
Most people did not know the new songs, and a band like this really needs two sets of songs to fit a market like this, but Whitesnake last played Iceland 18 years ago and I guess most of the fans know the old stuff better.
The set list : Intro ~
best years /
fool for your loving /
can you hear the wind (dedicated to Mel Galley) /
all I want all I need /
lay down your love / the
deeper the love /
is this love /
(snake dance - solos) /
a fool in love /
aint gonna cry no more /
ain´t no love in the heart of the city /
soldier of fortune (acapella) /
give me all your love /
here I go again /
still of the night /
Most people I spoke to enjoyed the concert. The sound was bad at first ; I would fire the soundman, as the house has sounded very well in the last few years.
Full gallery of Rejkyavik photos
|June 17th 2008 . SECC, Glasgow, Scotland
Set list: Best Years / Fool For Your Loving / Can You Hear The Wind Blow / Love Ain't No Stranger (dedicated to Mel Galley) / Lay Down Your Love / Is This Love / Snake Dance (guitar solos) /
A Fool In Love / Drum solo / Ain't Gonna Cry No More (Acoustic) / Ain't No Love In The Heart of The City / Give Me All Your Love / Here I Go Again. Encore: Still of the Night.
For the first time in almost 27 years, Whitesnake are playing under a headliner in the UK. Not a great way to celebrate 30 years of a band. The hall was really packed by the time they came on at 7.45pm. Lights dimmed and the band tore into the first song. The sound was very bass heavy, a much denser heavier sound than previous tours, pretty much the same as the album really.
Coverdale’s voice is struggling to hit the high notes now, but he can still sing a fine tune. The first four songs went down very well, though I am not sure how many in the hall even know who Mel Galley is. Very few, judging by the response. Two slower numbers dropped the tempo of the show, the inclusion of a pointless guitar solo did nothing to help the wavering attention of the audience. “A Fool in Love” was done instead of “Crying in the Rain” which was a pity, and the drum solo is very very forgettable. Total waste of time. Next up we get Doug Aldrich and Mr. Coverdale doing a quick acoustic number. And what is this, “Ain’t Gonna Cry No More ”, first time since the “Come and Get it” tour I believe. Really great version that pleased the older die hards in the audience.
“Ain’t No Love” sounded a bit flat. I guess the denser sound does not lend itself to such a song, and the audience participation part is kept short. As a contrast “Give Me All Your Love” really gets the crowd going, big sing-a-long bit and huge cheer at the end. The set ends on a huge high, the audience roars for more. By the close of the encore the band finally has the arena bouncing. Overall not a bad show, though the breaks in the momentum caused by the pointless solo spots do show that even after 30 years of Whitesnake, we still complain about the same things. Oh, and Def Leppard played and were probably still playing as I was enjoying a nice cold beer in my living room 45 miles away. At least Mr. Coverdale does not need a fancy stage show to generate some sparkle.
Playing a co-headline tour with Def Leppard, it is Whitesnake who take to the stage first in the full SECC. Their set consists both of greatest hits and no fewer than four tracks from the new Good to be Bad album.
New material often takes more than one tour to bed-in properly and fans can be reluctant to buy new records by old bands. This was not the case for Whitesnake tonight with the new songs being greeted warmly by the audience, many of whom have clearly bought the album. In fact, so good are the new songs, they blend in seamlessly with material from the multi-million selling Whitesnake 1987 album. However, with Doug Aldrich both playing guitar and writing songs in the style of John Sykes on the new material, one might ask whether David Coverdale couldn't just bury the hatchet and get Sykes himself back into the fold.
As might be expected, the biggest applause is reserved for the classics including Fool for your Loving, Is this Love, Ain't No Love In The Heart of The City and Still of the Night. In a poignant touch, Coverdale dedicates Love Ain't No Stranger to the terminally-ill former Whitesnake guitarist Mel Galley. The high point of the set comes with the beginning of Here I Go Again where it seemed that every single person in the entire audience had their hands above their head clapping.
Always the showman, Coverdale has the audience mesmerised throughout the evening both with his singing skills and his sexist banter between songs. While his voice strained at times, this didn't affect the overall quality of the performance.
The last Whitesnake tour was rather badly paced, with long and rambling guitar and drum solo spots taking place astonishingly early in the set. Tonight's shorter set marks a great improvement featuring the excellent Snake Dance guitar instrumental but avoiding lengthy individual guitar solo slots by Reb Beach and Doug Aldrich. Unfortunately, however, the lesson has not been learnt with regard to the drums and the lengthy solo with new drummer Chris Frazier comes just five minutes later. This minor criticism aside, this was a near perfect gig and Whitesnake left to rapturous applause.
|June 18th 2008 . NEC, Birmingham, England
Set list as Glasgow. It had been billed as Def Leppard and Whitesnake … but make no mistake this was Def Leppard plus support. Even the NEC car park ticket just stated “Def”!
Both bands were allocated just one hour and 20 minutes with Whitesnake taking the stage at ten to eight. A simple set .. with a little bit of the giant back screens given over to album artwork. Clearly they were on someone else’s stage … but got on with the job in hand.
“Best years” got the worst sound mix in a long time – was it the sound crew or the arena? Time would tell. Next up “Fool for your loving” and already its apparent that DC is struggling with some of the vocals. He’s in fine form otherwise and enjoying his usual banter with the crowd. The set continued as per Glasgow with “Is this Love” suffering from the frazzled tonsils. And then into THAT guitar solo which was totally pointless and did nothing for anyone apart from to give DC a break. The problem is that Whitesnake isn’t a band .. its DC plus his backing musicians and we don’t care that much about the hired hands! Coverdale spending 90% of the time on the forward stage apart from the musicians only emphasises the point. As for the drum solo .. why even attempt this when the headliners have a one armed drummer who is better and didn’t need to prove his worth?
“Aint no love” takes us into familiar territory (btw anyone heard Paul Carrack’s new version?) but its clear that many are now waiting for the boys from Sheffield! How can you possibly go out at this point to buy a hot dog and a coke!!!! But they did! Then we are off down to the final hurdle with DC helped out with strong vocals from keyboard and guitarists! “Still of the Night” remains a fantastic pulsating track that I never tire of hearing.
Leppard were on next .. the sound from the first note was perfect so after several tours I now know that’s it’s the WS sound crew who have wool in their ears and not me! Meanwhile, Def Leppard proved that the advantage of a true band is that everyone has a long term stake in the show … and work their rocks off to make it work.
I bought the tickets to see Whitesnake possibly headlining (as the adverts had implied) but also to enjoy Def Leppard. In the end it was Def Leppard who blew me away … and I fear for many blew DC off stage too. Sorry !
|June 21st 2008. The Odyssey, Belfast, Northern Ireland
Only three words to describe Whitesnake's performance in Belfast - Absolutely Bloody Awesome. From the opening bars of Best Years to the last of Still of the Night it ROCKED.
DC took us back and forward thru the last 30 years with electrifying intensity as only he can. The sellout 10,000 crowd were in the palm of his hand and he squeezed hard (ooh err!!!).
We had songs from the new album - including my faev Can you Here the Wind Blow, Lay Down your Love and A Fool in Love, along with the old faves Fool for Your Loving, Is This Love, Here I go Again,Gimme All You Love and the ubiquitous anthem Ain't No Love. A few surprises included acoustic versions of Ain't Gonna Cry No More - Bernie Marsden will be pleased - and The Deeper The Love. Lump in the throat time came with the dedication of Love Ain't No Stranger to "my old friend Mel Galley". All in all a great performance from rock's best showman by miles.
Black Stone Cherry were not bad and came out and spoke with the fans and signed autographs - my daughter was well pleased.
Oh and Def Leppard were Def Leppard, nuff said......
|June 23rd 2008. Sheffield Arena, England
We decided to attend this at Sheffield after so many painful at the old tin shed aka NEC. After a short but positive set by Black Stone Cherry - a band worth watching out for in the future I might add - next came up were DC and his band. After a positive start with Best Years and Fool for Your Loving, it went downhill for me, the sound was poor, and the song choice was also very poor.
Also, why have a guitar solos in a short set? Okay the new stuff was okay, so were the acoustic versions of The Deeper The Love and Ain't Gonna Cry No More. But it's getting to hear the bulk of 1987 again and again. I know most fans in the arena are there for the 1987 stuff, but come on DC, it was as you so rightly said 30 years of Whitesnake. So why not go back into the catalogue and dig some old gems which made the band so great: Lovehunter, Ready an' Willing, Walking in the Shadows of the Blues, Don't Break My Heart Again, Lie Down, Trouble. Make no mistake I am a big fan of all of Whitesnake's material but in the past few tours it's just become dull to watch with the odd exception.
A final point DC. When you sing there is no one better in my view, but when it's a screech or growl it's not great. Sorry guys, I was just disappointed with what could have been a great show. As for Def Leppard, it was obvious by the sound, the backdrops, and the stage size this was not a co-headlining tour, they were the headliners and they put on a SHOW. I was never a great fan of Leppard, but they were excellent tonight - and without the need of guitar solos.
|June 24th 2008. Radio Metro Arena, Newcastle, England
It’s the day after the gig and time to reflect on why we put ourselves through this each year! Whitesnake are great playing somewhere like the Newcastle City Hall but seem to be lost in an “Arena” enviroment.
This was definitely not a co-headliner tour. Sound was crap for Whitesnake but awesome for Def Leppard. Half the lighting rig, half the video screens and only allowed to play for an hour and twenty in his so called “homeland” of Newcastle - surely he should have headlined here if they were really taking turns! Some lady down the front with “a pair of magnificent glands” as Coverdale observed, shouted for “Soldier of Fortune”, his reply, “we’ll try and fit it in but time is tight up here”!!!
His voice was shot at times and totally lost in the sound, and as for the backing players, Dear God, how sad must it be to play in total darkness for the majority of the concert, only briefly being allowed into the spotlights. As previously reviewed, Coverdale stayed on the advanced platform for the whole of the gig, only coming back for a drink and a rest. They all looked terrified to go on to his podium, running onto it when Coverdale wasn’t looking like naughty school boys. Joe Elliott played it so well, briefly coming forward but mainly singing with the rest of the band or, taking the whole band out with him. That’s a band in harmony.
New songs did come across very well and the crowd did enjoy them, the CD is obviously selling well! Highlight for us was the acoustic version of “Ain’t goin to cry no more” that did bring back memories of yesteryear! (Ashington Regal Cinema 7 May 1978 – what a gig!!!!). The same can’t be said for “Ain’t no love”, that was a disaster, no soul at all.
The new acoustic song went astray at times and it seemed Coverdale was singing a different song to the one Aldridge was playing. He stopped singing at the beginning of “Is this love” to say that he couldn’t hear us as he was now 56, but really he missed the intro to the song! Guitar solos but no drum solo, they must have been reading your review page!
All in all Def Leppard were tremendous and blew Coverdale off stage with the sound and stage show, but he is still good crack and no doubt we’ll be there next year!!!!
|June 26th 2008. Wembley Arena, London, England
After 30 years of following the Snake - once again at Wembley DC and Co. let us have both barrels and then some, they were bloody awesome. I had read a couple of rather negative reviews about this tour, well, last night they razed the Arena to the ground. It was the very best Whitesnake concert I have ever seen and I’ve lost count of how many times I've seen them.
Black Stone Cherry opened up with a tight little set and are certainly ‘ones for the future’, then at 7.45 on came the Snakes, and from the first bar it was clear we were in for a very special night of Whitesnake. From the new CD The Best Years, what a way to open the show, right through to the most stonking version of Still of The Night, still the best closer from any band I know, DC and the boys were awesome. They left Wembley in tatters, brilliant stuff, one old man very very happy here.
After they finished the guy standing next to me commented that Def Leppard would need to pull something special out to follow that, suffice to say we left after just 30 minutes of their performance; it was flat, the stage overblown, the sound poorly mixed and the whole thing was awful. Sorry to say they were simply ‘blown away’ by DC et al. Sorry Def Leppard, I have waited 30 years to see you live and you simply can’t live with the greatness of the band called Whitesnake.
"Ordinarily Whitesnake would blow Def Leppard off the stage. But this is different. Because on this tour David Coverdale isn't delivering. Yes, he's throwing the mic around, prancing around the stage and thrusting himself at the audience. But that's almost as far as it gets. On this tour David Coverdale is struggling to sing: so much so that he's resorting to mouthing words and lines whilst his band mates paper over the cracks. The moral and ethical rights behind this are arguable but it's not a good move. When he does have a go, it sounds wrong, mostly off key and frankly not very good. During the set he gets a little better and often Still of the Night seems to be delivered quite well but the reality is that David Coverdale is shortchanging himself and the audience. It's not right....."
.More reviews of Whitesnake at Wembley...
|July 14th. Cardiff International Arena, Cardiff, Wales
"I had hoped that after a four days rest Coverdale would be in good voice. Not so. He was totally drowned out by the band during every chorus, reduced to just mouthing the words. For the rest of the set he either let the crowd sing the words for him, screeched that mangled croak that has typified his performances of late or, rarely and almost exclusively during the quiter bits, actually sang. So all in all a pale shadow of what once was (and it must be said in stark contrast to Gillan's blistering efforts on the last Purps tour).
Still the band were tight as a duck's doo-dah, if slightly anonymous, and let's not forget Cov could once sing, which is more than can be said for Elliot who was rubbish. More to the point, despite Whitesnake's song writing being self derivitive they DO have some top tunes, unlike the Leps. Whole night not worth £42.50 plus postage."
"Thunder, who had little or NO mention in these reviews,still deliver top notch rock , have been overlooked in the music fraternity and should be much bigger than they are. They were brilliant and always entertain, the highlight being "When Love Walks In". Superb guys.
Whitesnake.. Let me start by saying that I am a huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge fan and always have been. To me Coverdale`s lyrics and the various line- ups have been great combinations. Yet I was thoroughly disappointed in the great man and his SESSION musicians in Cardiff. To the point that I was thinking he should call it a day. But on reflection, he wasnt the problem, THE BAND were the problem.
Mr Coverdale ought to go back to forming a band using previous Whitesnake members who have actually WRITTEN some of the older songs concerned, then there may be some feel in there playing. I watched the screens a lot, NONE of them were smiling,they were just going through the motions, because none of them own the songs and therefore there was NO soul. They were just trying to out do each other and in the end drowned the great man out. Big shame as this was the first time I have seen the great man live. Mr Gillan, who is some ten years older, still delivers, so there is hope for Mr Coverdale yet, if he gets some musicians who aren`t up themselves.
Def Leppard - I have to disagree with David Black's remarks. I last saw the Leps at Malvern Winter Gardens 1978, they impressed me then and still do now. They blew the other two bands into another dimension, even though the sound was still not good ( Why in this day and age of technology, do we still suffer rubbish sound systems by these top bands) They delivered on all levels, they were alive and they were smiling. They showed us why they were massive in the states before they had any recognition over here, and like Thunder, I dont think they have had there fair share of success over here."
|July 17th. Nottingham Arena, Nottingham, England
"Being very much a Marsden and Moody fan I approached this gig with an open mind but some trepidation.
Very clever man DC, letting the band and, I suspect the keyboard player, take most of the vocals.
When he did try to sing it sounded as if he was retching. He managed some passable singing on the gentler tracks, but there weren't many of them As for the oldies, we had just two verses of Ain't Gonna Cry No More with the blonde guy on acoustic guitar (missing out the middle section which a previous guitarist played on slide), Fool For Your Loving, Ain't No Love, and Here I Go Again - no real effort for the "lad" from Redcar as the crowd sang them.
The sound was abysmal to start with - way too much bass drum - but eventually really cleverly balanced so that DC's vocals were not too much to the fore. The band was very American style,with loads of legato runs and double handed tapping from the guitarists, which is great if you are Satch or Vai, not these two. The bass and drummer were good-ish, the best in the band was the keyboard player, filling the sound panorama and, as I said earlier, heavily backing up DC's "vocals" I suspect.
You'd think after 30 years (a much vaunted anniversary according to DC, so why no thanks to the other musicians that have played in the band?) that he'd find something more than "Here's a song for ya" to introduce EVERY song. Sadly a spent force I fear.
Scores on the doors:- Def Leppard 8/10, David Coverdale and band (sorry just can't call then Whitesnake) 4/10, Thunder, the greatest undiscovered band in the world, and this was only the second time I've seen them live, 15/10! Brilliant songs and presentation and the best sound of the night.
We travelled from London to hopefully see a great line up of rock bands, and I was especially looking forward to seeing Whitesnake after last seeing them in 1984.
Thunder took to the stage and delivered their customary high quality set, getting everybody in the mood for things to come. I nearly cried when Whitesnake took to the stage, I have no concerns about comparing previous line ups as I have seen all the earlier ones, my concern was being let down by DC as he clearly struggled to deliver. Most of his vocals were sung by the keyboard player. The sound generally was awful, but did improve towards the latter of the set. I think I speak for most nearly 50-ish rock fans that it is financially difficult to attend gigs nowadays and if I behaved in my work environment like DC behaved at Nottingham I would be shown the door. Maybe it is time for DC to retire. Hats off to Thunder and Def Leppard who obviously still consider their fans and consistently deliver a high quality product
|November 20th. AWD-Hall, Hannover , Germany new, Dec 3rd
|November 25th. Messehalle, Erfurt, Germany
"30 Jahre der Weisse Schlange!" -- (grammatically not quite correct) is how David Coverdale announced his "30 Years of Whitesnake" anniversary tour in German. David knows how to charm his audience - he tries to speak German where he can, and he looks healthy and relaxed.
"Best Years" opens the set. Initial sound problems are quickly taken care of. "'ere's a song for ya, Erfurt!" -- "Fool For You Loving'" is received much better than the set opener. But Whitesnake do not seem to want rely on their old hits. "Can You Hear the Wind Blow" from the "Good To be Bad" album is song # 3. "Love Ain't No Stranger" is dedicated to the late Mel Galley -- q nice gesture by DC. "Lay Down Your Love" is next and the third song from the new album. David and Doug (with a touch of bass and keyboard support) do a fantastic acoustic version of "The Deeper The Love". The entire band performs "Is This Love" and this takes Doug and Reb into a guitar battle / solo part.
Song four off the new album is "A Fool In Love". Again Doug's acoustic guitar is brought back on stage and DC sings "Ain't Gonna Cry No More". "Ain't No Love In The Heart of the City" is performed by the whole band again. "Give Me All Your Love" and "Here I Go Again" close the set. "Still Of the Night" is the encore and ends the evening with another breathtaking performance from David Coverdale.
I am happy to see Whitesnake touring again,and it was great to hear the new songs performed live, however the concert did not capture the energy of the "Live... In The Still Of The Night DVD". Perhaps the current set list may need re-arranging in favour of maintaining the energy level by reducing the number of "slow songs" and placing the new songs further down the setlist. Noentheless, it was 80 worthwhile minutes with 13 Whitesnake songs (8 of them titled with the word "love"...). And for anyone in doubt: David Coverdale IS singing himself!
Regards and thank you for your good work.
|December 9th. B-1 Maximum club , Moscow, Russia new, Dec 21st
Click here to see a full gallery of Alexei's shots
from the show.
|December 17th. Scandinavium, Gothenburg, Sweden new, Dec 21st
David proved last night in Gothenburg that he's taken it as far as he
can with this "this thing". As the band is very much a backing
band, the outcome was a direct result of Coverdale's performance. In some
areas he did very well, and less so in others.
I saw less energy than at Sweden Rock (June 6th 2008) , and less
energy than a couple of years ago. It wasn't helped by the slight
feeling of "another day at the job" that I got from some of the band. This
could have been a result of the lifeless atmosphere in "the
Scandinavium", as DC later called the venue while reminiscing about his
first time here with DP in 1973. A nice touch (DC alone on stage for
his "speech") and although I'm sure it happened in Stockholm too, it
felt sincere and shows he still has lots to give to an audience.
During the course of the evening he went for quite a lot of crowd contact, passing out beer and reacting to things going on out there. He also had regular exchanges with the band. For
example, when trying to remember which year Soldier of Fortune was written, Aldrich offered '76 with DC playfully responding "1976? Are you
****ing kidding me?" implying that the guitarist didn't know his Deep
Purple history. Things like that kept it fresh. He could have kept
the chatter to a minimum and just got through the show, but instead he worked hard and managed to get feedback from the crowd, even on this
Wednesday night with people more or less coming in after
work. This was not South America.
His singing sounded better than expected, without making any
comparisons to the old days. In the opener Best Years I got
the odd feeling of delivery and vocals not matching, though I'm confident that any playback rumours
are just that. But, he sure does have a lot of help from his backing
singers. Timothy Drury now even sounds like DC in the lower registers.
As for the performance of the actual songs, I'm afraid there's really
nothing new to report, going back to my comment about DC having taken
this as far as he can. There's only so many times you can perform Love
Ain't No Stranger, Is this Love and Fool for your Loving with these
kind of dynamics (Marshalls to 12, drummer banging away on "empty
barrels") before you start to long for something
else. And we got this something else in the shape of 2 glorious
acoustic versions of The Deeper the Love and Soldier of Fortune. The
"another day at the job" feeling immediately went away, all the "empty
noise" did too, and what was left was DC's voice and an acoustic
guitar. This was the real thing. Whether it would work for a full evening I'm not sure, but
those songs (plus an impromptu and inspired acoustic snippet of Slow an Easy) were the highlight of the evening and made the "bad, bad
boys" delivery of the rest of the songs feel redundant, especially
since DC clearly does not have the voice for that any more.
Speaking of redundant, the 10-minute extended guitar solo, featuring
both Aldrich and Beach, needs to go - a totally pointless exercise in
notes and speed. The drum solo was better, and hinted that Chris
Frazier probably knows a trick or two from outside the "Tommy Aldridge
In summary, the Whitesnake machine is so well oiled, with background vocals
and everything, that it wouldn't be a problem for DC to keep on
touring like this, featuring this kind of presentation. But I can't
see how it could be fulfilling to him, creatively speaking. I know it
wouldn't be for me as a fan, and if they came here again I wouldn't go.
Last night's performance showed glimpses of a DC that still can shine.
Let's hope we can see more of him in the next couple of years.