Standing outside in an endless queue in the pouring rain might not be everyone’s ideal build up to a concert. Talk about needing patience! Let’s just say, by the end of the night I was glad the tickets stayed dry!
First act up was The Union. Basically they weren’t a ‘miss the support act and chill at the bar before the headliners’ band! Pete Shoulder’s vocals were glass shattering as they echoed around the room during their opening song Easy Street. In conjunction with the cheeky riffs of Luke Morley’s guitar seducing the audience, the band were on track to prove they were worthy of being more than a support band!
What can be said about the performance of Black Monday? Basically, if I had a video camera, I’d record this song, load it onto YouTube and listen to it over and over again! I’ll leave the rest to your imagination! So yes, it was a damn fine performance, end of!
The stage set up was pretty basic. Rather than having a bunch of manic props flying all over, only pink lighting was used to tease the audience. Regardless, who would want to take the focus away from the band, it sold itself through and through.
To tick their final box of the night out came the rough and ready Watch the River Flow. Scoring even more points Morley had the audience bound tightly with his guitar strings, and just when it got to the point where I didn’t think Shoulder’s vocals could get any more cracking, they erm… did!
All in all, they were a damn good choice to pop the cork to the night! The set was short but without doubt, sweet. Instrumentally they were flawless and they reeked of character, charisma and were just simply cool. If they are a supporting act again, don’t wait in the bar for a drink, get in their early, stock up and watch the whole flaming gig!
And now for the big guns! Mic… check, guitars… check, drums… check and we were ready for off! As the stage lights brightened a huge Whitesnake emblem teasingly lowered down for the back drop. The spine-chilling build up had finally paid off!
Yes, the classic ‘trout pout’ had landed! Yes, the audience was thriving on watching David Coverdale gyrating with his microphone stand, whilst performing their opening song Best Years; But let’s face it, what else did we expect! Nevertheless still a cracking way to open a show!
Rewind to the 80’s and play and we got Give Me All Your Love. Once again, Mr Coverdale was well… suggesting his love for his microphone stand. Regardless, it was impossible to complain! His vocals still had that charismatic huskiness that we all love; if I did complain I’d end up getting lynched by all the Whitesnake fans that were there!
You’ve got to hand it to him, he knows how to seduce an audience. He had the ‘I have time for you all’ appeal! Spotlight literally being focused on him, we got a few jokes about him being nearly sixty years old. The audience gave as much back though! Someone in the audience had taken it that one step further, bought a box of Yorkshire Tea and thrown it at Coverdale!
The second of the ‘golden oldies’ was Love Ain’t No Stranger. Grinning yet? The song needed no introduction! After we heard that first ‘duhhh – duh (tap), duhhh - duh’ Whitesnake disciples were chanting, and the ball was rolling again; picking up more speed with every chord!
For all those wondering, yes they played Is This Love. It was a ‘hit and miss’ part of the night but still it didn’t kick them into touch!
After a few more cracks, the first catch of the new album was the feisty, pelvic thrusting worthy Steal Your Heart Away. As guitarist Doug Aldrich sliced and diced the stage with his malicious solo, Mr Coverdale yet again showed his pole dancing skills with his microphone stand! It was like watching those Whitesnake music videos all over again. Don’t deny it; everyone’s seen at least one of them!
On the note of being thoughtful towards the audience, we had the song Forevermore dedicated to us. It was one of the most heartfelt performances of the gig! Another side of the band just shone through and they absolutely nailed it! The solos and vocals were just bang on. Basically, it was a ‘hats off and throw them into the crowd’ performance!
Enter ‘guitar off’ and exit Coverdale! It was now time for a game of guitar hero between Aldrich and Beach. They convinced us that their musical ability is impeccable, but five minutes was enough. It did go on considerably longer, maybe too long; either David Coverdale had gone for a cup of that Yorkshire Tea or he’d done a Houdini act!
After the band finally re-united and gave a corking performance of My Evil Ways, Coverdale, Aldrich, Beach and Devin ditched the stage to leave drummer Briian Tichy to bash up some sort of solo. This guy deserves golden drumsticks for giving the most technical, entertaining, ‘steroid’ performance ever! Amongst braying his drum-kit, he was flinging his stash of sticks to all those who lost their rock and roll music virginity to Whitesnake! Amazingly there were no eyes lost in the process. On top of that he neglected his sticks completely and slayed out his solo with his fists instead. The solo spread out for at least five minutes; yes he was still alive by the end of it. How he hadn’t passed out is baffling!
Then it happened; as we boldly heard Coverdale bellow ‘ere’s a song for ya’ we knew what was coming! Yes it was their first ‘biggy’ Fool For Your Lovin’. It was well worth the wait. Just by the audiences reaction it was safe to say, always save the best till last! Sounds stereotypical but it really was one of the songs of the night!
Of course they saluted us goodbye with Here I Go Again. Put it this way, there were a fair few pearly whites flashing throughout the song! They did it justice and Coverdale was almost re-creating the music video! What could follow that?
They waltzed back on stage all guns blazing! As Coverdale mounted to his famous statuesque pose, their last burst of energy went to the electrifying Still of the Night. Every ounce of fury went into the song and it was a case of ‘I’m bloody glad I came tonight’ performance! Yes it was p*****g it down outside, but let’s face it, it was a Whitesnake concert, you weren’t gonna dry off anyway!
Whitesnake have been in this business for over thirty years, after this performance I can say with confidence they haven’t forgotten how to do it!