August 6th, 2015 Ruth Eckerd Hall Clearwater, FL
Whitesnake remains one of the few 80’s Hair Metal bands still cranking out albums. The band’s lineup may be in constant flux but lead singer David Coverdale continues to maintain those long golden locks of hair. Whitesnake’s Tour is in support of their new CD, “The Purple Album” which injects new life into some Deep Purple classics from 1974. The band’s set list included a number of the “new?” songs along with their vintage MTV favorites.
Opening act, The Dead Daisies, is an all-star crew of heavy metal veterans. Lead singer, John Corabi (Motley Crue’s lead singer for their one-off album), Jon Stevens (INXS), and two ex-members of Guns N Roses, keyboardist Dizzy Reed and guitarist Richard Fortus. Despite the amazing collection of talent, none of their original songs captured the audience as much as their covers of Deep Purple’s “Hush” and their closing song, “Helter Skelter”.
The current Whitesnake lineup includes the legendary Tommy Aldridge (Ozzy Osbourne) on drums, Reb Beach on guitar, and remaining original member, David Coverdale. One notable surprise was new guitar player, Joel Hoekstra, who wowed the crowd with some theatrical guitar moves reminiscent of the days of Steve Vai and Adrian Vandenberg. The setlist swayed back and forth between “Purple” tracks like the rockin’ opening number Burn and the seductive slow jam, The Gypsy, to Whitesnake’s fan favorites including Love Ain’t No Stranger and Slide It In. The older crowd sold out the Clearwater arena probably thanks to a major discount deal offered on Groupon.
“SLIDE IT IN” Clearwater, FL Aug 2015
When you’re heading out to see an oldies act, your biggest question is how much weight did they gain (not much for Coverdale!) and how well did his voice hold up after all these years. Back in the day, David Coverdale imitated and rivaled the vocals of Robert Plant and tonight for the first third of the show his powerful voice filled the arena and reminded the fans of their glory days. But midway through the set during the power ballad, Forevermore, the title track of their 2011 CD, David pushed his voice so hard that you could practically hear his chords shredding. A well-timed Reb Beach guitar solo followed shortly by Tommy Aldridge’s brilliant drum solo gave Coverdale a little bit of time to recover, but the damage was already done.
The final four songs of the night took us back to the days of MTV. Tawny Kitaen wasn’t in attendance but the front row had a trio of wannabes in tight short dresses. “Is This Love” slowed things down as Coverdale let the audience sing many of the high notes. One of the night’s highlights was a blistering version of “Bad Boys” followed by their biggest hit, “Here I Go Again“. Coverdale’s voice was noticeably rough by the end of the set but he kept fighting. Would have loved to hear “Still Of The Night” earlier in the set when Coverdale’s voice was stronger but the fans carried the tune during their encore. All in all, fun night of rock and roll nostalgia at a great price (got to love Groupon!).