Touring in support of their new release The Purple Album, Whitesnake played The Hard Rocksino near Cleveland Sunday evening to a near capacity crowd. As leader David Coverdale stood center stage and belted out his famous catchphrase “here’s a song for ya” you just knew things were about to happen. Coverdale led the band through a threesome which began with a turbo charged version of “Burn” then spilled into the slithery classic “Slide It In” before “Love Ain’t No Stranger” reared its presence. With a start like that you just knew you were in for a helluva show.
These days Whitesnake consists of the guitar duo of Reb Beach and newcomer Joel Hoekstra. Rounding out the band are keyboardist Michele Luppi, bassist Michael Devin and Whitesnake’s long time drummer Tommy Aldridge.
The middle portion of the show was where the band delved into The old Deep Purple tracks. One of the highlights from that segment was “You Keep On Moving” which was dedicated to the loving memories of keyboardist Jon Lord and guitarist Tommy Bolin. Following that was where the show seemed to lose a little steam. The band played a few more Purple songs and wrapped them around a lengthy guitar solo duel between Beach and Hoekstra (in which I gave the edge to Hoekstra). Perhaps inserting a gem like “Guilty Of Love” or “Slow An’ Easy” in the middle would have made more sense to bring the crowd back to life. After all Coverdale did note on more than one occasion during the evening that these songs were written before many in the audience were born.
Fear not however as Whitesnake saved their best for last when they dug into their 8X-platinum self-titled 1987 release. “Is This Love”, the renegade fueled “Bad Boys” and their number one smash “Here I Go Again” closed it out as the crowd sang along.
No Whitesnake show is complete until the band serves up their coup de grâce in “Still Of The Night” the bands magnum opus. This is one song that sometimes gives one goosebumps if heard in the right setting.
At 63, Coverdale has toured regularly every other year more recently. The approach seems to have worked well for him. This was the best I’ve heard him sound vocally since the 2005 tour. Not too many of his contemporaries can match putting on a big rock show like Whitesnake can in 2015.
Slide It In
Love Ain’t No Stranger
Give Me All Your Love
You Keep On Moving
You Fool No One (Drum Solo)
Is This Love
Here I Go Again
Still Of The Night
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