Artpark Outdoor Stage
Tuesday June 28, 2016
Review/Photos: Joseph Suto
Threatening clouds loomed up above surrounding the outdoor venue during the early part of Whitesnake’s first Buffalo area appearance since 1990, Tuesday night. Luckily they were never a factor as David Coverdale and his stellar band delivered a show that featured a dream set list many Whitesnake fans have been craving to hear.
The set list was drawn entirely from the big three releases of Slide It In (1984), Whitesnake (1987) and Slip Of The Tongue (1989). All the major hits were there a long with a few surprises for the diehards.
One of them was the poignant “Sailing Ships” which is easily the best ballad off Slip Of The Tongue. This tour marks the first time it had finally received regular play. Another gem “Judgement Day” from the same album, immediately followed.
It wouldn’t be a Whitesnake show without each member getting a chance to strut their stuff during the individual solos. Drummer Tommy Aldridge never disappoints as he delivered another high-octane solo that some men half his age couldn’t pull off. Guitarists Reb Beach and Joel Hoekstra put their skills to the test and displayed their contrasting styles. Beach stuck to a more traditional rock solo while Hoekstra demonstrated his classical skills during his time in the sun. Keyboardist Michele Luppi and bassist Michael Devin were solid all night in replicating their parts.
As the show continued the band saved the more memorable radio cuts for the end. “Is This Love”, “Give Me All Your Love” and the chart topping “Here I Go Again” closed out the main set leaving the table set for the encore of “Still Of The Night”.
While Coverdale has had his share of vocal issues in the past, the last few years and tours have treated him better. Before the show many fans were heard telling stories of when they saw Whitesnake back in the old Aud (Buffalo Memorial Auditorium) during the eighties. The memories of Coverdale’s voice echoing throughout the long gone venue including the time as an opening act blowing headliners Motley Crue right off the stage. Almost exactly one year later they came back headlining and the rest is history they say.
From the first notes of “Bad Boys” to the final screams of “Still Of The Night”, Coverdale had the audience’s attention and commanded the stage as only he can do. There have been some rumblings that this may very well be Whitesnake’s last tour of playing the big rock songs. Judging by the band’s performance Tuesday night along I would say there is some more gas in the tank. If this truly ends up being the last tour of this type at least Coverdale went out with a respectable performance that many fans will be talking about for years to come.
Opening the show with a much too brief set was Whitford/St. Holmes which feature the talents of Aerosmith guitarist Brad Whitford and Ted Nugent singer Derek St. Holmes. The band recently released the follow-up to their 1981 release entitled Reunion. I’m sure we will be hearing more from these guys in the future stay tuned.
Slide It In
Love Ain’t No Stranger
The Deeper The Love
Fool For Your Loving
Sailing Ships/Judgement Day
Guitar Solo (Reb Beach and Joel Hoekstra)
Slow An’ Easy
Crying In The Rain
Is This Love
Give Me All Your Love
Here I Go Again
Still Of The Night
Whitford St. Holmes
Rock All Day
Hell Is On Fire
Gotta Keep On Movin’
Hot For You
Day Job Medley (Last Child/Train Kept A