Saturday, July 2, 2011

Whitesnake - May 14, 2011 (M3 Day Two)

When it was time for Whitesnake to grace the stage with their headlining performance at the 2011 M3 Music Festival, I was exhausted. I had sat through an amazing kick-off night the evening prior. After watching some amazing moments by Jetboy, L.A. Guns, and Warrant, Kix produced a hyper-energized concert that left me breathless. Then I watched, sang, and banged my head to several performances during day two. By the end of the entire M3 event, I was feeling a little woozy. I am certainly not getting any younger and the hours of fist pumping in tribute to my love of metal, sort of snuck up on me. However, when Whitesnake was ready to take the stage, I was excited.

I had never seen Whitesnake in concert before and I was looking forward to a fantastic event. Their latest album was incredible and while I was interested in hearing the new songs live, it was the classic songs that I yearned for. This is usually the case when I’ve never seen a band in concert before---I always want to hear the hits. I figured that Whitesnake would not disappoint. While I expected to hear one or two new songs, it was almost certain that their set would be hit heavy.

The band sprinted out from behind the curtain blaring “Best Years,” an incredible song from Good To Be Bad. After the band members found their places, David Coverdale graced the stage, singing the opening lyrics to the song. The crowd went expectantly wild and Whitesnake’s portion of the evening had begun.

David Coverdale looked great. Even though he is almost 60 years of age, he appeared in great shape. His lithe, wiry frame was still intact. Although there were a few more lines on his face, it was hard to tell if he had aged since 1987. Dressed in the prerequisite partially open white dress shirt and black leather pants, Coverdale was able to pull off a look that most men his age wouldn’t even attempt.

Although we were at the tail end of a multiday event, the crowd was still energized. Whitesnake showed early that they still know how to rock. Although David Coverdale is the only original member left in the band, the ensemble cast of musicians he put together is more than appropriate to carry the Whitesnake moniker.

What Whitesnake did well, they did very well. “Give Me All Your Love” had me leaping with excitement and their rendition of “Ain’t No Love In The Heart Of The City” was mind boggling. The guitar dual between Doug Aldredge and Reb Beech left mouths agape for an extended period of time. Both of these men are talented guitarists in their own right, but watching them play off each other was a real treat to the ears and the eyes. Drummer, Brian Tichy, was a lot of fun to watch. His drum solo was both comical and enjoyable. While I’m not a fan of drum solos in general (unless they are performed by Neil Peart), Tichy’s left me very entertained.

Whitesnake tore through their songs with passion. New and old hits were blended together to provide a balanced setlist. However, there were some noticeable omissions that left me scratching my head. Before I knew it, Whitesnale ripped into “Here I Go Again” and closed their main set. With plenty of time left on the clock, I figured the band was setting up for one magnificent encore. I couldn’t have been more wrong. The encore consisted of one song, “Still Of The Night.” And while it was performed wonderfully, it did not make up for the fact that we received a one song encore.

When it was over, I was stunned. While some of the songs the band played were enjoyable and expected, it was the songs that the band chose not to play that left me floored. No “Slow And Easy?” No “Slide It In?” What the heck was going on? How in the world could Whitesnake go on tour and not perform at least one of those songs? While it was great to get four songs from their terrific self-titled album, I still would have liked “Slide It In,” or “Slow And Easy.” These are signature Whitesnake songs for crying out loud!

The other shocking moment at the end of the concert was the time. Whitesnake came on stage at about ten minutes past nine. Their performance wrapped up (encore and all) by 10:45. They played a ninety minute set. Perhaps if the band extended their performance by ten minutes, they could have fit in the two aforementioned songs. Overall, the band produced a great concert, albeit compact. If I were Whitesnake’s manager, I would talk to the band about extending the encore and adding in some additional classics. Other than that, Whitesnake was a grand way to close out M3 2011.

Best Years
Gimme All Your Love
Love Ain’t No Stranger
Is This Love
Steal Your Heart Away
Lay Down Your Love
Love Will Set You Free
My Evil Ways
Ain’t No Love In The Heart Of The City
Fool For Your Lovin’
Here I Go Again
Still Of The Night

No comments: