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Non-Prog Concert Reviews

Whitesnake

Live in Chicago, July 2009

Review by Greg Olma

It has been a while since David Coverdale and his band graced a stage in Chicago.  In fact, it has been almost four years and that is really way too long a wait for us Whitesnake fans. 
I must admit, I read some rumblings on the internet about Coverdale’s voice not being up to par and that gave me a bit of a scare.  You see, I have always liked Whitesnake and there is nothing sadder than witnessing a once mighty band slowly dissolve before your eyes.  I shouldn’t have worried because right off the bat, they came out firing on all cylinders.  New set opener “Best Years” from Good To Be Bad sounded great as did Coverdale.  He swaggered on stage and showed us exactly what a “rock star” really is.  Since they were opening the show for Judas Priest, the set was tight and not a lot of time for stage banter.  “Bad Boys” was next and that was followed by “Love Ain’t No Stranger”.  When I play the CDs at home, I sometimes skip these songs because I have heard them so often but I have to say, when they are performed live, they take on a whole new “life”.  Most of the crowd was singing along and that added that special spark to those older hits.  Continuing on with the Slide It In material, the guys launched into “Slow An’ Easy”.

Greg Olma
 
Greg Olma
   

Since this is the first tour of the states for the band since releasing the excellent Good To Be Bad album, it was only fitting that they played another selection in the form of the hit “Lay Down Your Love”.  I really like the new material and I was happy that Coverdale decided that they would feature something new and not just the hits (which there are plenty of, by the way).  It must have been time to give Coverdale a bit a breather because the next few minutes were taken up with guitar dueling from Doug Aldrich and Reb Beach.  Both of them are capable axemen but I get a little bored with these concert digressions.  The band retuned for “Crying In The Rain” before the momentum was stolen again by Chris Frazier’s drum solo.  Again, here is another capable musician but I get bored.  I will say this though, if Coverdale needs to rest his pipes a little so that he can sound great, then so be it.  He sounded fantastic this night and I would go as far as saying that he sounded better than the last two times I saw him.


Greg Olma
 
Greg Olma
   

For the home stretch, Whitesnake pulled out all the hits that everyone wanted to hear.  They started with “Is This Love” which has to go on record as being one of the best power ballads out there.  The crowd was lapping it all up and singing every word.  “Give Me All Your Love” followed and again, the crowd sang every word as if they wrote it.  Again, this is a track that I tend to skip when I play the CD but somehow when I hear it live; it still gets my adrenalin pumping.  The show concluded with “Here I Go Again” and “Still Of The Night”.  It was a great performance from start to finish.  The band was really tight and Coverdale sounded fantastic.  The one thing that this taught me is never listen to reviews on the internet (unless they are at Music Street Journal – ed.).  Whitesnake has never let me down and they have continued the trend one more time.

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Greg Olma
     
This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2009  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.
You'll find concert pics of this artist in the Music Street Journal members area.
 
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