6’TH OF JUNE 2011
Ice Hall, Helsinki
REVIEW AND PHOTOS By MARKO SYRJÄLÄ
Whitesnake released their latest album NEVERMORE in March. The album has received a great response, and it marks the band’s return more into its bluesy roots. The band has been regular visitors here in Finland since their rebirth in 2003, and this tour didn’t make any exception. It seems that there’s still good demand for Coverdale and his Snakes when approximately 4000 fans found their way to Old Hall in Helsinki.
After Finnish support band Milestones ended its 45-minute set, Whitesnake’s turn took the stage. The show opened up with GOOD TO BE BAD album track “Best Years” followed by a string of Whitesnake live standards like: “Give All Your Love,” “Is This Love,” and “Love Ain’t No Stranger” before they headed into a highly welcomed set of NEVERMORE tracks. Coverdale was in great spirits, and all the classic “moves” were repeatedly seen during the show. It’s great to see how a man in his early 60 still keeps himself in such good shape compared to many other artists at the same age. As expected, Coverdale had some problems with vocals higher parts during the show, but in general, his voice was now working better than on the last tour. The tour just started some weeks ago, so it’s going to be interesting how well his voice will last after a few months on the road?
The revised band worked exceptionally well, and there’s no doubt that this is the strongest Whitesnake lineup in ages. Guitarists Doug Aldrich and Reb Beach, who are the only remaining members since the band reunion in 2003, did some tremendous playing during the show. It did seem that when Aldrich was earlier clearly the leading guitarist in the band, Beach now had a much more significant role on stage. The solo parts were practically divided equally between those two, which did work great because Beach and Aldrich do have different styles to play.
The new Snakes: bassist Michael Devin, drummer Brian Tichy, and keyboardist Brian Ruedy were great additions to the band. They did bring loads of fresh energy on stage, and everyone also turned out to be excellent singers, which, of course, did help Coverdale a lot. Special mention goes to Tichy, who was downright superb behind his kit. I have seen Tichy playing with many bands during the years, including Billy Idol, Lynch Mob, Slash’s Snakepit, Foreigner, and Pride & Glory. He’s always been impressive, and now he added a fresh extra kick for the old classics.
As a whole, this was a strong and entertaining performance, but it had its shortcomings. There were only thirteen songs on the set, and it was more than disappointing. Overlong guitar and drum solos didn’t help either; the solo parts did last almost 30 minutes as a whole. Understandably, Coverdale’s voice needs some rest during the show, but extended solos were too much when the whole concert lasted about 100 minutes. The setlist was somewhat as expected; no big surprises there. Once again, the main set was built around the 1987 album. In addition to that, there were five new songs included from NEVERMORE. Especially the massive title track and “Evil Twin” worked out great, but like said before, no surprises, and that was a little disappointing when there’s such an extensive discography behind to choose from. All in all, there’s still plenty of life left in old Snake, but some more changes would be more than welcome. Maybe next time then?
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