All this from a truly international band, and let me stress BAND. Every member really stood out on their own. A great thing to see! I was wondering if the addition of axe-man Steve Vai would take over the helm. In fact, guitarists Vai and Adrian “Flying Dutchman” Vandenberg, along with bassist Rudy Sarzo, made their impressive playing look so easy! Drummer Tony Aldridge started the night with a powerful drum solo in his cage-like large drum set. Frontman and MC for the night David Coverdale mainly used and moved around a cordless mic attached to a stand and aimed it at the crowd on many an occasion. He really made everyone feel as if he was singing to you and you alone.
The set mainly covered their last album 1987 and their current one Slip Of The Tongue but also covered a few oldies. Slide It In saw the crowd standing on their chairs, while Rudy and Adrian also sang backing vocals. The song took on a moody feel. Adrian played a brilliant solo while Rudy went on to do his signature move – playing his bass on top of his head while swing his hips! One of their best and biggest hits – Is This Love – later followed, which included an excellent solo by Steve Vai.
This was followed by a new tune The Kitten’s Got Claws, which started out with David describing various types of cat while Steve imitated them on his guitar!
Midway through the concert, David introduced his fellow members, excluding himself who needs no introduction as Whitesnake’s main force and whose voice was as good and as strong as ever. The other members all had a chance to show their stuff, starting with Adrian who also showed his strength by throwing his guitar from one hand to the other, and his skill by inserting snatches of other songs into the intros for the new and wicked Cheap n’ Nasty and the older mesmerizing Crying In The Rain. This was followed by a blistering version of Fool For Your Loving with the audience singing along on the chorus. The next intro saw Stevie usin’ and abusin’ his guitar as the band segued into Here I Go Again eliciting another noisy reaction from the audience.
As a preamble to the next song, Rudy called attention to Stevie’s showmanship, while the new boy revved up his famous three-necked, heart-shaped, pink guitar.
“You may have noticed that we have one more Snake to introduce. He has no shame. Does he play it or lick it?”
The concert ended with Whitesnake returning for two encores, including a Zeppelinesque rendition of Still Of The Night in which Adrian used a bow on his guitar a la Jimmy Page! Anyone could tell that Whitesnake really enjoy playing live, and David Coverdale thanked everyone for their “wonderful hospitality.”
A brilliant time was had by all. Donington will be steaming!