Although Whitesnake is on tour promoting their new album Flesh And Blood – they have remained true to the classic arena metal sound that helped them define a generation of music.
On Wednesday night, David Coverdale brought his band of veteran rockers to the Cleveland Agora and proceeded to wow the capacity crowd with not just the hits but a nice selection of tunes off their latest release Flesh and Blood. A commanding presence on stage, Coverdale seems to have actually grown as a front man – his voice is strong and he still hits the tough notes. Whitesnake has been around since 1978 since Coverdale left Deep Purple and have not stopped since. While the band has undergone a series of staff changes over the years – Coverdale has remained a fixture and for this metal fan – I think this current line up may just be the best ever.
Tommy Aldridge, one of metals best drummers, plays like a madman. I remember seeing him when he drummed for Ozzy back in the Blizzard of Oz days and he is every bit as entertaining to watch now as he was then – a true force behind the set. Joel Hoekstra is another performer I’ve had the pleasure of watching perform with several different acts. He lends his blistering talents to TSO – and is amazing as the lead guitarist for Cher but – on this Wednesday night – he ignited the stage as he and Reb Beach traded licks on stage. On several occasions, I found myself in a literal state of awe as I watched these two guitar greats play off one another.
The catalog that a band like Whitesnake has to draw from is, as you might suspect, staggering but the band hit all the high notes of their Rock Hall worthy career. Slide It In made an early in the set appearance, much to the delight of the crowd. Slow N Easy never fails to kill – Coverdale just oozes sex, much to the delight of the large contingent of female fans who managed to push up close to the stage. The rock ballad Is This Love had the whole crowd on their feet and singing along but the last two numbers of the night – Here I Go Again and Still Of The Night brought the house down.
Both of these songs are now considered classic rock but in a live setting, they are every bit as powerful as when I watched the band perform them back in the 80’s.
Whitesnake might be 40 years old but they are playing the best they ever had and are obviously having a blast doing it. Without a doubt one of the best live bands I have ever seen hit a stage. And to be able to see them at the legendary Cleveland Agora, well, I’m not sure things can get much better than that.