It was a sweltering midwest summer back in 1984. I was ten years old and I had just heard Slide it In from Whitesnake for the first time. I remember the cassette tape was white with black print—which I ultimately played so many goddamn times that the cassette turned completely white—the print rubbed off from flipping it over so often in the player. But there was no need for song titles on this one as my friends as I had every song memorized. How many records can you do that with today?
Thankfully someone had created auto-reverse by the time I discovered the seminal masterpiece simply known as Whitesnake (1987). Again, here was an album that I would just listen to non-stop from start to finish. It was brilliant. Whitesnake stood out from the other bands at the time because they had substance. David Coverdale knew how to put together one hell of a band, and he still does to this day.
Fast forward twenty years to the biggest show I’ve ever seen happen inside the Regency Ballroom. David Coverdale and his reinvigorated Whitesnake are touring in support of The Purple Album. Comprised of songs from the three Deep Purple studio albums that David Coverdale appeared on, Burn, Stormbringer, and Come Taste The Band, the album is a brilliant tribute to Coverdale’s former colleagues.
Ex-Night Ranger axe slinger, Joel Hoekstra was brought on to fill the very large shoes of former shredder Doug Aldrich. Hoekstra not only filled those shoes, but he basically did the moonwalk across the stage busting at the seams as he brought showman ship to a whole new level. (I think the photos here speak for themselves).
Meanwhile the more subdued dude on stage left, Mr. Reb Beach, lit up the fretboard and set off machine gun fire on occasion. Reb can shred with the best of them, but he channels it into what seem to become bursts of face-melting genius when called upon, while keeping the song in check the rest of the time.
Coverdale’s voice was spot on for the Purple classics, but holy shit did he hit every single note in the Whitesnake hits. Highlights of the night were the Purple’s “Burn,” “Stormbringer,” and “You Fool No One.” Whitesnake songs were of course peppered throughout the set as well with “Fool for Your Loving” and “Slide it In” sounding better than ever.
Saving the best for last, Coverdale and company nailed the encore of “Still of the Night” and blew everyone in the room back just a bit. I don’t think it could have possibly sounded any better and what a proper finish to an epic performance.
Well done Mr. Coverdale. Once again you have put together a ferocious band of gypsies to back up your legendary catalog of timeless rock ‘n’ roll. Now, how about that interview you promised us last time around?
Check out high res pics from the show in the gallery here.