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Concert Reviews
Scorpions wsg/ Whitesnake & Dokken
(Fox Theatre, Detroit, MI – March 22nd, ’03)

Riding the waves of an ‘80s rock flashback this past Saturday night in the heart of Detroit Rock City, was made all the more enjoyable by the fact that my all-time favorite rockers Whitesnake were finally – after what has easily been a long 14 year touring hiatus – back to doing what they do best … performing live!

First up at 7.00pm were Dokken. Welcomed by a half-full (at that time) Fox Theatre, Don Dokken and his band of merry men (Alex DeRosso, Barry Sparks, and “Wild” Mick Brown) did their best to enthrall a restless gathering there more for the headlining bands as opposed to the so-called openers. Heavily promoting their new Long Way Home CD on CMC International, Dokken cranked up the heat quickly, and even managed to surprise a few people along the way! Playing the hits like ‘Breaking The Chains,’ ‘Into The Fire, ‘ Into My Dreams,’ ‘It’s Not Love, and ‘Alone Again’ throughout the forty minute set was the one thing to be expected, but what wasn’t were tracks like the once-buried ‘Dream Warriors’ culled from the NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 3: DREAM WARRIORS soundtrack! Don Dokken, who himself had even sang background vocals on the Scorpions Blackout album way back when, never forgot his adoring fans there Saturday night and as they finally closed the set he ensured that each and everyone of them at front stage got a handshake … or high five!

Tonight’s Whitesnake show may not have included such stalwart musicians as Lord, Moody, Galley, and the late, great Cozy Powell on drums, but it still rekindled memories of an era; of a passion that has so long been missing from the genre. Taking the stage at 8.00pm on the nose, David Coverdale and this (save for Tommy Aldridge) new bed of Snakes quickly got down to business with ‘Bad Boys.’ They then furthered the onslaught with rousing renditions of ‘Slide It In,’ ‘Slow an’ Easy,’ ‘Love Ain’t No Stranger,’ and the always powerful, ‘Judgement Day.’ Always reminding the ‘Whitesnake Choir’ of his eternal love for them, Coverdale’s voice was pitch-perfect throughout the entire 25th Anniversary greatest hits set. Pushing on they spewed forth their biggest-selling hit to date, the slower-paced ‘Is This Love’ before bringing the show into the final stages with ‘All Or Nothing,’ the Whitesnake anthem ‘Here I Go Again,’ and the finale track, ‘Still of The Night.’ The line-up for Whitesnake may have steadily changed, but with David Coverdale sounding as good as ever on lead vocals, it’s hard to see why a new album isn’t being prepared for release as we speak!

Bringing the musical festivities to an end, the Scorpions came on stage at 9.15pm amidst fake fire pyros (Great White take note!) burning along the back set, and a torrent of bright, white lights that blinded as much as they impressed The renowned German rockers and their flamboyant leader Klaus Meine cranked out the songs from moment number one with the fast-paced track ‘Bad Boys Running Wild’ from ‘84s Love At First Sting. The Scorpions are known worldwide for their showmanship on stage and tonight wasn’t any less potent an act as from the start Meine was prowling the stage in his leather jacket, throwing endless drum sticks out into the gathered masses. Throughout a bevy more of stage theatrics and light spectaculars, the tight-knit band cranked out all their massive hits and more. Each and every last one of them sung by an original voice that remains as distinct today as it ever did back twenty years ago. ‘Tease Me, Please Me,’ the powerhaus movements ‘Rock You Like A Hurricane,’ ‘No One Like You,’ and ‘Send Me An Angel’ all came to the fore, but it was easily the cigarette lighter-friendly ‘Wind Of Change’ (especially now made all the more potent by the current political climate) that brought the show to a perfect close after so much blood, sweat and audience tears had finally subsided!
Reviewed by Russell A. Trunk
Click here to buy the new Scorpions CD Bad For Good: The Very Best of ...:
Click here to buy the new Whitesnake CD Here I Go Again: The Collection:
Click here to buy the new Dokken CD Long Way Home: