(Royal Oak Music Theatre, Royal Oak, MI - July 19th, 2005)
The advertising read: "Legendary front man DAVID COVERDALE is bringing WHITESNAKE back on the road this summer with an entirely new perspective of his 30-year multi-platinum career. Presented by VH1 Classics, Whitesnake The Rock & Roll, Rhythm & Blues Show is the most ambitious Whitesnake endeavor in almost 20 years."
Well, being not only a hip journalist, but also an avid old school Whitesnake fan from the day, I witnessed this event last night from within the belly of the beast here in Royal Oak, MI! And, as much as it was certainly a powerhouse vocal performance from the always impressive Coverdale, a so-called 'new perspective' and 'most ambitious endeavor' of a premeditated event it most certainly was not!
That said, the show did enable both old and 'new' Whitesnake fans to sing-along in harmony, not to mention those crusty mid-'70s Deep Purple hangers-on ... straight from the off, actually!
Bemusingly opting to kick-start the 'most ambitious Whitesnake endeavor' of a show with old Deep Purple numbers, 'Burn' and 'Nightbringer', you could tell early on that if Coverdale's voice was going to survive that he would have to reduce the number of banshee-like screams into his mic!
Performing in an unbuttoned white shirt with tight blue jeans, Coverdale (now the only surviving member of anything classic to do with the Snake) grips and shunts the mic stand around like a man sexually obsessed! 'Bad Boys' is thrown out to the baying crowd, before their leader speaks: "Thank you, Detroit. It's nice to see you all here tonight. Here's one for ya," as then they launch into 'Love Ain't No Stranger' and their '78 blues tune, 'Ain't No Love In The Heart of The City.'
Continually yelping into his mic like a 12 year-old in need of ritalin, Coverdale slides into 'Slow & Easy' (dedicated to all the pole dancers in the audience!) and then brings forth a literally pulsating version of '89s 'Judgment Day'. 'Crying In The Rain' is then interrupted by a lengthy drum solo (with and without sticks), but being that Tommy Aldridge ain't no Cozy Powell, the outburst seems to meander aimlessly, before the whole band bring the song to a final close.
After introducing the band, Coverdale leads them on into their hit power ballad 'Is This Love' before bringing the set to a close with thumping renditions of 'Slide It In,' 'Gimme All Your Love' and 'Here I Go Again.'
Coming back out, to really give his vocal chords one last shot at exploding, Coverdale thanks everyone again (paying mention to the fact that he now knows he's not in Detroit, but in Royal Oak - but that does it really matter where the f**k he is?!) and then unleashes the old Purple song 'Feelin' Hot' before crashing headlong into 'Take Me With You.'
Bringing the show to a close with the rip-roaring, high energy, throat-busting nu-classic 'Still Of The Night', Whitesnake take their well-deserved group bow, the drum sticks and guitar pics head out into the crowd, and Coverdale's tanned face is finally gone for another few Michigan years!
Review by Russell A. Trunk
FYI - Fans can expect the release of a new live DVD, 'Whitesnake - The Rock & Roll, Rhythm & Blues Show' sometime this fall on Coming Home Studios/Universal. Both the DVD and limited edition companion live CD were recorded in October at London’s famed Hammersmith Apollo.
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