June 27, 2016 Whitesnake Slides Into Kings Theatre Brooklyn, NY 6-20-16 w/ Whitford/St.Holmes
There are few bands which have sustained the longevity of Hard Rockers Whitesnake. Formed following Vocalist David Coverdale’s departure from Deep Purple, Whitesnake wrote a story of their own with tremendous success in the ’80s. The decade of excess, where Glam Rock/Metal dominated the charts, Whitesnake offered an alternative with more Blues Rock leaning styles that garnered them peak success with 1987’s self-titled album. Now celebrating nearly four decades of Rock-n-Roll, Whitesnake are coming back around again in 2016 for a World Greatest Hits Tour. Riding high off 2015’s The Purple Album, the re-energized Whitesnake kicked off the run on June 1st, and, on Monday the 20th, made a special appearance at the newly renovated Kings Theatre in Brooklyn, New York. A normally ordinary night down on Flatbush Avenue was ready to turn into something extraordinary as fans of all denominations gathered for a night of Classic Rock.
Gathering early, the crowd was ready to listen to some Rock and Blues jams from a recently reformed Whitford and St. Holmes. Featuring ex-Aerosmith guitarist Brad Whitford and ex-Ted Nugent vocalist Derek St. Holmes, the two joined forces in 1980, producing their debut studio album, Whitford/St.Holmes, the very next year. Seeming as if the project’s time had pasted, it took about thirty-five years before the duo reunited, partook in some touring, and released a second album as of this month, entitling it Reunion. An inspiring, rejoined alliance, Whitford and St. Holmes have been touring, promoting the new music, and wowing audiences.
They launched their set with the new tunes “Gotta Keep On Movin'” and “Shake It,” hooking the audience with catchy guitar riffs and lengthy solos. Mixing it up, making the most of the opening slot, classic covers of Aerosmith’s “Last Child,” Ted Nugent’s “Hey Baby,” and “Stranglehold,” as well Tiny Bradshaw’s “Train Kept A-Rollin” wrapped up the performance as a bluesy Rock vibe beamed through each cut. While the set may have been abbreviated, Whitford and St. Holmes will continue touring after their run with Whitesnake, headlining their own shows, along with some gigs supporting Lynyrd Skynyrd, so get out there and see them before it is too late.
After a short intermission, where fans had enough time to check out the merchandise, grab a drink or pretzel in this uniquely designed theater, it was time for Whitesnake to hit the stage. A band that has seen their fair share of changes, Coverdale has always done a fine job of assembling a talented group of musicians to keep the Whitesnake brand strong. With that in mind, the latest lineup of the band consist of Mr. Coverdale on lead vocals, long-time drummer Tommy Aldridge, Guitarist Reb Beach, Guitarist Joel Hoekstra, Bassist Michael Devin, and Touring Keyboardist Michele Luppi. A lineup followers are not familiar with following heavy touring in 2015, the latest tour draws even more excitement.
Antsy with anticipation, barely anyone was sitting down as the lights dimmed while the Who’s “My Generation” kicked in. Nearly the entire song played out through the speakers before Whitesnake officially hit the stage, opening with “Bad Boys” from the acclaimed 1987 album. The hits continued to pour in along with the energy from each member as Coverdale walked across the stage and engaged with as many fans as he could during classics such as “Slide It In” and “Love Ain’t No Stranger” from 1984’s Slide It In. Meanwhile, Beach and Hoekstra were both equally full of life on the stage as the two of them moved towards the center for a dueling guitar act during 1989’s “The Deeper the Love.”
With so much to offer, the night continued to fly by as many still stood, singing along to favorites such as “Fool For Your Loving” and “Sailing Ships.” Taking a dramatic turn following the performance of “Judgement Day,” the entire band left the stage, leaving only Beach in the spotlight. Lighting it up on guitar, he stood center stage as his pristine sound echoed through the theater. With all eyes glued on Beach, several minutes later, Hoekstra took his place for his own bit of guitar mastery. Moving across the stage with his purple guitar, he hardly stood still, and at one point Hoekstra came out with an acoustic guitar, shaking things up some more. Embracing the experience, everyone shouted and encouraged the two guitarists during this soloing escapade.
From there the entire band reformed on stage for Slide it In’s “Slow An’ Easy.” Then, taking another quick break, the band made room for Devin’s bass showcase before seguing into “Crying in the Rain.” Complemented by another erupting guitar, shortly after, Aldridge took over as he went into his own medley behind the kit. Standing up and gazing into the audience, he surprised everyone by throwing his drumsticks out prior to finishing the piece before a reprises conclusion of “Crying in the Rain.”
A delightful display of musicianship, Coverdale is aware he has put together one hell of a band as he engaged with the crowd and introduced each member. He even comically said, “When the moon hits your eye like a great pizza pie, from Italy, Michele Luppi on keyboards!” After the warm introductions, Coverdale looked at the audience with a smile and said, “Romance is in the air Brooklyn! And the question is, ‘Is This Love?” Elate to hear the adored love song, many held out their phones to record the rendition, hopefully not to get lost in cellphone purgatory forever. Those who think the hits were all covered, well, the evening continued to flourish with “Give Me All Your Love” where Coverdale even gave the audience a chance to sing a few verses of the chorus.
Nearing the close, the tireless crowd did not grow sick of standing as they remained on their feet for ultimate hit “Here I Go Again.” Screaming in delight, when it was over Coverdale embraced the love and thanked New York as the band left the stage. Still wanting more, the band walked back on and Coverdale asked the audience to make noise as they moved into the encore of “Still of the Night.” A fitting closing, Coverdale also made a fitting final statement as he looked out into the theater saying, “Thank You Brooklyn! Be safe, be happy, and don’t let anyone make you afraid.”
All in all, Whitesnake put on an incredible performance filled with nostalgic memories. A terrific way for anyone to begin the work week, Coverdale and Whitesnake made magic on the stage. While the North American leg of the tour ends on July 2nd, the European trek kicks off on July 12th. Anyone looking for a show packed with all the hits needs to get out and see Whitesnake’s Greatest Hits Tour before it is too late.