Whitesnake - "Live at Donington 1990" CD Review (Frontiers Records) ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Friday, May 27, 2011

Whitesnake - "Live at Donington 1990" CD Review (Frontiers Records)

Whitesnake - 'Live at Donington 1990' CD Review From the mid-80’s until David Coverdale put the band on hiatus (for the first time) after the band's 1990 tour, Whitesnake was a top concert draw. Abandoning the “Deep Purple style” blues-rock of the band’s first few albums, Whitesnake morphed into a powerhouse hard rock band that featured some of the top-notch musicians on the scene at the time. The band released Slip of the Tongue in 1989 and the lineup for this album featured Steve Vai (fresh off touring with John Lydon and Public Image Ltd.), Adrian Vandenberg (from Vandenberg) and Rudy Sarzo and Tommy Aldridge (both of whom had recently played with Ozzy and M.A.R.S.).

This new 2CD set, Whitesnake Live at Donington 1990, captures the band’s second headlining appearance at the Monsters of Rock festival at Castle Donington which took place on 8/18/1990. This was a big year for the Monsters of Rock festival after taking a year off after the death of some fans during Guns N’ Roses’ appearance at the festival in 1988. In addition to Whitesnake, the 1990 festival lineup featured Quireboys, Poison, and Aerosmith. Aerosmith, who went on right before Whitesnake, raised the bar high as they closed their set with “Train Kept a Rollin’” and "Walk This Way" where they were joined by Jimmy Page but Whitesnake rose to the challenge and played a blistering 105 minute set in front of 100,000 hard rock fans. This show has been floating around as a bootleg from the BBC broadcast of the show but this is the first legitimate live CD from Whitesnake’s arena-rock lineup. As the band's previously released live albums jump from the blues-oriented 1978/80 lineup on Live...In the Heart of the City to the acoustic Starkers in Tokyo (1997), Live at Donington is a great document from this era of the band.

The focus of the band’s set is on material from the band's three Geffen albums - Slide It In, Whitesnake and Slip of the Tongue - but “Fool For Your Loving” and “Ain't No Love in the Heart of the City” are holdovers from the band’s blues period. Here is the full track list:

01. Slip Of The Tongue
02. Slide It In
03. Judgement Day
04. Slow An Easy
05. Kitten's Got Claws
06. Adagio For Strato
07. Flying Dutchman Boogie
08. Is This Love
09. Cheap An' Nasty
10. Crying In The Rain (featuring Tommy Aldridge drum solo)
11. Fool For Your Loving
12. For The Love Of God
13. The Audience Is Listening
14. Here I Go Again
15. Bad Boys
16. Ain't No Love In The Heart Of The City
17. Still Of The Night

This recording is noticeably well mixed and highlights David Coverdale’s distinctive vocals, killer guitar solos from both Vandenberg and Vai and Tommy Aldridge’s top-notch drumming. (This isn’t to ‘slur’ Rudy – I just didn’t hear a lot of bass in the mix). Adrian Vandenberg showcases his stuff on “Flying Dutchman Boogie” and Steve Vai does the same on “For the Love of God” which runs right into “The Audience Is Listening”. Tommy Aldridge also takes a solo on the 13+ minute “Crying in the Rain”. The ‘Whitesnake choir” rises up on “Ain’t No Love In the Heart of the City” and “Crying in the Rain” and the band closes the set with a strong and swaggering version of “Still of the Night”.

Frontier also released this set on DVD and you can check out the video trailer below.

Whitesnake just made a brief small club tour (which included a stop at Irving Plaza) and the band is coming back this summer for a full tour of the outdoor sheds with Tesla, Sebastian Bach, Lita Ford and Firehouse. Local tour stops are at:

- August 23: PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel, NJ (Tickets range from $15 - $110)
- August 24: Jones Beach, Wantah, NY (Tickets range from $25 to $110)