Monday, August 05, 2013
I’ve got the latest (6th) Whitesnake live album, Made in Britain/World Record, in my review queue but, before getting into this disc, thought I’d back up and finally review the band’s previous live album. Whitesnake released Made in Japan (wonder where David thought of that title?) earlier this spring and Disc One of this 2CD set was recorded on October 15, 2011 at Saitama Super Arena in Japan during the Loud Park Festival. The second disc contains eight tracks which were recorded during sound checks on the band’s Japanese tour.
The 12-song/74 minute main show is exactly what you would expect from a live Whitesnake album. The band’s set list goes back as far as 1984’s Slide It In and most of the tracks are pulled from the band's self-titled 1987 album, their 2008’s ‘comeback’ disc Good to be Bad and the band’s then current disc, Fovermore. Coverdale sounds in good form as the more recent material doesn’t require the vocal histrionics of his early days. Of course, Coverdale is backed by a pair of guitar heroes and this role is an obligatory part of every Whitesnake lineup. The lineups gels well as current guitarists Reb Beach and Doug Aldrich have the longest tenure of any of Whitesnake’s guitar slingers. The rhythm section of Brian Tichy (drums) and Michael Devin (bass) I can take or leave as I don’t think anyone can compete with the 80’s rhythm section of Neil Murray, Rudy Sarzo, Cozy Powell and Tommy Aldridge (who is now back in the band).
The set list starts out strong with Good to be Bad’s “Best Years” and then the band pulls the audience deep into the fold by playing cuts from Slide It In, 1987’s self-titled album and Slip of the Tongue before moving over to the new material from Forevermore. As to be expected at a Whitesnake show in Japan, there are plenty of audience sing-along moments on the classic songs from the 80’s. The songs from Forevermore are split up by a wild guitar duel between Beach and Aldrich and a overtly long drum solo from Brian Tichy (who appears to have seen Keith Emerson’s California Jam performance too many times). The band ends the show with a trio of hits – “Fool For Your Loving”, “Here I Go Again” and a 10+ minute version of “Still of the Night”.
The 8 song / 42 minute bonus disc is a real gem as it shows a loose and relaxed ‘snake playing a mix of electric and acoustic tracks which includes some tracks that weren’t part of the main concert. The electric versions of ”Love Will Set You Free” and “Steal Your Heart Away” almost sound better than the versions on the main concert, primarily because the guitars sound cleaner and there is more separation in sound between the two guitars. “Lay Down Your Love” and “Evil Ways” are both great hard rockers that easily could have been part of the main set and the four acoustic numbers show that the ‘snake is due for a follow-up to Starkers in Tokyo. In addition to solid playing, there is also a lot of amusing banter between the band members (which includes a few dirty words) as they work the live version of these songs. All-in-all, this is a great set so I’m now very curious how Made in Britain/World Record compares.
Whitesnake – US Tour Dates
06 August 2013 Tucson, AZ @ AVA Amphitheatre
07 August 2013 Scottsdale, AZ @ Talking Stick Resort
09 August 2013 San Francisco, CA @ The Warfield
10 August 2013 Roseburg, OR @ Douglas County Fair
12 August 2013 Aberdeen, WA @ D and R Theater
14 August 2013 Coquitlam, BC @ Red Robinson Theater
15 August 2013 Snoqualmie, WA @ Snoqualmie Casino
17 August 2013 Wendover, NV @ Peppermill Casino
18 August 2013 Jackpot, NV @ Cactus Petes
21 August 2013 Lancaster, CA @ Antelope Valley Fair
23 August 2013 Kennewick, WA@ Benton-Franklin County Fair