Whitesnake with special guests the Black Moods
May 8, 2019
Following his departure from Deep Purple, David Coverdale formed Whitesnake. Whitesnake’s first studio album Trouble (United Artists) was released in 1978. In the forty-plus years since, Whitesnake's music has evolved from sounding much like the blues-rock of Deep Purple to a more accessible rock 'n' roll-based sound. That doesn’t mean that Coverdale has left his Deep Purple roots in the rearview mirror. In fact Whitesnake’s 2015 CD, The Purple Album (Frontiers Records), contains re-recorded versions of Deep Purple songs originally released when Coverdale the lead singer.
Over the years many famous rockers have been members of Whitesnake. Guitarists (Steve Vai, Vivian Campbell, Steve Farris, Warren DeMartini, John Sykes and Adrian Vandenberg); keyboardists (the late Jon Lord--co-founder of Deep Purple, Richard Bailey and Don Airey); drummers, Cozy Powell, Aynsley Dunbar and Brian Tichy and bassists (Marco Mendoza, Rudy Sarzo, and Tony Franklin) have all, at one time, been members of Whitesnake.
The band's 1987 self-titled album (Geffen Records) was a worldwide smash. It featured the huge hits, “Here I Go Again” and “Is This Love,” which propelled the album to the #2 position on the U.S. Billboard 200. The album also reached number 8 on the UK Albums Chart. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has certified the album as 8 times platinum in the United States. Its RIAA platinum certified follow-up Slip of the Tongue (Geffen Records, 1989) reached the Top 10 in both the U.S. and UK. Flesh & Blood (Ward Records Inc.), the band's 13th studio album, was scheduled for release on May 10, 2019.
Whitesnake’s most notable songs include: “Slide It In,” “Still of The Night,” “Judgement Day,” “Bad Boys” and “Forevermore.” Currently Whitesnake is comprised by: Coverdale, Tommy Aldridge on drums, guitarist Reb Beach, bassist Michael Devin, Joel Hoekstra on guitar and Michele Luppi on keyboards.
On this night at Huintington, NY's Paramount, Whitesnake, playing what could be considered a CD release concert, was joined by the Black Moods. The Black Moods hail from Tempe, AZ and play a timeless brand of rock ‘n’ roll that is at one modern sounding and steeped in the traditional mix of soaring electric guitars, grab-you-by-the-throat hooks, and a thundering merging of rhythmic drums and bass. The Black Moods is comprised of frontman/guitarist Josh Kennedy, drummer Chico Diaz and bassist Jordan Hoffman. In 2012 the band released their self-titled CD on their own label and the follow-up EP, Killers In The Night on its own The Black Moods Masterpiece, LLC label. Medicine (Another Century Records) dropped in 2016. In 2018 the single “Bella Donna” garnered the Black Moods a place in the Top 40 hit on the Billboard Rock Chart.
Opening the evening's festivities, the Black Moods short set mixed powerful hard rockin' high energy originals with a choice cover and a special guest appearance by the Gin Blossoms’ Robin Wilson. Wilson, an AZ expatriate and a resident of nearby Valley Stream joined the band on lead vocals on a fantastic, high-energy cover of Tom Petty’s “I Need To Know.” The crowd, after the passing of its initial surprise sang along at the top of its lungs. After the show, Kennedy explained that even though Wilson has lived on Long Island for 20-or so years, he and the rest of “the Gin Blossoms are friends from the back in Arizona.” The Black Moods Set was highlighted by fantastic versions of “Can’t Sleep at Night,” “Right Now Anywhere,” “Whenever It Rains,” “Bad News” and their set-closing version of “Bella Donna.”
Following a short intermission, a pre-recorded version of the Who’s “My Generation” blared over the loudspeaker and Whitesnake took the stage. The audience rose to its feet and rocked to the beat from the minute that Coverdale reached the center of the stage and the opening notes of “Bad Boys” were struck. Fist-pumping was the norm as the band roared through rockin’ versions of “Slide It In,” the new song “Gonna Be Alright” and “Love Ain’t No Stranger.” Just prior to the opening volley, Coverdale turned and faced the band, revealing a message on the back of his shirt. It simply stated, “Make Some F@ckin’ Noise.” The fans responded as though the singer was a drill sergeant barking orders. The rousing cheer was deafening.
During its powerful performance, Whitesnake played the songs that everyone in the audience wanted to hear: “Give Me All Your Love” (prior to which Coverdale introduced the band members), the blockbuster “Is This Love” “Hey You (You Make Me Rock),” “Get Up” (from Flesh & Blood, during which Aldridge’s delivered a rhythmic, powerhouse drum solo), “Slow an’ Easy” (during which Coverdale slinked his way across the stage), “Trouble Is Your Middle Name” and the evening’s closer “Still Of the Night.”
Whitesnake's and Coverdale's performance fired on all cylinders and had it all including lengthy guitar duels and drum solos, sing along opportunities and insane fans crowding and pushing toward the stage area. On the muscular version of “Here I Go Again” the audience sang along with Coverdale on the
“An' here I go again on my own,
Goin' down the only road I've ever known,
Like a hobo I was born to walk alone”
chorus. The band closed out the performance with an epic version of “Still of the Night,” yet another song originally released on the band's eponymously named 1987 blockbuster album (and one of the trio of songs from that album featuring Tawny Kitaen in its video). At the end of the tune, the band members came to the front of the stage, waved to the fans, took their bows and exited to their dressing room.
Though the band played may of its best loved “classic” songs, it played quite a few songs from its latest release (including a stellar version of “Shut Up And Kiss Me”), mixing the old with the new while providing something for long-time fans as well as the newbies. The banter was cut to a minimum as the musicians let the music (mostly) do the talking. Finally, in the soon-to-be 68-year-old David Coverdale, the audience was treated to a frontman, still at the height of his powers, who is in fantastic shape both physically and vocally. After over 40 years, Whitesnake can still bring it. The band was a tight, well-oiled machine delivering crisp, crunchy, powerful, rocking versions of its hits and new tunes.
Photo Credit: Christine Connallon