by Marcel Groeneveld
Staff Writer –
December 3rd, 2011, at De MuziekCentrum in Enschede, Netherlands
This nights event is not just a normal rock event for Whitesnake’s Forevermore world tour, as the tour already came to the Netherlands some 5 months ago.
This night was a sign of respect and appreciation between two hard rock heavyweights David Coverdale and Adrian VandenBerg who once were partners in crime. There are a lot of discussions of what the best line up of Whitesnake was. For many attendees of tonight’s show it was the lineup which included Adrian “Adje” VandenBerg, which is not so surprising as Enschede is the home town of the guitarist.
There weren’t any AC/DC or, Iron Maiden shirts like you would normally see at a Whitesnake show. The audience tonight was not filled with the standard group of rock fans but was instead made up of friends, family and people from Enschede who came to see “ Adje” and David united once again on stage.
The Irish hard rockin’ blues band (As they call themselves.), The Answer, were up for the challenge to warm up the just under 2000 people present tonight with their heavily influenced ’70s rock. The Answer are no strangers to supporting a big headliner, they were been hand-picked by AC/DC on their last world tour as the opening act, that took them on the road for almost two years, which is pretty amazing these days. In support of their new album Revival they supported yet another legend, Whitesnake.
Opening with the catchy “Vida” which is built around a strong riff and chorus, has that straight ahead no bull feel to it, what you hear is what you get and that is ground stomping rock ‘n roll. Cormac Neeson’s raspy voice is perfect and a connection with a band like The Black Crowes is easily made, Brother Cane also comes to mind. Although the first three songs were well received , after ”Under the Sky” and sing a long song “On and On” the crowd seemed to take to the band.
Guitarist Paul Mahon performance on “Evil Man” shows his ability to enhance the song without “showing off.” He roamed the entire stage from the beginning of the show, bass player Micky Waters caught on later realizing the size of the stage allows him to move around more freely unlike smaller venues. Drummer James Heatley played without lighting throughout the set but still did an awesome job and was tight as one could be.
The band’s performance of the slower song “Nowhere Freeway” was dedicated to Whitesnake ‘s crew. Performing a little Belfast blues the song “Trouble” was played, harmonica and all, again inciting the crowd to sing along. Closing down the gig with “Waste Your Tears,” The Answer did what they set out to do , warm up the crowd and gain a few new fans and I am sure they accomplished just that tonight. Catch them live because they are still touring as we speak.
Cormac Neeson – Vocals
Paul Mahon – Guitar
Micky Waters – Bass
James Heatley – Drums
2. Under The Sky
3. On And On
4. Evil Man
5. Too Far Gone
6. Nowhere Freeway
8. Waste Your Tears
Never before did Whitesnake play in Enschede and everything was in place to make this a memorable night. Opening with the intro the Who’s classic “My Generation” the show starts for these bad boys of rock with the classic “Bad Boys” spurring the crowd to their feet as soon as David Coverdale screams his favorite word of the night, Enschede! The gunslingers of the night Reb Beach and Doug Aldrich are take turns on the solo’s for the classic songs. Although Reb seemed to struggled with his pedals, the duo are a perfect team and handle the twin solo parts with no problem at all. Straight away “Children of the Night” is blasting through the PA system with Michael Devin and Brian Tichy sounding very bombastic, while Brian Ruedy’s keyboards are sometimes lost in the mix.
This was corrected by the time David welcomes the Enschede crowd, and “Give Me All Your Love” is being played, it is obvious David and the rest of the band are not only performing on stage but have a lot of fun doing it tonight and the Beatles’ song “Yesterday” is being turned over in “Enschede all your troubles seem so far way …” and led in to “Love Ain’t No Stranger” and “The Deeper the Love.”
As it is a friendly crowd they brought written requests for David to sing pieces from “Love is Blind” and he obliged. Doing it again after “Steal Your Heart Away” a little taste of “Now You’re Gone “ is being brought by the master. Although David can’t reach as high and even midrange as in the hey days, he has got the roughness in his voice back and the screams which he didn’t had on the Bad to the Bone tour he played Holland; he is making fun about him being an old man but the geezer still rocks!
After the love song “Forevermore” and fooling around about the airco “The Dutch Wind” Doug and Reb were going at it face to face in a guitar duel and showed us their skills which shows us the guitar heroes of today with both their own style. The guys continued with “Snake Dance” and “Can You Hear the Wind Blows” a little teaser of “Rock Me Baby “ to the semi ballad “Love Will Set You Free” was song along by the fans. With the instrumental jam being called “The Badger” on the set-list it was time for the spotlight kid Brian Tichy to perform his drum solo.
Starting off and coming up with some gadgets like Chinese chopsticks and also drumming with Ginsu knives was fun, but then it became a Tommy Aldridge clone as Tommy used to play bare hands on the drums and this part took way too long, ending it with laminated drum sticks launching them by beating on the floor tom and letting go looked like fireworks, which was a cool sight. Time for a little fun and play and introducing the band and going in to some “Slow and Easy” and David missing the first words of “Is This Love” might be staged, however the crowd is helping him sing one of his biggest hits.
Up next the much anticipated highlight of the evening for 90 percent of the audience and probably the whole band was the entrance of the flying Dutchman Adrian Vandenberg, being reunited once again with Coverdale and having some fun with close to 2,000 of their friends.
You could sense the history in the blasting of “Fool for Your Lovin’” and I have never witnessed so much respect for a guy on stage before. Doug was pushing Adje to the spotlight each time as Adje seems to be a bit timid, while Reb just wanted to play and stand next to him and all this while David was hugging everyone, what a special sight to see.
Adje slipped up here and there but no one seem to care, the Enschede quire was singing “Here I Go Again,” and again Doug shoved Adje to the front a few times. With David says “Still of the Night” De MuziekCentrum is shaking on its foundations.
With a standing ovation, so to speak, Adje and band walks of stage and leave David to sing “Soldier of Fortune;” he must had some emotions stuck in his throat cause he was a little of key.
The band returns and performs Deep Purple’s “Burn,” with Coverdale adding maracas to the arrangement. Doug shreds while the organ is blasting like a storm which brings on “Stormbringer,” which ends the show. With early Christmas spirit all the guys including Adje gathers around the microphone and singing “White(snake) Christmas.” Saying goodbye until next time the two-hour show ends, lights go down and the tape of “We Wish You Well” plays, and the really special night comes to an end.
1. Intro My Generation (The Who)
2. Bad Boys / Children Of The Night
3. Give Me All Your Love, Yesterday The Beatles cover turns ‘Enschede’
4. Love Ain’t No Stranger
5. The Deeper The Love , Love Is Blind only vocal
6. Steal Your Heart Away Now You’re Gone , only vocal
8. Guitar Duel
9. Snake Dance
10. Can You Hear The Wind Blow intro Rock Me Baby
11. Love Will Set You Free
12. The Badger (instrumental Jam)
13. Drum Solo Brian Tichy
14. Band Introductions incl. snippets of ‘Walk This Way’, ‘Another One Bites the Dust’, ‘Dancing Girls’, ‘Eye of the Tiger…Slow an’ Easy, Eye of the tiger, ‘Sunshine Of Your Love’, ‘Fire.
15. Is This Love
• Fool For Your Lovin’ (* Adrian Vandenberg joins)
• Here I Go Again)
• Still Of The Night
16. Soldier of Fortune(David A cappella)
17. Burn / Stormbringer
• White(snake) Christmas a capella band with Adje
18. Outro We Wish You Well