Whitesnake @ LG Arena, Birmingham – 28 May 2013

Since the announcement of this highly anticipated co-headlining tour with Journey, one question has needed to be answered – why are Whitesnake not topping the bill?

As the filling in tonight’s rock ‘n’ roll sandwich between Thunder and Journey – Whitesnake celebrate the band’s 35th anniversary and their self-proclaimed “Year Of The Snake”. Emerging on stage further to the PA taking a pounding from The Who’s ‘My Generation’.

Opening with ‘Give Me All Your Love’ it’s clear that David Coverdale’s vocal range has diminished somewhat, but hey, who cares? Remaining a preeminent performer, he works the crowd with his cheeky charm and a spot of class, which any fan should be thankful for, 35 years down the line.

The set is well balanced, with the likes of ‘Steal Your Heart Away’ and ‘Forevermore’ from the latest studio album, nestled in-between the massive timeless tracks, such as ‘Ready an’ Willing’, ‘Don’t Break My Heart Again’, ‘Fool For Your Loving’ and ‘Here I Go Again’.

There is a wonderful moment of pathos when DC dedicates ‘Gambler’ from the classic 1984 album ‘Slide It In’ to “lost comrades”, with images of former Whitesnake members Cozy Powell, Jon Lord and Mel Galley flashed-up on the stage screen.

A return to newer material and ‘Love Will Set You Free’ is followed by a guitar duel between Doug Aldrich and Reb Beach. Both outstanding guitarists – they are red hot as ever tonight, but this spot is perhaps a little long-winded. However, a drum solo by veteran sticksman Tommy Aldridge displays why he remains in-demand and well-respected.

Finishing off a vivacious headlining show with a storming version of ‘Still Of The Night’, Coverdale bids the LG Arena goodnight: “Thank you for your hospitality Birmingham! .. Thank you for 35 years of Whitesnake! .. Be safe, be happy, and don’t let anybody make you afraid!”

Review & Photography: Steve Johnston