Photo Credit: Jay Oakley
By Vince Anderson and Jay Oakley
From the first note tonight I’m reminded why Derek St. Holmes is one of my very favorite singers. Tonight Ted Nugent’s front-man Derek St. Holmes teamed up with Aerosmith’s Brad Whitford to reform the project known as Whitford/St. Holmes and tonight they treated us to some new music and some old. The new stuff sounds great with songs like “Hell is on Fire” and “Shapes.” For me St. Holmes can do no wrong; he could sing Happy Birthday, and I’d listen. Their straight ahead blues infused rock and roll is exactly what you might expect from these living legends and bonafide rockstars. After a taste of original tunes they throw a little medley in with “Train Kept A Rolling” and a taste of Ted Nugent with “Stranglehold.”
Whitesnake deserves more credit then they get. David Coverdale will always be David Coverdale but I give him credit for not resting on the success of “Here I Go Again” and riding it into the ground. The first thing I noticed was the quality of musicians that he surrounded himself with – no filler – Joel Hoekstra, Reb Beach and Tommy Aldridge– amazing.
Opening up with “Bad Boys” and “Slide It In” got the crowd amped but it wasn’t until “Fool For Your Loving” that everything started to build toward a peak. The ending of “Judgement Day” gave us our first big treat of the night, the guitar solos. Reb Beach’s was very bluesy and solid but with heavy use of the whammy bar for that deep, continuing sound. Joel Hoekstra is just an animal, presenting powerful shredding with pin-point tapping. Everyone was jealous.
“Slow And Easy” and “Crying In The Rain” led to the highlight of the night which was Tommy Aldridge’s drum solo, a ridiculous series of crushing technique. The only thing louder was the sound of jaws hitting the floor, especially when he ditched the sticks and played with his fists.
The main set closed out with “Is This Love,” “Give Me All Your Love” and “Here I Go Again” with the encore consisting of “Still Of The Night.” All in all the energy was high and didn’t fade. Whitesnake rocked the place and left a lot of people sweaty.
Whitesnake is heading to Europe for a series of shows so if you didn’t get to see them on this run of US shows just be patient.