Today's post comes from a dedicated reader in the Netherlands. The reader doesn't want me to reveal his name so I will oblige. Enjoy the review!
"Adje, Adje, Adje!'' When Adrian Vandenberg walks out on stage with Whitesnake in his hometown Enschede, The Netherlands, the crowd cheers in support of their local hero. It's the first time Whitesnake performs in this town and Vandenberg's guest appearance has been widely publicized in advance. Whether it is because of this or not, the 1,800 capacity venue was sold out a week before the show on Saturday, December 3.
Before David Coverdale and his band take the stage, The Answer from Belfast, Northern Ireland played an energetic set. Their looks are not glam at all, but their honest to the bone hard rock, with high pitched bluesy vocals, should definitely appeal to the readers of BBG. Cormac Neeson is one of the best new hard rock singers of the last couple of years. He is a hard working front man and carries the whole band. The other members play their parts well, but they look more like a high school band than a group who has toured the world with AC/DC (which they actually have).
As Whitesnake start their show, it's instantly clear they're in a good mood. The band members all have smiles on their faces as they come on stage. The sound in the venue, which is actually a posh theatre and not a rock club, is pretty bad. But Whitesnake manages to win over the crowd right from the start. Coverdale is very talkative and invests a lot of time in interaction with the audience. He even picks up written song requests from people in the first row. He sings parts of "Love Is Blind" and "Now You're Gone" a capella. He is having a ball, pointing at beautiful girls in the audience and even expressing his love for "tits." Sixty year old Coverdale even makes fun of himself by pretending to have forgotten the words to "Is This Love."
Drummer Brian Tichy also turns out to be a comedian. During his ten minute drum solo, he throws his drumsticks out into the crowd, to replace them with... chopsticks. One minute later the chopsticks fly into the audience. What's next? Butcher knives! The first rows start to get a little uneasy now... But Tichy decides to put them safely away, after he's actually played his drums with them.
And then finally it's time for Adrian (Adje) Vandenberg to join the band he toured the world with in the late eighties. It's by no means the first time he's on stage with Whitesnake again, because he seems to be doing this just about every time the band plays in or near The Netherlands. What's new though, is that this time it's been announced beforehand and that it's a show in his hometown. So people are kind of expecting something special tonight. Vandenberg has been out of the limelight for years now, but he's still somewhat of a celebrity in Holland and definitely a famous man in Enschede. He gets a great reception from both the audience and the band. But he almost seems a little shy, picking a spot close to the speaker cabinets, rather than standing near the front of the stage. It's almost funny to see how his successor Doug Aldrich keeps pushing Vandenberg to the front. And Coverdale just about drags him to center stage. But Vandenberg is a modest Dutchman and he keeps walking backwards to stand next to Aldrich, who looks so much like him they could have been brothers. With Vandenberg on stage the band plays "Fool For Your Loving," "Here I Go Again" and "Still Of The Night," with 'Adje' performing the guitar solo of the second song. And it must be said, the guy can still play. Nothing really special happens though. No shredding five minute guitar solo, no acoustic song with just Coverdale and Vandenberg, no special announcement. But it doesn't matter. It's a glorious night for Vandenberg, reportedly even attended by the mayor of Enschede.
The biggest surprise comes after the guitars are put away: all members of Whitesnake plus Vandenberg sing "(I'm Dreaming Of A) White Christmas" together on their Christmas style decorated stage. A fitting end to a very relaxed and friendly Whitesnake show.