Whitesnake - 'Made In Japan' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     January 08, 2014    
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This is a great concert, just a tad short once you take the solos out.

David Coverdale has been busy since resurrecting his legendary group Whitesnake, who were meant to have been put to bed after 1997's 'Restless Heart'. Since their return there's been a bunch of tours, a live DVD, a live double album with four new songs and two excellent new studio albums in the form of 'Good To Be Bad' and 'Forevermore'. The nucleus of this reborn serpent is vocalist Coverdale and guitarists Reb Beach and Doug Aldrich. With a revolving door policy for the band, it's great to see they have been there ever since Whitesnake's rebirth. This live DVD captures an incarnation rounded out by Brian Tichy, bassist Michael Devin and guest Brian Ruedy on keyboards. The result is potent.

Filmed in Japan on a co-headliners tour, Whitesnake are as loud and as hard rocking at this show as I think I've ever seen them. The other major selling point is the inclusion of recent material. There was a time when the Whitesnake setlist was stuck in 'Greatest Hits' mode – here we have a collection of hits like 'Give Me All Your Love', 'Love Ain't No Stranger', 'Is This Love', 'Fool For Your Loving' and of course 'Here I Go Again'. They are juxtaposed with opener 'Best Years' from 'Good To Be Bad' alongside 'Love Will Set You Free', a show stopping 'Steal Your Heart Away' and the title track from 'Forevermore'.

The newer material sounds fantastic and fits superbly with the old standards. With Tichy's fierce percussion and Devin throwing a variety of shapes and poses, this a visually compelling 'Snake. Coverdale also sings wisely – he has made subtle alterations to certain songs, allowing the backing singers to ease the load. He paces himself throughout the night, resulting is some of the best versions of these songs for some time. He still unleashes an impressive array of howls and screams throughout, but his voice is at its best for me with its rich, deep delivery on the acoustic portion of 'Forevermore'.

The only downside is the length of the show. As co-headliners, the band had 70 minutes. Sadly six minutes of those are used in a 'Six String Showdown' and a Tichy drum solo that literally lasts longer than 'Still Of The Night'! With thirteen and a half minutes gone on solos, you end up with just ten Whitesnake songs. While the guys doing the solos are amazing, so are the songs in back catalogue. I felt the time could have been used better – I've always hated solo spots when a band is so good at writing great tunes.

Available on Blu-ray and DVD, this is a great concert, just a tad short once you take the solos out. The CD version looks to rectify that with a second disk containing sound check and acoustic versions. I enjoyed it, there's certainly life in the old 'Snake yet, but I can't help feeling a little short changed in terms of content.

James Gaden

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