Fireworks

Journey / Whitesnake / Thunder http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/25/6d/9c/journey-whitesnake-thunder-2013-concert-review-Rocktopia-thumb-63-1389637244.jpg Hot

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Journey / Whitesnake / Thunder - MEN Arena, Manchester (UK) - 23rd May 2013

The American-style triple bill tours seem to have really taken off in Europe now, all the bands seeing the advantages of playing bigger places than they could manage on their own. So, following on from their successful jaunt with Foreigner and Styx in 2011, Journey are over again with Whitesnake and Thunder in tow, for surely the big melodic rock package of 2013.

Brit serial reformers Thunder barely ever put on a poor show and thrive in situations like this, and true to form it was as early as the opening 'Dirty Love' before singer Danny Bowes elicited the first crowd sing-along, although how many opening bands could get away with telling the crowd that their efforts were "shit!"? Playing to a large percentage of people who obviously didn't know who they were, the no-nonsense bluesy rock of 'River Of Pain' and 'Higher Ground' soon converted the uninitiated, with Bowes in fine voice as usual and the easy stage manner of guitarists Luke Morley and Ben Matthews giving a confident but relaxed air to proceedings. The forty-five minute set included old favourites 'Low Life In High Places', 'Backstreet Symphony' and 'Love Walked In', and by the time Thunder left the stage with the last notes of 'I Love You More Than Rock 'n' Roll' ringing out, much clapping, jumping and dad dancing had been witnessed both off and on stage.

David Coverdale and his snake had a tough act to follow, and to be truthful they didn't really succeed. The latest metallic version of Whitesnake is a bit of a double edged sword in that the players are excellent and it's a good, old-fashioned rock and roll show, but the years of screaming over the volume have taken its toll. To be fair, I thought Coverdale did a reasonable job early on, his timbre on 'Give Me All Your Love', 'Ready And Willing' and a stomping 'Don't Break My Heart Again' being somewhat better than any of the many Whitesnake performances I've seen in the last decade. OK, 'Is This Love' was a bit ropey, but when the band trotted out an unexpected 'Gambler' (touchingly dedicated to departed 'Snake members Jon Lord, Cozy Powell and Mel Galley, whose pictures graced the big screen) I thought David had finally seen sense and gravitated back towards the bluesy songs that he can still sing fairly comfortably.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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However, the overlong guitar duel between Reb Beach and Doug Aldrich and obligatory Tommy Aldridge drum solo killed the momentum and it took my current favourite Whitesnake song, 'Forevermore', to get a bit of it back. It was back to the posturing and excess during a short medley of heavier songs before a bit of decorum was shown and Bernie Marsden came on to show the young(er) pretenders how to wring some emotion from a guitar during set highlights 'Fool For Your Loving' and 'Here I Go Again'. Whilst still the consummate showman, Coverdale again proved that 'Still Of The Night' is just too big a song for him these days. Sorry, but the memory of those attempted screams just won't go away, which is a shame because for half an hour he really seemed to be back on form.

As a long-time Journey fan (pre-Perry actually!) I had always thought of them as one of the best live bands on the circuit, but they didn't look interested in 2010 and looked even less so here. Whereas a few short years ago an opening of 'Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)', 'Any Way You Want It' and 'Ask The Lonely' would surely have been a scene of absolute mayhem, the low volume, muddy sound (where's Kevin Elson when you need him?) and total lack of movement by everyone bar the excitable Arnel Pineda, seemed to stun the crowd into disbelieving (sic) silence. Guitarist Neal Schon and bassist Ross Valory stood like shop dummies while Pineda jumped around missing notes and reverting to his natural mispronunciation of the lyrics. Things only improved slightly when the reliable Deen Castronovo took the mic for 'Keep On Running' and even one of their rockiest moments, the brilliant 'Edge Of The Blade', lacked power and came across as bland.

The ballads 'Lights' and 'Open Arms' were politely received, and it wasn't until very late in the set when 'Escape', 'Wheel In The Sky' and 'Be Good To Yourself' benefitted from an improved mix that the crowd seemed to wake up and realise that they were watching one of rock's iconic bands. 'Faithfully' and 'Don't Stop Believing' ended an encore-less set but I'm afraid my mission to see as many Journey shows as I can before I die has long since been abandoned. It was Thunder's night, and it's sad that two of the world's best-loved bands now seem to have insurmountable problems.

Phil Ashcroft

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Latest Message: 4 days, 13 hours ago
  • kazooba : I have digital versions of every issue from 27 thru 88, any way I can get issues 1 - 26 with cd's digitally?
  • Berny : @SeaDog57: The links are in the Fireworks menu. Have you tried scrolling down? Maybe your screen size is too small...
  • SeaDog57 : Berny; there are only links up to Fireworks 86. Which is kinda strange because i already downloaded CD 87 but i'm looking for the link to CD 88...Chris
  • Rocktopia Te : @Johns Band: Can you please contact us here: «email»
  • Johns Band : Fireworks Magazine 88 did not arrive by post. paid by PayPal. Any Suggestion.
  • Berny : @bpomper: Can you pls. contact the Rocktopia team here: «email»
  • bpomper : i found the problem..old email i can not access.i have tried to change it by editing my info but it wont allow. any suggestions
  • Berny : @bpomper: A reply was sent yesterday, We recommend checking your spam/junk mail to see if our message was filtered there. The magazine was already sent to your shipping address. Please let me know if you do not receive it within the next couple of days. Thanks for your patience!
  • bpomper : Thanks didnt of that. I still have not heard about fireworks 88 was it sent out. Thankyou
  • Rocktopia Te : @bpomper: For security reasons, we removed your previous message. Please do not post your private e - mail address. Many thanks for your understanding.
  • bpomper : Thanks for the reply. I see download but can you confirm that hardcopy was or is sent ou .thanks.the email i used is inder the contact me info of the website
  • Berny : @bpomper: Apologies for your troubles. Where did you send the email to? We haven't received anything. I will send you a longer reply via mail. Also, you can download the free CD from the "Fireworks" menu on top, but the CD links are only shown if you are logged in.
  • bpomper : 3rd email inquiring about my purchase of fireworks #88. i purchased on the 2oth of sept and today is the 24 with no response...paypal has taken the payment. should i have a down load of the cd for mu usa magazine. Looking forward to an answer
  • bpomper : hello i purchased fireworks #88 through paypal on9/23 and have not recieved an email from rocktopia. purchase is for a hard copy of the mag. should i have cd download instructions.when should i expect it
  • Berny : @Johns Band: I've just sent you an e - mail. Best regards, B.
  • Johns Band : I have ordered FM Live video and £1.99 taken from my PayPal account. How do I download video. Something gone wrong at processing with Fireworks. The links to report it do not work.
  • Berny : @kevinw01: Have you received the mail containing the donwload instructions? It seems as if you are downloading the bonus CDs from the "Fireworks" menu, those are meant for our readers in the USA and Canada whose copies do not come with the CD. I will send you a mail now. Thanks, B.
  • kevinw01 : I have ordered several issues of Fireworks but when I press the download button I only get a copy of the MP3 but not the PDF files. I have an iPad. Am I doing something wrong? Kevin
  • Berny : @ARONITY: Thanks for your order. As stated in the item's description, it can take up to three hours for your purchase to be processed. You should have received a mail containing the download instructions by now. Thanks for your patience!
  • ARONTY : Hi, Just ordered #88 pdf, Paypal show the payment, but no d/l link, please help..
  • Berny : @John: Pls. check your mail, this should have been sorted by now. Apologies for the delay!
  • johnmason : Hi. I paid for #88 and it doesn't show up in the licenses/Downloads and I never received any email telling me how to download it.
  • Rocktopia Te : Fireworks Magazine #88 is out now!
  • SeaDog57 : Thanks Berny got it
  • Berny : @SeaDog57: Not sure why the password disappeared, but it's back. Pls. download your copy from the usual place (i.e. Fireworks - > Bonus CD 87 on the TOP menu). Have fun! :)
  • SeaDog57 : Berny looking for the link and password to Issue 87 free music
  • Berny : @yvesrock: Apologies for the troubles. I've just sent you an email.
  • yvesrock : Hi,I ordered the 11th june the new Fireworks' magazine (issue 87) and I didn't receive it. Can you see if you sent it ? Best wishes Yves
  • yvesrock : Hi,
  • Berny : @Gazza2005: Please accept my apologies for the delay in processing your order. You should have received a confirmation mail by now. We are really trying our best to fix the payment issue as soon as possible. Thanks for your patience! PS: It seems as if you sent the payment twice, we sent you a refund.

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