If you’re itching to see Whitesnake but don’t want to hear the inevitable yammering around the office the morning after, do your conscience a favor by digging up a copy of Deep Purple’s 1974 album “Burn” to remind yourself why David Coverdale deserves to be celebrated. His performance on “Mistreated” alone will shatter everything you thought you knew about the sinuous blonde mane responsible for so much visual flamboyance in the late 1980s. Having Tawny Kitaen cartwheeling over sports cars in a music video was heavenly, but the reality is that too many critics unfairly dismissed them under the hair metal umbrella and forgot what an earthy yet infinitely combustible vocalist he really is.
“Trouble,” “Lovehunter,” and “Live…In the Heart of the City” are all prime cuts that exemplify the down-and-dirty blues rock championed by Whitesnake during the early days, a raunchy feel that would steadily transition into an accessible, MTV-friendly sound once John Sykes joined the band in 1983. By the time “Whitesnake” and “Slip of the Tongue” came around, however, the musical linkage to Deep Purple had all but evaporated, as commercial success appeared to supersede the desire to stay true to Coverdale’s musical roots. Despite the backlash, “In the Still of the Night” and the 1989 re-recording of “Fool for Your Loving” remain classics worthy of being turned up to 11 on any given night.
When Coverdale brings an electric lineup featuring Reb Beach, Joel Hoekstra, and legendary drummer Tommy Aldridge to the Artpark stage tonight, expect all eras of Whitesnake to be represented. The last time Whitesnake had a taste of western New York’s rock ‘n’ roll faithful was in 1990 at the Lakeside Amphitheatre in Corfu, so it promises to be a memorable evening for all involved.
If you’re still on the fence, consider the fact that the newly reformed Whitford/St. Holmes will be opening the show. The legendary classic rock duo is touting a fiery new record and can be expected to match the headliner’s intensity note for note. Derek St. Holmes is known for being the brilliant howler behind some of Ted Nugent’s greatest material and Brad Whitford has been overshadowed by Joe Perry for years in Aerosmith, but, together, they’re going to bring it hard and make dealing with Lewiston traffic a little less excruciating.
Whitesnake and Whitford/St. Holmes play Artpark tonight. See www.artpark.net for details.
4:45 p.m. Gates
7:00 p.m. Whitford/St.Holmes
8:00 p.m. Whitesnake