Vega, Copenhagen - 2016

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Summer was waning, as we reached the beginning of August, and outside the weather was just not as hot anymore, as it had been not too long ago.
How very lucky then, that Whitesnake filled the large hall at Vega, making it so hot, sweat was dripping down the walls, as the band slithered unto the stage.

“Copenhagen has a warm place in my heart. The first time I came here, I was about 16 or 17, that was before Deep Purple, with a band called Harvest I think. You were so kind, I never forgot it!”
- David Coverdale (vocals)

The Who’s My Generation marked the beginning of the show, quite alone as there had been no support band with Whitesnake on tour, nor had a local band been found, as has been the case some times in the past.
On the other hand, why postpone the inevitable? Everyone was here for Whitesnake, and we all knew it. I doubt it was a first meeting for anyone, but it was surely golden nostalgia for many. The average age of the crowd was at least a lot higher than we are used to, but so what? There was still fire in the audience, as people shouted and clapped for the concert to begin, and of course later as well, after it had begun.
The band itself set out with Bad Boys from their smash-hit album Whitesnake, from 1987. A fitting way to begin the evening, as I believe many of the female part of the audience have probably had a bit of a bad boy crush on main man David Coverdale over the years. If they had, this was definitely their night, as he had all of his flirtation moves going, winking and blowing kisses to the audience, as well as generously posing for everyone with a camera in their phone.
The only one in the band who could begin to contend with Mr. Coverdale on this note, was one of the bands more recent additions – Joel Hoekstra (guitar). It seemed that if he could live out his life on one knee, playing solos at the edge of the stage, he would probably die a happy man. His guitar wielding partner, Reb ‘The crown prince of porn’ Beach, played a more anonymous performance, and really only took some spotlight as he played his solo. Although, even here he was still more concentrated about his playing, than he was his audience. Hoekstra took over the solo halfway through, and the difference was remarkable! Sure, Beach had played well enough, very well even, but Hoekstra was a performer! He started out with some fancy fingering, supported by the ever-smiling Michele Luppi (keyboard), then switched over to an acoustic performance, before going back to the electrical guitar again. Both guitarists had about the same amount of time, but the sheer number of things that Hoekstra managed to pull during his time, made him the clear winner.

Everyone had their time to shine though. Coverdale of course during shone in each and every song, as well as those few breaks they made in between, but bassist Michael Devin had a solo as well. Devin had played it slightly anonymous during the regular songs just as Beach, but contrary to his six-string fellow, Devin made the most out of his solo, giving a wild performance that didn’t outlast its welcome.
And then of course, there was the old fellow of the band, not counting Coverdale himself that is, and that’s drummer Tommy Aldridge, the longest lasting drummer the band has had, and with the exception of Coverdale and Beach, the longest lasting member of the band. You get the idea, one might not have the highest expectations of this guy’s wildcat skills, but already from the beginning of the show, he dazzled the crowd with an insane performance level, and when it was time for his solo, he turned the notch up to 11. He played wildly, and just when I was beginning to think about looking at the clock, you know my attention span for this sort of thing isn’t long, he rose up, threw his drumsticks into the crowd, and then continued on, wilder than before even, now using his bare hands.
When I said everyone had their time to shine, it wasn’t completely true, come to think of it. For some reason, Luppi, as the only one, didn’t get to have his own solo. He supported a few of the others in theirs, but he never got to play the main man.

“Let’s get drunk, shall we?”
- Coverdale (vocals)

The crowd however, they had their time to shine. Well, they shone through pretty much the entire time, but during a few songs, or bits of them anyway, Coverdale let them take over the vocals entirely. Crying In The Rain and Give Me All Your Love were even put on pause, to let the audience’s voices really punch through.
Coverdale wasn’t late in leading the crowd into rhythmic applause sections and other fun things as well, so I bet no one left Vega without having participated in the show in some way. Heck, even the balcony people were up on their feet from time to time, and that’s saying something! Coverdale clearly meant what his shirt said; ”Make some f@ckin’ noise!!!”
His hard work was rewarded, as flowers were thrown in admiration to the stage, as the concert drew to an end.
Honestly, I had figured this would be a fun time, but Whitesnake still managed to give me a positive surprise with their highly well-played performance, which had sweat dripping long after the last outro songs had rung out, and the stage was being dismantled, and carried out into the early August night.


My Generation (The Who song)
Bad Boys
Slide It In
Love Ain’t No Stranger
The Deeper The Love
Fool For Your Loving
Ain’t No Love In The Heart of The City
Judgement Day
Solo (Beach)
Solo (Hoekstra)
Slow An’ Easy
Solo (Devin)
Crying In The Rain
Solo (Aldridge)
Is This Love
Give Me All Your Love
Here I Go Again
Still Of The Night
We Wish You Well
Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life (Monty Python song)

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