It was three years ago when Whitesnake came to Tilburg, Netherlands, as part of their „Year of the Snake“ tour. This August ‚the snake‘ came back to the 013, performing a „The Greatest Hits Tour 2016“ show.
Irish classic rockers The Answer, that supports Whitesnake on their current European tour entered the stage around 8pm and the guys got 35 minutes which they used in an excellent way. The four-piece is a true live band, something they confirmed with their gig in the 013. The main focus was on the debut since the quartet celebrates "Rise" that was published a decade ago. Actually it's pretty smart to put this album in the limelight since it gives The Answer the possibility to promote their upcoming album "Solas" on the autumn tour. By the way, "Solas" will out in the record shops in October 2016.
However, The Answer played seven songs and the obviously enjoyed each minute on stage. Singer Cormac Neeson is more than a guy with a great voice. He’s a real frontman and entertainer, being in constant motion, interacting with the audience and spreading a lot of energy. Based on all this is wasn't a surprise that quite some fans came to see the Irish four-piece. Actually the venue wasn’t less crowded than during Whitesnake's show. Already this indicates the level of appreciation The Answer gets from their fans in Holland. As a goodie for this loyalty the quartet performed a new song called „Thief of Light“ which sounds, according to Neeson, a bit different. However, it’s a tune with a cool vibe, a bit more reflecting and with a touch of melancholy. The Answer was a well-chosen opening act that left an impression.
After such a good start and a quick set change it was Whitesnake that was supposed to bring it home. Compared to the last time in Tilburg, Coverdale and band played it safe. „The Greatest Hits Tour 2016“ says it all and the banner gives a clear idea about what to expect.
A glance on the setlist shows that we are talking about a real ‚best of Whitesnake‘ show. „Slide it in“, „Here I Go Again“ and „Still of the Night“ are just some of the classics of a band that can fall back on an almost endless repertoire of hits.
Another thing that was very positive was guitarist Joel Hoekstra who’s the replacement of Doug Aldrich. Not only that the guy is an awesome guitar player, also his stage acting and posing was entertaining and pure rock’n’roll. In this regard he’s the right counterpart to Reb Beach, who is the more introvert guitarist. Both guys harmonize pretty good on stage, something that’s important for Whitesnake, thinking about the eras of Moody/Masden, Vandenberg/Campbell,…. Talking about Adrian Vandenberg, will he join again for a few songs like he did the last time? And yes, he did. The iconic Dutch guitarist entered the stage for the last two tracks, something that made „Here I Go Again“ and „Still of the Night“ even more powerful. These classic supported by the thundering sound of three guitars is just an impressive moment. And the fact that the fans turned the venue into a madhouse, having ‚their‘ guitarist on stage, goes without saying.
Next to these two (/three) guys it’s always a pleasure to see Tommy Aldridge live on stage. This guys is a real drum maniac with a punch that’s enormous. It’s him being the motor of the well-oiled Whitesnake engine; also last night in Tilburg.
But besides all mentioned, Whitesnake is David Coverdale and Coverdale is Whitesnake. It’s him being the centre of the band, not only on stage and it’s his voice that is so characteristic for Whitesnake. Fortunately Coverdale sounded really good and the fact that he’s a real frontman is well-known anyhow.
All this have been the right ingredients for a fantastic hardrock and blues night if there would be a ‚but‘ too. Like said, all musicians are great ones and I appreciate that they get their moments. However, if there are in total more than 16 minutes of solos (Beach, Hoekstra, Devin and Aldridge) in an 85 minutes set (for a ticket price of EUR 55), than this is far too much, also considering the fact that „Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City“ and „Judgement Day“ have been played in a medley version. It would have been far better to add classics like „Don’t Break My Heart Again“, „Love Hunter“ and „Trouble“ instead. Replacing these kind of songs with solos was a real bummer.
All in all it was a rock’n’roll night that included a hungry opener, The Answer, and a professional main act, playing a show that had quite some great moments but unfortunately also some downers.