Whitesnake & Whitford/St. Holmes in concert at the House Of Blues (Boston, MA) – 6/25/16

It’s been a few years since I’ve posted a concert review here at the site but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been seeing bands live. I’ve seen a ton of bands live over the last few years and I had the pleasure of seeing Whitesnake in Boston last Saturday night on their 2016 Greatest Hits Tour. I’ve seen Whitesnake live many times, including a show last year in support of The Purple Album, so I knew what to expect but I had the added bonus of the reformed Whitford/St. Holmes supporting their new album, Reunion. Brad Whitford (from Aerosmith) and Derek St. Holmes (from Ted Nugent’s classic band) together again since 1981 and, from what I’ve read online, kicking ass!

Whitford St Holmes 2016

Whitford/St.Holmes setlist

Shapes
Rock All DayHell Is On Fire
Gotta Keep Movin’
Shake It
Medley: Last Child (Aerosmith cover), Hey Baby (Ted Nugent cover), Train Kept A Rollin’ (Aerosmith cover), Stranglehold (Ted Nugent cover)

I’ve never seen Whitford/St.Holmes in concert and I’ve never owned their 1981 debut album but I did know a couple of songs: ‘Whiskey Woman’ and ‘Sharpshooter’. That said, I’ve seen both Aerosmith and Ted Nugent live more than a few times and I own all their records. Basically, how can I go wrong? First thing that needed to be done was to pick up the band’s new album, Reunion. I knew they were selling it at the shows so I figured I’d buy it at the venue instead of Amazon. $15 bought me the new CD that included a bonus disc of the debut album AND the band was signing the CDs between sets? That’s a deal! The band came on to a packed Boston crowd and immediately started into their set by playing five new tunes of the new album. I hadn’t heard any new songs yet but every single one just sounded like pure classic Hard Rock. Derek St. Holmes still has a great voice and Brad Whitford was able to stretch out on guitar and really let loose. The band was tight, sound was dead perfect and I had a perfect spot right up front between Holmes and Whitford. Watching these two musicians go back and forth on guitar was just awesome! Brad Whitford announced that they were going to play some songs from their “day jobs” and the crowd went crazy when started into ‘Last Child’. Keyboardist Buck Johnson took over the mic for the vocals (he’s Aerosmith’s touring keyboard player & background singer) and sounded EXACTLY like Steven Tyler! St. Holmes took the mic back for ‘Hey Baby’ and ‘Train Kept A Rollin’ and then brought the house down with an abbreviated ‘Stranglehold’ with Whitford giving Uncle Ted a run for his money. That’s it, done. A quick 30 minute set…..no solos, no bullshit, no flash…..just a band absolutely killing it on stage!

Whitford/St. Holmes official website
Whitford/St. Holmes Facebook page

Whitesnake 2016

Whitesnake setlist

Bad Boys
Slide It In
Love Ain’t No Stranger
The Deeper The Love
Fool For Your Loving
Sailing Ships
Judgement Day
(Guitar solo by Reb Beach)
(Guitar solo by Joel Hoekstra)
Slow An’ Easy
(Bass solo by Michael Devlin)
Cryin’ In The Rain (includes Tommy Aldridge drum solo)
Is This Love?
Give Me All Your Love
Here I Go Again

Encore:
Still Of The Night

What can you say about a setlist like the one above? Whitesnake is on a greatest hits tour and David Coverdale and company have aimed to please by only playing the hits from the band’s multi-platinum ’80s triumvirate: Slide It In, Whitesnake & Slip Of the Tongue. The last tour for The Purple Album had greatest hits and some David Coverdale era Deep Purple classics mixed in but this tour is all business and all hits. I held my spot at the front of the stage, thus opting out of the Whitford/St. Holmes CD singing between sets, and I was treated to a ferocious performance by the band and especially frontman and founder David Coverdale. He may be 64 years old but Coverdale can still sing and scream as great as he always has. The band was solid as expected with the likes of Reb Beach and Joel Hoekstra on guitars and Tommy Aldridge on drums…..all classic musicians! Bassist Michael Devlin, a Boston native, was also equally great and even handled a few vocal lines here and there along with Mr. Coverdale. Not a lot of talking, just hit after hit like a sledgehammer! Big surprise for me of the night was hearing ‘Sailing Ships’ from Slip Of The Tongue. My only critique is having 4 solos in a 13 song set…..nothing bores me more than guitar, bass and drum solos but, with musicians of this caliber, giving them a spotlight to shine is understandable. I wouldn’t have minded hearing a couple Deep Purple songs or maybe a couple deeper Whitesnake songs but, overall, the show was fantastic. At the time I publish this review, the North American tour is over…..hopefully Coverdale and company will record a new record and tour here again soon.

Whitesnake official website
Whitesnake Facebook page

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