Whitesnake - 'Live At Donington 1990' Hot
Written by Central Electronic Brain     June 28, 2011    
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Plug it in, crank it up and just enjoy!

Whatever your calling in life, when you're hot you're hot, and with their stock heading inexorably northwards once again, Whitesnake are most definitely that. With a brace of monster comeback albums under their belts the band seem to have reconnected with much of their old audience (the real fans at any rate) whilst at the same time titillating the taste buds of an audience not even born when they were at their commercial peak. And so, with the strains of the brilliant 'Forevermore' still ringing loudly in our ears, now is perhaps the perfect time to take a look at the band when their faces graced every other glossy music mag on the news stand.

Ok, the only connection between Whitesnake then and now is the charismatic David Coverdale – but contrary to what some would have you believe, it was, always has been, and always will be, 'his' band. Documenting their headlining appearance at the prestigious Monsters Of Rock festival back in August 1990, this show was the crowning glory of their hugely successful 'Liquor & Poker' world tour. Playing to an enormously partisan 70,000 plus crowd, David Coverdale's all stars (quite rightly) owned the stage that night, and this audio (or visual if you prefer) treat surely attests to that.

With the crowd chanting 'Whitesnake, Whitesnake!' into the balmy night air, a rumbling intro announces the band's arrival on stage. Understandably the crowd go crazy at this point, a beaming Coverdale strides into the spotlight flanked by his battle hardened warriors and announces 'Here's a song for ya ... you're a sight for sore fuckin' eyes Donnington!' just as the band launch full tilt into a rabble rousing version of 'Slip Of The Tongue'. We're off, and if you were there you'll recall, it was one hell of a show!

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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I must admit, these days I tend to get tired of hearing those detractors bleating on about how Steve Vai was never right for Whitesnake ... ok, stylistically he was poles apart from Moody or Marsden, but to me his flashy bravado was perfect for the band and where they were at right then ... just check out some of the footage on the DVD and see for yourself. Not to be outdone, Coverdale's writing partner of choice at the time (Adrian Vandenberg) also proves his mettle (despite battling a debilitating wrist injury), whilst the rock solid rhythm section of Rudy Sarzo and Tommy Aldridge provide the self assured swagger that really drove the band forward.

I won't insult your intelligence and pretend this performance is flawless – there are certainly bum notes to be found and Coverdale's voice was far from its best – but it's not about perfection, it's about feel and raw emotion and 'Live At Donnington' has that in spades. Showcasing recognised Whitesnake classics such as 'Slide It In', 'Crying In The Rain', 'Slow And Easy', 'Fool For Your Loving', 'Here I Go Again' and the breathtaking 'Ain't No Love In The Heart Of The City' alongside newer crowd favourites like 'Judgement Day', 'Is This Love' and 'Still Of The Night' (a perfect set closer), this just smokes!

Available as either a 2CD or DVD set (the DVD has an extensive slide show of rare photographs, as well as a 'Behind the Scenes ...' documentary on the making of 'Slip Of The Tongue'), this is a gloriously nostalgic celebration of everything that was great about that era of the band.

As a historical document this is priceless ... plug it in, crank it up and just enjoy!

Dave Cockett

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