Black Stone Cherry Def Leppard Whitenake - Birmingham NEC 18th June 2008

Well here we go; the day after Journey(or the same day we got home as the M4 was closed!)off to a sold out NEC. Good to see business is good.

First on Black Stone Cherry. We saw them blow Aerosmith away 12 months ago so knew what to expect. As they hit the stage like a 10 ton elephant I think some of the oldies were taken aback. They played 5 off the first cd, a newie called Blind Man(very good also on their myspace site) and then finished with Voodoo Chile. Fantastic and a standing ovation from the crowd who were now all on side. They have the songs the attitude and when the new cd goes out on 19/8 hold on to your hats. Roll on Oxford Academy on 13/12.

Now tonight was billed as a co-headliner and they both played for 80 minutes. Leppard had their US stage show over 3 screens etc. Whitesnake had all the lights but a smaller stage. Not that it bothered David Coverdale who spent the whole show on the extended walkway into the crowd. In fact the ladies watched him whilst the guys watched Doug and co on the stage!!!
They played 4 new songs starting with Best Years (we also got Lay Down Your Love on Me, Can You Hear the Wind Blow and A Fool in Love) and we also had an acoustic Ain't gonna cry no More which was fab. Fool for your Loving made a welcome return at song 2.It was good to see Reb Beach used a little more. In fact the geetar solo was for him and Doug Aldrich for a change. Doug really has got it all and is a perfect foil for Old Cov. David's voice when he screamed wasn't at his best in fact he sounds better when he sings and doesn't screech, but he still works the crowd like only he can. It was funny seeing them checking the time to see how much longer they had in fact for the encore they stayed on for Still of the Night. Chris Frazier on drums fits in well and the band looked like they were having a ball.Good stuff.

Leppard came on about 20 mins later to Rocket. Crystal clear sound with screens showing close ups and video footage. Again it was nice to see Viv Campbell being used a little more. Too good to be number 2.They played 3 newies: C'mon C'mon, 9 Lives and Bad Actress.

Joe Elliott, a bit like Cov, is better when he doesn't try and screech. The set lulled a bit with When Love and Hate Collide, a bass solo the Rock on followed by an acoustic 2 Steps Behind. Then Bringin' on the Heartbreak acoustic but with an electric ending with a fab solo from Viv. Armageddon it, Hysteria, Photograph, Pour Some Sugar and Rock of Ages really kicked the crowd into wanting more. Ending with encores of Actress and Lets get Rocked finished a good night.

We have seen Leppard and Snake play better shows but with a kick ass opener and 2 good shows - a good ticket that the US normally get and we don't!! 9/10.

To finish the night Shaz's mate who had a backstage pass got the new Whitesnake cd cover signed by all the band including Mr Coverdale.One very happy lady!!

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