Whitesnake Brings A Shade of Purple To TulsaBy William Simpson • Aug 17th, 2015 • Category: Live Show Reviews
Article by Jennifer Reid
Buzz around The Joint was this show was going to be the loudest the venue had ever seen. As The Who’s “My Generation” blared through its intro, the rumor was confirmed.
David Coverdale and his newest collection of Snakes stopped in Tulsa on August 13, 2015. The tour, simply named “The Purple Tour” promised to deliver a combination of Whitesnake favorites, along with some classic Deep Purple tracks. “Slide It In” kicked off the set and was an indication of a tremendous show to come.
Coverdale, who is now 63, still has the charisma and attitude of his youthful self. Vocally, his age is present. Meaning, he is aware songs have to be tuned down and workouts have to increase to not only be able to deliver the Whitesnake material, but also the challenges of Deep Purple. Time may have taken its toll on some things, but definitely not on his spirit. He remains connected to his audience and engages them with questions and sings along throughout the show. He surrounds himself with an implausible band that is so tight and so talented, you are mesmerized.
Guitarist Joel Hoekstra – Standing well over 6 feet tall with hair resembling a lion’s mane, he brings a unique style of blues, jazz, and more importantly rock to the tour. The newest member to the group, he is a seasoned professional who allows the music to consume him. The notes screeching from the chords of his Les Paul are radiated throughout the crowd and felt by all. He is expressive and energizing, and a fantastic addition to Whitesnake.
Drummer Tommy Aldridge – Most 65 year olds are ready to retire and relax. Aldridge defies the odds. With a strict health regiment, his sleek physique allows him to turn into a monster behind the kit. A term he has so diligently earned, he is a pioneer. A legend. His infamous afro is almost as impressive as his playing. With feet that go 90 to nothing on 2 bass drums simultaneously, hand over head swings with his sticks, and foregoing the sticks all together to channel his inner John Bonham, you realize he is a senior citizen. Someone may want to inform Tommy.
Reb Beach – Dubbed by Coverdale as the band leader, Beach is a Whitesnake veteran. Joining Coverdale in 2002, they share an obvious affection and respect for one another. Joining each other at the mic for harmony pairings, they complement each other beautifully. Beach takes his job seriously by keeping expressions and conversation to a bare minimum. The music speaks for itself, and he allows that to carry the communication.
Deep Purple was brought to life again with “The Gypsy,” “You Keep On Moving,” and “You Fool No One.” Whitesnake was relived with “Love Ain’t No Stranger,” “Is This Love?” and a remarkable rendition of “Bad Boys.” Pulling that one out live was pure genius. “Still Of The Night” was a bit of a struggle for Coverdale as it was performed for the encore. After 90 minutes of belting out hit after hit, this was still performed with great presentation and emotion.
This may be Coverdale’s last go round. It may not. The years have been kind. The fans have been kind. Only time can tell one’s story, but this is one story far from over.