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Journey, Whitesnake and Thunder at LG Arena, Birmingham - Review

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by Andy Coleman (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer living in Birmingham. I like Classic Rock, 70s pop music, football and interviewing celebrities. Follow me on Twitter: @andycoleman9
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Who triumphed and who disappointed?
Life is full of mysteries. What came first, the chicken or the egg? Why does toast always fall butter-side down? Now, here's a new one why did Whitesnake not close this co-headlining show? Sandwiched between openers Thunder and American AOR veterans Journey, David Coverdale's band proclaimed this 'The Year Of The Snake' and shook the LG Arena to its foundations.

Whitesnake, David Coverdale
Year of the Snake: David Coverdale on stage at the LG Arena (pic: Steve Johnston // www.rockmusicphotographer.co.uk)


On stage for nearly 90 minutes, Whitesnake powered through a set of fan favourites cherry picked from the band's 35 year career. Classics like Ready an' Willing and Give Me All Your Love sat comfortably alongside Steal Your Heart Away and Forevermore from the latest studio album.

There was a poignant moment when photographs of former 'Snake members Cozy Powell, Jon Lord and Mel Galley were displayed on the backdrop and the song Gambler dedicated to them. ''Fallen comrades,'' announced Coverdale.

Whitesnake, David Coverdale
Younger than ever: Whitesnake's David Coverdale rocks the LG Arena (pic: Steve Johnston // www.rockmusicphotographer.co.uk)


At the age of 61, the singer looks younger than the last time he played in the Midlands, at Wolverhampton Civic Hall in 2011. His voice is huskier but he's ably supported by guitarists and occasional backing vocalists Doug Aldrich and Reb Beach. And he still has a cheeky glimmer in his eye for the ladies on the front row even though it's a box of tea bags and a packet of biscuits that are thrown on stage!

Whitesnake now tour Europe, America and Canada until August 23.

The magnificent Led Zeppelin-flavoured Still Of The Night should have closed the show, rather than just Whitesnake's set, but it was Journey that concluded the evening.

Journey, Arnel Pineda
Bundle of energy: Journey's Arnel Pineda (Pic: Steve Johnston // www.rockmusicphotographer.co.uk)


Maybe the audience were mainly Whitesnake fans, maybe a wet Tuesday night in Birmingham didn't suit Journey's style of music, but the reaction to the bad was muted. Poor sound quality at the start of their 75 minute set didn't help but frontman Arnel Pineda was a bundle of energy. He's small of stature but big in voice and enthusiasm. When the sound improved and songs like Lights, Open Arms and Faithfully were played the crowd responded favourably. It all ended with a bang as a cannon shot confetti and streamers during Don't Stop Believin', the most downloaded song ever.

Journey will play some European shows with Whitesnake then tour America until September 1.

Thunder, Danny Bowes
Natural frontman: Danny Bowes of Thunder (Pic: Steve Johnston // www.rockmusicphotographer.co.uk)


Reformed Thunder opened the show at 6.45pm but still had a decent sized audience for their bluesy rock. And they are the perfect band to get a party going. Singer Danny Bowes is a natural frontman, complaining with a smile - when the fans don't sing loud enough, while guitarists Luke Morley and Ben Matthews strike the rock poses. They play the Download Festival at Donington Park on June 15.
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Why? Three legendary rock acts for the price of one
When: May 28, 2013
Phone: 0121 780 4141
Where: LG Arena, NEC, Birmingham
Cost: 50 plus fees
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