Support: Whitesnake / Journey / Tesla
A great triple bill.....well actually it was a great quadro bill (Ok I have no idea if that is actually a term or not. If not it should be) but Tesla were on far too early for me to make and so I had to make do with the three bands. A shame really as I would love to see Tesla live however I get the feeling that they will be a band that won't be over in Ireland too many times.
Walking into the venue half way through Journey's ten song set suited me and the Mrs just fine. I have to say that I have never been a big fan of the band. It’s not that I don’t like them or their music it’s just that they passed me by a little bit. Like many others I only really became aware of them when Don't Stop Believing broke big across the world due to The Sopranos and Glee. In fact it had become a hit again in Ireland before either of those shows due to its use on radio and popularity amongst students. I got to hear that live tonight and it was fab of course. That was enough for me though. The main two bands was the reason I had bought tickets for the gig and as good as the songs I heard live were, Journey are not a band that I care enough about to see again.
Whitesnake have always been a bit of a favourite of mine. Getting into rock music in the late 80's was a good time to hear all the so called 'hair' metal bands. Whitesnake of course have had numerous incarnations but the one constant is Mr Coverdale. A beast of a man with a voice to match he is someone who is a real rock god (they are becoming rarer and rarer). I was excited to see him live again some nineteen years after first seeing his band at the Monsters Of Rock Festival at Donington. I loved them then but now I was much more familiar with the back catalogue. Yes there was the obvious one song that everyone wanted to hear and that along with Still Of The Night closed off the set tonight. However it was other songs such as the mighty Love Ain't No Stranger, Guilty Of Love and my favourite of all, Ain't No Love In The Heart Of The City that blew me away. Coverdale's voice remains strong and there are few vocalists that can match him. He hasn't always made the right decisions band wise, sometimes he has been too hasty to change the line-up and then not always choosing the right replacements, however his drive and vocal ability really stand out and is why he and his band is still successful to this day. Highlights of the set were the sing along to City and when the lights came up for the crowd to sing Here I Go Again...cheesey yes but who cares?
Cheesey is a description that could probably fit with a lot of the bands I like and I guess there have been times when Def Leppard have come under that category (Make Love Like A Man etc) but again I have to ask who really cares? I love the music Def Leppard create and the shows they put on are some of the best you will see. Full of energy and enthusiasm for what they do and that passes through to the crowds that turn up for them.
The Sheffield band had highs and lows in their career from the massive success of Hysteria to tragically losing guitarist Steve Carke in 1991 to an overdose. Not every album of course has been as big as Hysteria and Pyromania but their continued success both in the UK and the US is mightily impressive. That the band are touring a great new album Songs From The Sparkle Lounge, and not a dud, helps of course but live this is a band that are not to be messed with. That Nine Lives and C’mon C’mon fit in seamlessly with the classics says a lot about the album and how well the fans think of it. Hearing opening track, Rocket as well as Hysteria, Love Bites, Animal, Pour Some Sugar On Me, Rock Of Ages (which closes the main set tonight), and encore songs When Love And Hate Collide and the cheese-tastic Let’s Get Rocked is simply a pleasure. There can be no denying that this is a group that know what they are and who their audience is. Nothing wrong with that.
A great night with some excellent bands then; the multi rock band tours are a big deal in America and I hope that there are more over this side of the Atlantic as judging by the crowd tonight they will be a big hit.
Ticket: June 12th 2009
Ticket Price: €59.50