Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Thunder, Whitesnake, Def Leppard- Liverpool Echo Arena 15th July 2008

Finally, Thee Claw got to visit our city's new arena for what was the first proper rock concert to be held there.
Showtime began at 6.45pm, first band on were the semi-legendary Thunder, one of the last true great classic rock bands to come out of this country until the likes of The Wildhearts, The Almighty, 3 Colours Red etc came along and spoilt everything.
Thee Claw all had different tickets for the different entrances so we got split up for a bit, my ticket, which I had bought months ago was for the Riverside entrance which was at the far side nearest the dock, as I entered the arena I couldn't get over how small the place was. As I was showing my ticket to get through to the standing bit Thunder were playing "Dirty Love" off their first album, I got right down the front and within 5 minutes Thee Claw was reunited but unimpressed with Thunder. I recognised all the songs, "River Of Pain", "Low Life In High Places", "Love Walked In" and a more recent one called "The Devil Made Me Do It" and one or two more from the first 2 albums. I really couldn't get into it, I don't really know why, they sounded really tight and Danny Bowes' singing was spot on, some of them don't even look like they've aged except for the singer danny, he looks like Ian Rush now, I thought if this was 1992 I would have been proper banging a fist in the air and singing along to all those songs but the war is over as they say, Thunder have always been an warm up act for the likes of Whitesnake and Def Leppard since they came out.
Verdict on Thunder last night... 6 Claws Down!!!!!!!!

After a quick trip to the bar it was time to get back down to the front for fucking WHITESNAKE, this band alone are the reason I bought my ticket on the day of release. They were best band on the friday at the graspop festival a few weeks back and once again, they didn't disappoint at all.

"...'Eres A Song For Ya!!!"

Whitesnakes setlist...

Best Years
Fool For Your Lovin'
Can You Hear The Wind Blow
Love Ain't No Stranger
Lay Down Your Love
The Deeper The Love (acoustic)
Is This Love?
A Fool In Love (with fucking excellent guitar solo duel between Aldrich and Beach)
Ain't Gonna Cry No More (acoustic)
Give Me All Your Love
Ain't No Love In The Heart Of The City
Here I Go Again
Still Of The Night
We Wish You Well (played over the P.A. as they fucked off)

Not a bad setlist but the highlight of the gig was Doug Aldrich and Reb Beach's guitar fight, their duelling solos was amazing as it was in belgium.
Another highlight for me was "Ain't Gonna Cry No More" from the very under appreciated "Ready an' Willing" album, I didn't think they'd do this song here but I was happy to hear this and also "Ain't No Love In The Heart Of The City" cos they didn't do that at graspop and it is one of my all time favourites!!!
David Coverdale still has an excellent voice and he made good use of that little stage right in the middle of the crowd, the mic stand got proper wanked out and spun all over the place, he kept coming over to us at the front and acknowledging our claws! Enjoy your yorkshire tea fella, you deserve it, come back soon lads!!!

The only thing I was a bit pissed off with was their new drummer Chris Frasier, he ain't no Tommy Aldridge I tell you, you can tell the difference when it's not Tommy.
I miss Tommy in whitesnake, he proper pounded them drums and his barehand drum solos were amazing last time I saw them with him drumming for them, If, like me, you know you're whitesnake then you know there is only one drummer for whitesnake and it's thee legendary Tommy Aldridge, we miss ya Tommy lad, come back soon!!!

DEF LEPPARD disappointed me at graspop, they just seemed half arsed and at one point it looked like Joe Elliot was lip syncing but that was then...
Last nights performance was an improvement, they had a great setlist and they were fucking LOUD and I mean proper BASSY LOUD, their sound was vibrating through every body in the arena, everybody was talking after the show about how fucking loud it was.
The hits were played a plenty, Rocket, Animal, Make Love Like A Man, Hysteria, Pour Some Sugar On Me, Rock Of Ages, Photograph, and of course Let's Get Rocked and one or two new ones that I didn't know, they also thought it was a good idea to play their 2 main ballads, "When Love and Hate Collide" and "Two Steps Behind" which were obviously low points for Thee Claw.
I turned up at this gig expecting Leppard to be crap and totally got stunned in the process, Phil Collen and Viv Campbell are brilliant guitarists but I wish Campbell got more solos!!!
Oh and another thing, Rick Savage is Thee Snidekite King!

Dunno what the other two thought of this great night but I loved it!!!

H out!!!!!


trish.mason said...

I don't know which gig you were at but it must have been a different echo arena. Thunder were awesome as always, although I thought they were supposed to start at 6.45 - I was there before that and they'd already started.
Whitesnake - what can i say? lip sync must be the buzz word for this review only you got the wrong band - def leppard may not have the best singer in the world but at least he doesn't cheat the audience by turning off the mike and letting the audience do the singing for him..

The SKUM said...

I thought Thunder had been on a bit earlier but the girl on the door said they'd just come onstage and I thought "hang on, they couldn't have opened with Dirty Love?"
I'll be honest, I really don't suspect DC of miming, I got onto him struggle hard to hit notes and fail but I didn't think he was miming.
Also, honestly, Joe Elliot looked like he was lip syncing at graspop, could have been delay on his mic but we were too close to the stage for it to be delay. Just a thought.
Def Leppard proved me wrong the other night and I love it when bands do that, Leppard were great!

trish.mason said...

I'm not usually one for pulling artists apart as they do something that I could never do, but I wasn't the only one who thought DC was faking it a little - I met a good few die-hard WS fans in the bar who were, in their own words, "disgusted" that he wasn't singing, and they apparently had been at the front, while I had been making my assumptions from slightly further back..

If Joe Elliot was faking it at graspop then shame on him too - people pay good money for gigs these days and deserve to get what they pay for. However, I have to say that I was blown away by how good they were on the night - an awesome show that I wasn't expecting!

SJW said...

Great review mate. I pretty much agree with everything you said on here, I wasn't very impressed by Thunder's performance. The singer was dancing around like someone's dad at a kids tea party in a "swing your pants" style, quite embarrassing really. I loved Whitesnake and Def Leppard - The bass speakers being using during Leppard's set was the loudest I have ever heard! I was stood at the front of the arena by the barrier watching them and the bass was literally affecting my vision - I was seeing double due to vibration!

As for not pulling artists apart - so what? If someone doesn't like every aspect of a gig then does that mean they can't voice their opinion about it? I find it both flattering and ironic that people come on here having a go about *us* having a go about bands who we've seen. In my eyes that just means we're doing our reviews properly - pulling no punches! Keep up the good work Skum lad!

Anonymous said...

In a nutshell Whitesnake and Def Leppard were fairly good and Thunder were tight but boring. David Coverdale was entertaining and sang reasonably well, although these days he can no longer sing high and pure. His alternative approach to this is to sing a scratchy banshee scream which is ok but less effective of course. Def Leppard relied too much on the backstage visuals for my liking but on the whole they were ok. Thunder were unfortunate that they were first on but did a fair job of warming up the crowd for the main acts. I've always found their music to be a little unimaginative and one dimensional, but to be fair I suppose they are only a hard rock blues band. Whitesnake on the other hand are a mixture of blues, metal and with Steve Vai they were more progressive sounding.

This could have been a great night but the soundtech guys put paid to that. I normally wear earplugs but on this occasion forgot to bring them in the rush to get from Bradford to Liverpool. The sound was so loud the quality suffered which is always the case, especially in a small venue. For most of the evening I was begging for it to end as my ears were really painful from the harsh, broken up, vibrating bass, piercing high frequencies and fatiguing mid range. I've been to rock and metal gigs in the past where the sound has been spot on, such as Queensryche at The Town & Country Club in Leeds Feb' 1995 (Promised Land Tour). So to all the so called sound guys out there, louder does not mean better unless the equipment and venue is capable. The public deserve a good night out without hearing damage. My hearing is excellent and very sensitive to hearing high frequencies (no dog jokes please!) because I have been sensible and looked after it, but there are occasions where I have not been prepared but then again why should it be too loud instead of loud enough? All noise and no substance if you ask me...

Did anyone notice that when Whitesnake played songs from their latest album, the sound guys whacked up the volume by a further 50% so it REALLY sounded TERRIBLE. Can those guys actually hear anything anymore?!

Mark.Wood said...

Hi girls / Lads. Firstly its nice to have chance to make a comment on this gig. 3 Top acts, that in their day getting them all together in the same place would have been a must see. Hoping for this i persuded all the lads to buy tickets! 'Thunder' they kicked it off,seen them doing this all before in the 90's, love them for the fact they do exactly what you should do with twin guitars. bass, driving drums and (still)top note vocals,Simple British bluesy rock. They only suffered from the 'Warm up group' sound set up and levels.Whitesnake, We all have our line ups we cherish, mine included messers Sykes and Aldridge! As for DC singing well at previous gigs this conflict with magazine reports that he can no longer do what we love him for, and thats belt out the songs with soul , not just the trademark top notes. This sadly was the case at this gig,I'm hoping the 'Snake's' just got a cold but I'm fearing the worst especially after hearing the lack lustre NEW material.The band as a whole,whilst technically gifted lacked charisma and provided too much vocal support. It was only Doug Aldridge that gave a bit of class and show to the performance in my opinion.
Def Leppard: Been a big fan of these guys from the Pyromania album. Didnt get to see them when they were at their peak so this is the first time i've seen them in the flesh. The songs were tight, punchy and so well exicuted you would have no problems watching this gig on a DVD, top act of the night for me. NOW heres the thing the sound! Like all the other contributors i've been to many gigs, come away ears ringing but happy! NOT this one, far too much bass. It drowned any sort of clarity from the vocals and wiped out the guitars.(Better with fingers in ears) We all knew it in the crowd so why didnt the sound guys? This turned the gig sour for me, and i witnessed plenty of people in the standing area walk because of the awful sound quality by the stage. Spoilt it to be honest.