The Metal Files

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Whitesnake & Whitford-St. Holmes Concert Review, San Antonio, TX, June 6, 2016

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Last night was quite a night.  I had just seen Whitesnake a year ago in Austin and I’ve never seen Whitford-St. Holmes, only Whitford with Aerosmith several times.  Whitesnake is doing a greatest hits tour and I do like them enough to continue seeing them when it’s convenient.  When Whitford-St. Holmes was announced as the opener, it made my decision to go even easier.  Especially since they added an affordable meet and greet option.

I arrived in San Antonio around 5ish, parked and found a bar to grab a drink and a bite to eat prior to the meet and greet.  The tour manager called me told me when/where to meet, which was at the backstage door at 6:30PM.  I got to that spot around 6:15 and there were about 7-8 people hanging out that I thought were all part of the meet and greet.  Come to find out, none of them were.  They were all there to try and meet Coverdale and they all knew each other.  Autograph seekers.  I asked if they were going to the show and got a resounding “hell no” from all of them.  Apparently they all just hang out before shows to see who they can meet.  One of the guys, easily 60 years old, got a call and said, “He’s about to pull up in a black SUV.”  I asked if they had a spy network and was told “yes.”

As Coverdale got out of the SUV, the security guy tried to usher him in the backstage door and he said, “Give me a minute, let me take care of these people.”  As he walked up, he said, “Just one item each, make it your best one and I’ve got to go.”  I was last and asked him to sign The Book.  “This is different,” he said.  I asked for a picture, he obliged.  I hit a wrong button and he saw the screen go black and thanks everyone and walked away.  No photo.  I was a bit bummed to not get that photo but super stoked to get him in The Book.  Immediately after that, the autograph seekers all left.  One dude walked up after and he was the only other person there for the meet and greet.  I was a bit surprised that there weren’t more.

A few moments later the tour manager escorted us through the door and into the basement to the dressing rooms area.  He stated that Brad was finishing dinner and to just hang out in the hallway until it was time.  No problem.  All of a sudden, there’s Coverdale walking by us and the guy next to me asked for a picture.  He obliged and I mentioned that the one I tried outside failed.  “Well let’s make that right, then.”  The dude took a few pics of us and I said, “Thanks, Dave.  It’s quite an honor to meet you.”  He replied very politely with, “Please call me David, alright?  It’s much better than Dave.  I don’t like that name.”  I apologized, thanked him again and called him Mr. Coverdale.  He smiled, shook my hand and said, “Enjoy the show, gents” and walked away.  Down the hall I heard one of his roadies call him “DC” and he said, “Why can’t you bloody just call me David?!”  haha.

Right after that we were escorted to the Whitford-St. Holmes dressing room.  Since there were only two of us, it made things nice and casual.  I spoke with Derek for about 10 minutes as we discussed his time in Blood of the Sun and I asked him about the time he spent in The Michael Schenker Group in 1983.  You can see some vids of him on rhythm guitar and backing vocals from that ’83 tour.  He told me some great stories and asked what I had to sign so I showed him The Book.  He was really into that thing and read the entire sections for Nugent and MSG.  I got the impression that he and The Nuge weren’t friends nowadays based on some comments he made.  I had him sign my Blood of the Sun CD and the two tickets I had, the other being for my friend, Rodney.  Derek was a super guy.

Then we switched and I got to talk to Brad for about 10 minutes.  Let me tell you, it was almost difficult to say anything as I was just humbled to even be next to that guy.  Aerosmith runs deep in my rock and roll history thanks to my brother, Robert.  I was a bit miffed that I couldn’t find my Draw the Line CD, my favorite album by them.  He, too, was interested in The Book and asked how to find one.  I told him about seeing them a few times in the late 80s/early 90s.  He was so laid back and extremely friendly.    I was really just blown away.  He signed The Book and those 2 tickets and then we did some photos.

Derek made it a point to show Brad the MSG section that he was in

They both thanked us and were escorted back out.  Reb Beach was standing on the sidewalk and I just shook his hand and said, “Have a great show tonight.”  I got him in The Book a couple of years ago in Houston.

I walked around to the front entrance, met up with Rodney, passed off his ticket and in we went.  The tour manager found me and handed me the swag bag from the meet and greet which included a copy of the latest album.  It has a bonus disc of the first album on it, too.  Whitford-St. Holmes came on right at 8PM and they sounded great.  Unfortunately they didn’t play anything from their debut album.  I was hoping to at least hear Sharpshooter.  The played a partial version of Aerosmith’s Last Child with the keyboardist on vocals.  That was my brother’s favorite track.  Then a partial version of Nugent’s Hey Baby followed by a partial version of Train Kept A-Rollin’.  They closed the show with Stranglehold.

After about a 20 minute stage change, Whitesnake came out to Bad Boys and Slide It In.  They sounded as good as they sounded last year and the backing vocals helped carry Coverdale throughout the show.  They played everything you’d expect them to play on a greatest hits tour.  I totally could have done without the guitar and bass solos and especially Tommy Aldridge’s boring ass drum solo.  Double bass, double bass, quads, quads, ohhh some triplets, more triplets.  Wait, more quads! Look, ma!  No sticks.  Hands-only solo now!  Quads with the hands!  Double bass!  Wake me when it’s over, please.  But overall the band sounded great.  It was a fun show.  Coverdale is the consummate front man.

I will say that in meeting him, it was quite intense.  He exudes so much personality and energy all the while remaining a gentleman.

The “covers” listed in the Whitesnake set were taped intros/outros, not anything performed live.

 

Aerosmith & Cheap Trick Concert Review, Austin, TX 11/16/2012

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Having just seen Cheap Trick a few months ago and having had such a great time at that show, when the second leg of Aerosmith’s Global Warming Tour was announced, I knew I had to go.  This was not a cheap show by any stretch of the imagination and I think partially because this show was sponsored by/centered around the Formula 1 (F1) race that is in Austin this weekend.  Thousands of people from around the world have come to town to watch cars go fast at a premium price.  More power to ’em, I say.

I bought 2 tickets to the show as I figured it would be pretty easy to have a friend tag a long.  For various and sundry reasons ranging from work, lies, sickness etc, it was difficult finding someone to come with.  Finally my friend’s girlfriend stepped up and came with me.  Perfect.  She’s a good friend and we’re almost related.  haha.

We walked to the Erwin Center, checked out the shirts and found our seats.  We were a little higher in the stands than I would have liked, but that’s what I got in the ticket presale.  No biggie.

Cheap Trick hit the stage promptly at 8PM to their standard opener of Hello There and went right in to Come On, Come On.  The band sounded great and Robin’s voice was crystal clear as it was a few months ago.  Brad Whitford (Aerosmith) came out and played guitar with them on Ain’t That A Shame which was super cool.  A few songs later and right after Sick Man Of Europe (great song!) they announced that they would do a Beatles song.  Steven Tyler (Aerosmith – duh) came out and split vocal duties on Golden Slumber/Carry That Weight/The End.  While I’m no Beatles fan, it’s blatantly obvious that both Cheap Trick and Aerosmith are.  It was a cool thing to see them on stage together.  They closed with I Want You To Want Me, Dream Police and Surrender.  I was hoping to hear She’s Tight again but no biggie.  Cheap Trick changes their set up every night which is quite impressive.  The crowd left a lot to be desired.  It wasn’t even half full for most of their set.  Either way, Cheap Trick sounded great again and I can’t wait to see them for a 4th time, whenever that may be.

After about a 30 minute set change, Aerosmith hits the stage with Mama Kin.  On the first leg of this tour they had been opening with Draw The Line.  Unfortunately that song fell from the setlist for this leg.  It’s my fave!  They went right in to Love In An Elevator (gag) and that was my cue to go to the bathroom.  I really dislike that era of Aerosmith in general, save for a few songs.  As my buddy put it last night, “they played the soccer mom setlist.”  No truer statement could be told.  It was cool to hear Movin’ Out and Last Child, which was my brother’s (RIP) favorite song by them.  Hearing that one definitely sent a little wave of emotion up through me.  What It Takes sounded great and that’s probably my favorite song from that era of the band.  There were a few songs from the new album played and of course they did Come Together (I detest the Beatles in general), Dude Looks like a Lady (gag),  Walk This Way (heard too many times to enjoy), Dream On and Sweet Emotion.  Right before Dream On, a piano was to rise up out of the runway portion of the stage.  It seemed as if there was a Spinal Tap moment about to happen as the piano wouldn’t move.  But it finally did and they played through the song perfectly.  While I’ve heard that song too many times in a lifetime, I still like it.

Tyler’s voice sounded great and the energy that the man has is practically unparallelled by any rock singer.  His interactions with the crowd and just overall gender bending charm are unmatched.  I think he’s a freak of nature to have done the things to his body that he has done and still be able to perform at that level.  It’s impressive.  Perry played well but I’ve always thought of Whitford being the unsung hero of that band.  That guy is a killer guitarist but gets zero credit.  Joey Kramer, as always, played flawlessly.  I love seeing him live.  Let’s not forget Tom Hamilton.  Talk about unsung.  He’s a lot like Bill Wyman in that he’s seemingly the quiet one in the band but lays down low end perfectly.  He and Joey are definitely in tune with each other as they should be after playing together for 40 years.

It was a great show and was my 3rd time seeing Aerosmith (’89 and ’93 previously).  It was also my 3rd time for Cheap Trick (’99 and ’12).

Written by The Metal Files

November 17, 2012 at 9:36 am

Tons of upcoming shows…

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Outside of the local stuff that I see every week, I’m seeing a lot of national acts coming up.
9/27 – Smashing Pumpkins – I’ve never seen them before and I like their first 2 albums quite a bit.  While I’ve not liked everything they’ve done, I’ve always like Corgan’s attitude of “my way or the highway.”

9/30 – Kreator/Accept – Two more bands that I’ve never seen.  More excited about Accept but will surely be happy to see both.  Hopefully I can get the book signed as well…and my TT Quick CD!  ;)

11/11 – Styx – Another band I haven’t seen.  No DeYoung but I’m OK with that.  Looking forward to seeing Tommy Shaw live.

11/16 – Aerosmith/Cheap Trick – Saw Aerosmith twice (89 and 93) and Cheap Trick twice (99 and 2012).  That last Cheap Trick show blew me away and Aerosmith’s recent setlist is good enough to make me see them one last time.

Written by The Metal Files

September 26, 2012 at 7:36 pm