Home Gigs Gig Review : Whitesnake, Foreigner, Europe, Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff, 25th May 2022.

Gig Review : Whitesnake, Foreigner, Europe, Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff, 25th May 2022.

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Review & Photography by Lindsay Smith for MPM

Walking up to the Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff on a breezy May evening I felt probably the most nervous I have ever felt prior to photographing a gig.

Whitesnake was my very first rock gig way back in the late 70’s and I have seen them countless times, but this is just a pinch me moment, to be able to photograph them especially DC himself, on the last night of their UK leg of the Farewell tour had my emotions running high.

Joining them are Europe and Foreigner, two legendary bands who know how to command an Arena and are perfect to make this special night complete.

The Motorpoint was rammed, so much anticipation in the room the temperature and excitement building as the lights dimmed and Europe took to the stage to rapturous applause and cheers.

The familiar keyboard opening of ‘Walk The Earth’ flooding out before Joey Tempest’s voice joined in and set the tone for a strong and popular set.

From their most recent, to a crowd-pleasing stunner with ‘Rock The Night’ getting the audience singing along. Turning back the time clock even further to ‘Scream of Anger’, Europe mixed the time travelling through at least 5 of their albums, the less familiar songs still settling well with the crowd.

But it was their tracks from 1986s’ “The Final Countdown’ that really hit the spot with everyone and laid down the groundwork for the next two bands.

Joey announced their headline spot at Wales’s Steelhouse Festival this summer which was met with a roof lifting cheer. Does this band ever age, nope! And I think they Joey must have discovered the ‘spring of eternal youth’ such is the power and tone of his vocals.

Carrie’ challenged the crowded arena to find enough room to get their arms up swaying along and somehow this was met as those standing swayed in unison thoroughly enjoying the songs.

How do you bring such a great 9 song set to a close, with the totally timeless “The Final Countdown’ of course! Ebbw Vale is in for a treat up the mountain this July. Get your tickets and enjoy!

Co-headliners Foreigner are another band that takes you back in time, certain songs evoking so many memories. Only one original member remains with Mick Jones and unfortunately he is unable to grace the stage with his presence tonight but would this detract from the enjoyment.

Kelly Hansen is such an amazing singer, again his voice carrying effortlessly around the Arena, opening with ‘Double Vision’ followed by ‘Head Games’ this was obviously going to be a set packed with classic Foreigner. The band are tight with Bruce Watson, Jeff Pilson and cohorts knocking out the tunes in a completely effortless manner, playing to the crowd and enjoying the full on feedback heading their way in the form of smiles and raised hands.

I don’t think there are enough words to express just how good Kelly’s voice is, the songs springing to life and he never misses a note . The charismatic frontman’s voice seemingly stronger than ever, the layers of backing vocals in “Cold As Ice’ absolutely bang on, enhanced by the Cardiff Chorus! ‘Dirty White Boy’ followed by ‘Feels Like The First Time’ kept the riffs flowing through the PA’s, the sound in Cardiff Arena is fabulous and the hard hitting melodic drumming of Chris Frazier punching you in the gut before the twinkling keys of Michael Bluestein cut through the booming low lines.

The hits kept flowing, then the lights went low, everyone knew what was coming, the days of lighters now gone replaced by the thousands of phone lights held aloft like twinkling stars on a clear night as the opening bars of ‘that’ song began.

It’s timeless, one of the most beautiful ballads sung by a distinctive voice enhanced by near on 5,000 voices. A wow moment for all. It was such a shame that Mick Jones wasn’t able to join his band as this was a really monumental occasion. Closing out with ‘Hot Blooded’ seemed very apt as the temperature in the room soared in readiness for our other headliners.

Even though this is a co-headline tour, tonight’s main event was the Farewell to the UK from one of Britain’s most iconic rock legends David Coverdale.

The lights went down, ‘My Generation’ pumped out and suddenly Whitesnake were on stage. ‘Are you ready? Here’s a song for ya!” ‘Bad Boys’ hits our ears , the solo from Joel Hoekstra soaring and filling the Arena as DC asked ‘Are you ready to rock?’

Hell Yeah…”Make Some Fuc$ing Noise’ says DC and the crowd obliged.

“Slide it In’ followed by ‘Love Ain’t No Stranger” ticked all the boxes of hits.

‘Slow and Easy’ allowed the powerful thudding low lines from Tommy and Tanya to pulse through from your feet showing why the first, and last ever ‘Snakette’ was chosen.

Tommy Aldridge on the other hand, continues to defy age with his staggering drum solo coming later in the set, sticks thrown into the crowd as he continued to pummel the skins and cymbals with his hands.

The set spanned much of their career with DC pulling out a performance which couldn’t be criticised. Hearing the blues tones in “Ain’t No Love In The Heart of the City’ enveloping your senses, taking the fervour of some of the set down to allow those in the Arena to appreciate the velvet smoothness of a man whose 50 plus years in the spotlight were coming to a close.

The Coverdale/Marsden/Moody classic “Fool For Your Loving’ then sounding as fresh in 2022 as it did in 1980.

‘Crying In The Rain’ is just an explosion of sound with the additional vocals and keys of Michele Luppi and Dino Jelusick plus the splintering riffs and hooks from the guitars show why this song is just perfect to be played in such a setting. But then another change of pace with 1987’s ‘Is This Love’ continuing the classics.

It woudn’t be a Whitesnake show without ‘Here I Go Again ‘ and ‘Still of the Night’ but then we were at the finale. The set had whizzed passed as the opening bars of the song that perhaps started this immense journey for DC, ‘Burn’ became the last one we would hear him sing live.

And it was over….

As like for so many other Whitesnake shows, the strains of ‘We Wish You well’ flooded the arena . However this time was the last time we would hear that song as the band hugged and came to the front of the stage and took their bows, saying Farewell to the Whitesnake choir.

A band that had been instrumental in my love of rock, a man whose songs became the soundtrack to so many peoples lives looked emotional as he walked off stage and the back screens Whitesnake logo faded and in that renowned northern humour, Monty Python’s ‘Always Look On The Bright Side of Life’ left us all with a smile and many, many fabulous memories.

In the immortal words of DC, ‘Be safe, be happy and don’t let anybody make you afraid’

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