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Joe Geesin's view from stage right...
Manchester Apollo, 1 June 2006
This hastily rearranged date (from 30th May, due to illness) was still pretty packed with an enthusiastic crowd of all ages. And despite singer Coverdale's illness, he still put on a good show; a couple of times the vocals went and you couldn't tell if it was his voice or technical trouble but still 100% effort. And the man looked good in his original brown mane; gone are the highlights!
The band appeared with an almighty roar and we were treated to an extended version of Deep Purple's Burn, a storming number that went down well, but a little too much of the keyboard lines were handled by guitar (the American Shred approach) and what keyboard there was, was lost in the mix somewhat.
The sound did improve and an excellent take on Side It In followed, which finished with a thanks and apology from Coverdale. Definitely in his favour is crowd interaction, onstage movement, total effort.
Love Ain't No Stranger, Walking In The Shadow, Lovehunter and Slow'n'Easy all gave a welcome emphasis on the earlier material (good job too, in light of the recent excellent remasters), and some more chat from Coverdale.
Is This Love was next, and we got the feeling we were getting the more anthemic songs, so crowd singing could rest Coverdale's voice, but the music was excellent all the same and the crowd responded with arms raised, the works.
Ready An' Willing finished with a guitar solo from Doug Aldrich, kicking off with shred aplenty before throwing the guitar in the air.
A highlight of the show was Crying In The Rain, during which we got a drum solo from Tommy Aldridge, largely played with his fists at a rate of knots. Mad but great fun.
David then took time to introduce the band, including the aforementioned Aldrich and Aldridge, along with guitarist Reb Beach, pianist Timothy Drury and bassist Uriah Duffy.
The first note of Ain't No Love In The Heart Of The City nearly brought the house down, an old blues song Coverdale's made his own, before we were treated to the hit singes Give Me All Your Love and Here I Go Again.
A short encore of Take Me With You (damn good live) and Still Of The Night were as electric as the light show, before the band bowed and departed. Only Coverdale remained, single spotlight, for an excellent solo vocal of Soldier Of Fortune.
David appeared to relish being on stage, supported by an equally enthusiastic and energetic band and audience. Illness and reschedule aside, it was definitely worth the effort. Thoroughly enjoyable, a near perfect (if short) setlist and, considering the situation, a spot on performance too.
Set List -
Burn/Stormbringer - Slide It In - Love Ain't No Stranger - Walking In The Shadow of the Blues/Love Hunter medley - Is This Love - Ready and Willing - Blues for Mylene - Snake Dance - Crying In The Rain - Ain't No Love In The Heart Of The City - Give Me All Your Love Tonight - Here I Go Again
Encores: Take Me With You - Still Of The Night - Soldier of Fortune
Review by Joe Geesin
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