A sunny walk through Finnieston towards the Hydro, we see a crowd walking towards the show after waiting 20 years to see the Australian Rock band CrowRead More
Glasgow was in for a big treat on Thursday night as some of the most iconic rock bands from the 1970s were due to perform in Scotlands premier live music venue, The OVO Hydro. Swedish outfit Europe and British American rock band Foreigner were supporting Whitesnake as part of their farewell tour.
Farewell shows are a common theme for bands from this time, they defined an era where rock music dominated the charts and their legacies live on to this day, but nothing lasts forever and its only a matter of time before these acts hang up their guitars for good.
Anticipation for the gig was high, with excited punters wearing Whitesnake t-shirts queueing outside the venue for what was promising to be a great night. It was a final opportunity for Scottish fans to see one of the UKs greatest rock bands perform live, with a great line of support to boot.
It was an early start with doors opening at 6pm, Europe was the first on the bill starting at preciously 6:45pm, Joey Tempest and his band gave all of us watching a hint of what was to follow, structing his funky stuff on stage, playing many of Europes classics such as Walk The Earth, Cherokee, Superstitious and of course their signature song, The Final Countdown. Joey Tempest cited Whitesnake as a major influence and was delighted that he and his band were given the opportunity to support them on the tour, Europe delivered a perfect warm up for what was to come.
Foreigner was the next act to perform, featuring many hits from their already well established catalogue in their 10 song set, Double Vision, Cold As Ice, Dirty White Boy, a formidable solo drum set by Chris Frazier and of course a personal favourite, Juke Box Hero. Like Joey Tempest beforehand, frontman Kelly Hansen was energetic throughout the set, especially during Cold as Ice he left the stage and entered the stage pit area, climbed the barrier and ran the entire width of the pit to greet everyone at the front row.
After an encore Foreigner returned and welcomed their co-founder and their only original band member Mick Jones onto the stage to play the final songs of the set, the legendary guitarist was given a big Glasgow welcome as Long Long Way From Home was played, with his bandmates jamming with him.
Kelly said to the crowd "Glasgow, I finally know what love is" as he invited his wife of 2 years on to the stage, they shared an embrace and kiss as the audience cheered, I Wanna Know What Love Is was played shortly afterwards and the gig finished off with Hot Blooded. They bowed to the rapturous audience as the set finished, a breath-taking show by the veteran rockers, they certainly "need no instructions".
My Generation From The Who was blaring from the speakers as the lights went out once more, the main headline act was about to take center stage, David Coverdale and his bandmates entered to a huge roar, Whitesnakes final Scottish show began with Bad Boys, Slide It In and Love Aint No Stranger, the whole place was jumping and the band delivering that energy and passion like they did almost 50 years ago, you wouldnt think that the act on show tonight were on the brink of retirement.
There were many changes from previous line ups, Irish born guitarist Tanya OCallaghan was brought in to replace the recently departed Michael Devin, ironically making her live debut with the band at her home country of Ireland prior to the Glasgow show. Tanya, Reb Beach and Joel Hoekstra delivered those awesome guitar riffs that the band are known for and poses to match, a memorable moment from the gig was Rob Beachs amazing guitar solo after Fool For Your Loving was played, the adrenaline was all there to see..
The night continued with Slow an Easy, Crying in the Rain followed by another fantastic solo, this time by Tommy Aldridge, the audience was left stunned, with Tommy at 71 years of age you have to wonder how was that even possible?
The band followed up with Is This Love, Give Me All Your Love and of course the song that made them, Here I Go Again, the audience were at their loudest at this point.
The night finished off with Still Of The Night and a cover of Deep Purples Burn as the gig finished. Whitesnake made their emotional farewell, bowing to a jubilant crowd, "until we meet again we wish you well" blared out of the speakers as the band left for the last time.
It was a night that lived up to the hype, with people leaving the venue blown away by the performances and feeling a sense of nostalgia. This was without a doubt up there with the absolute finest in the OVO Hydros 9 year history.
Whitesnake will continue their UK tour with Europe and Foreigner at Nottingham, London, Manchester, Birmingham and Cardiff, followed with a European tour and then supporting The Scorpions on a North American tour.
Review and photography by Stewart Fullerton.
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