review by: Avi Shaked
Thereís no denying that a Whitesnake DVD is first of all about entertainment. It is in this aspect that Live in the Still of the Night fully lives up to the expectation. Finally, one could experience the energetic David Coverdale and his flock (Iím talking about the ones onstage as well as those in the audience) in full power within the boundaries of his living room.
The director, Hamish Hamilton, does everything necessary to emphasize the showy Whitesnake live performance that rapidly shifts amongst a multitude of camera angles, almost like itís a music video. However, unlike that awful Ozzy Osbourne "Live & Loud" video, this one benefits from documenting a single show (at the Hammersmith Apollo, London) in its true form. The black and white effects are used a bit too often, but other than that, the footage definitely complements the dynamics of the band, which runs wild throughout.
As for the musical content, and here comes the real surprise (especially when considering Coverdale and drummer Tommy Aldridge are the only ones to have actually appeared on a Whitesnake album), Whitesnake is as strong and tight as ever! David Coverdale still maintains his trademark voice (not to mention his stage moves), even when he approaches his singing duties with his slick shouts, which were largely absent from his recent studio material.
Guitarist Doug Aldrich blends quite smoothly with the Whitesnake songbook, and he solos more aptly than he did when I saw him play on the recent Dio tour; he just feels like a natural part of Whitesnake. His colleague, Reb Beach, is less impressive, delivering some generic tricks on his solos.
The rhythm section blasts appropriately, while keyboardist Timothy Drury does a terrific job in keeping everything together.
The setlist features songs ranging from the landmark Deep Purple "Burn" to early Whitesnake material ("Take Me With You") and onto the late Ď80s hits and power ballads. Some of the songs, most notably "Ainít No Love in the Heart of the City," do stretch to exaggerated dimensions, but apart from that the show holds a real pleasure for Whitesnake fans.
The bonus CD that accompanies the special collectorís edition features over an hour of selected tracks off the same concert, and it is noteworthy for its sound quality, which marks it as a powerful candidate for replacing most of the bandís CD catalogue, which simply lacks a spark (and I truly hope that the newly released re-masters correct this to some extent). (9/10 for Whitesnake fans, big or small.)