Disrupting the ‘still of the night’

Whitesnake plays Huber Heights

By Allyson B. Crawford

Photo: Whitesnake founder David Coverdale will perform with Whitesnake on July 7 at the Rose Music Center; photo: Mark Weiss

 

“We have the advantage of being a sterling band,” Whitesnake bassist Michael Devin tells the Dayton City Paper. “We’ve been around a long time and have put out a lot of music. That’s advantageous because it affords us a certain amount of listeners that new bands won’t have. Audiences now are just more fickle. Even if you grew up with bands in the ’90s or after, the loyalty or allegiance to the band isn’t the same.”

The guys of Whitesnake will roll through the northern Miami Valley Tuesday, July 7, for a gig in the new Rose Music Center at The Heights. Irish rockers The Answer will provide support.

If you don’t recognize the name “Michael Devin” as part of the Whitesnake lineup, there’s good reason: He’s one of the newer members of the band. He joined five years ago, just in time to be a part of the highly regarded Forevermore album. Before joining the ’Snake, he was a member of Lynch Mob and also Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience. Still, being a member of Whitesnake is a completely different animal, especially since frontman David Coverdale is one of the most iconic voices in classic rock. Sharing a stage with Coverdale each night has presented some special opportunities.

“The sheer power of his voice is awe inspiring,” Devin says. “I’ve always aspired to be a singer—but I have chronic shyness. And David pulled that right out of me. He said, ‘There’s no time for shyness, no room for it.’ He said, ‘If you’re a singer, be a singer. Get up there and sing!’ And I didn’t have a choice. He was in my face. If I was too shy, he would come right up to me [while I was playing bass] and sing in my face. He rattled me out of that shyness. Then I started singing with a side band with musicians Brian Tichy and Doug Aldrich. I was singing lead and playing bass. I would have never been able to get to that point had it not been for Coverdale. For that, I am eternally grateful.”

Whitesnake is hitting the road this summer in support of The Purple Album, a re-imagination of David Coverdale’s work with Deep Purple.

“In the beginning we had some unwarranted reviews of the Purple Album,” Devin admits. “It was just a way to bash on Coverdale. Like how does he have the audacity to touch this music? It’s a little asinine to take personal jabs at an individual because he decides to revisit his history and put a fresh coat of paint on some old songs.”

In the end, The Purple Album ended up opening to pretty strong sales, landing at number 87 on the Billboard 200. Devin knows it’s because Whitesnake fans are a special breed.

“A Whitesnake fan, an AC/DC fan… well, they’re different,” he says. “There’s a loyalty there that doesn’t exist now for new acts.”

Devin says fans will be rewarded for their loyalty with an awesome and loud rock show. If you’re planning on heading to the show July 7, you can expect to hear a mix of classic Whitesnake tunes and tracks off of Purple.

“Our set list as it is right now is a perfect blend,” Devin says. “It’s about 60/40 Whitesnake to Purple, and the fans are able to sink their teeth into the new stuff and things they haven’t heard before… and then we hit them hard with a classic Whitesnake song.”

Those “classic” songs are all the ones that come to mind when you think Whitesnake: “Still Of The Night,” “Here I Go Again” and “Is This Love.” Perhaps most exciting is that singer David Coverdale is “singing better than ever,” according to Devin.

“Coverdale is singing his ass off,” he says. “He’s pacing himself and nailing all his notes consistently.”

It’s been a while since Whitesnake rolled through the Dayton area, but Devin has fond memories of playing Ohio. He tore through the Buckeye State, often with blues guitarist Kenny Wayne Shepherd.

“There are three places I always say are the same: the Midwest, the East Coast and Canada,” Devin says. “The fans are crazy for their hard rock!.”

Whitesnake will perform on Tuesday, July 7 at the Rose Music Center at The Heights, 6800 Executive Blvd. Irish rockers The Answer are also on the bill. The show starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are from $27.50 to $37.50. For tickets and more information, please visit rosemusiccenter.com or whitesnake.com.

 

Allyson B. Crawford lives in Springboro and writes about ’80s metal bands on her daily blogbringbackglam.com blog. You can usually find her at all sorts of metal shows around Ohio and across the country. Allyson can be reached at AllysonCrawford@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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About Allyson B. Crawford

View all posts by Allyson B. Crawford
Allyson B. Crawford lives in Kettering and writes about ’80s metal bands on her daily blog bringbackglam.com. You can usually find her at all sorts of metal shows around Ohio and across the country. Allyson can be reached at AllysonCrawford@DaytonCityPaper.com

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