Whitesnake’s Greensburg show is calm before the storm
For hard rockers Whitesnake, it’s the calm before the storm.
With legendary song stylist David Coverdale at the helm and guitarist/music director (and Pittsburgh native) Reb Beach as first mate, the band is ready to embark on its “Flesh and Blood World Tour.” The tour will introduce some of the songs on their new studio record, released May 10.
Whitesnake — which also features Joel Hoekstra (guitar), Michael Devin (bass), Tommy Aldridge (drums) and Michele Luppi (keyboards) — will be treating Western Pennsylvania fans to one of their first concert appearances after the album’s debut when they perform May 14 at The Palace Theatre in Greensburg.
Soon after that, it’s on the road again for the mega-platinum rock ’n’ roll band originally formed in England in 1978 by Coverdale, formerly with Deep Purple.
After the band finishes the dates on its current tour, Whitesnake will head overseas for June concert appearances in England, the Czech Republic, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, Hungary, Bulgaria and Slovakia, including a concert performance with Def Leppard in Milan.
Fox Chapel alum
Beach, meanwhile, was at home recently, taking a breather before the craziness that will comprise at least some of his summer.
Long before Beach was co-composing “Shut Up and Kiss Me” with Coverdale — slated to be Whitesnake’s first single to be released from the new album — he taught himself to play guitar while he was a student at Fox Chapel Area High School.
He said he eventually moved to New York, where he attended Berklee College of Music in the early 1980s and quickly found work as a popular studio musician. Among the performers he worked with were Roger Daltrey, The Bee Gees, Twisted Sister, Alice Cooper and Chaka Khan.
“I left Pittsburgh because I wanted to be a rock star,” he says.
He also released a solo record, “Masquerade,” in 2002, the same year he joined Coverdale’s Whitesnake as a guitarist, vocalist and songwriter.
Beach has been juggling bookings between Whitesnake and his other band, Winger, which played a sold-out show in March at Jergel’s Rhythm Grille in Warrendale.
“Until now, I’ve been able to book Winger and Whitesnake into my schedule, but it’s now becoming a problem,” he says. “Sometimes I have to pass on gigs.”
Whitesnake fans — and classic car enthusiasts — will no doubt notice a familiar detail on the new “Shut Up and Kiss Me” video that’s a throwback to the band’s iconic 1987 release, “Here I Go Again” — the return of Coverdale’s white Jaguar XJ that attracted plenty of attention from the young ladies.
Coverdale told a music magazine that the car was in storage for years, and he thought it would be cool to bring it out and show it off again. He also said the band’s latest video has a different vibe than the “intense darkness” of their last recording, “Burn.”
“We’ve got some really dark energy going on in the world right now,” he said, so the band wanted to write and record a fun song about falling in love.
“If anything, it’s ‘light snake,’ you know?”
Candy Williams is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.