WHITESNAKE, FOREIGNER & EUROPE – 14.05.2022 – Newcastle

WHITESNAKE, FOREIGNER & EUROPE – 14.05.2022 – Newcastle

VENUE: Utilita Arena
DATE: 14.05.2022
ORGANIZER: Live Nation
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The day had finally arrived where my better half and I (and roughly eleven thousand other fans) were to witness a most impressive line-up consisting of the three inimitable and legendary acts that are Whitesnake, Foreigner, and Europe at the Utilita Arena in Newcastle. Due to what seemed like an infinitely long queue and less than impressive logistical efficiency on the part of the arena with respect to actually getting people through the doors, quite a few of us missed out on roughly half of Europe’s set, but the twenty minutes that we did get were splendid. Much to our delight, the tight and well-oiled machine delivered powerful renditions of ‘Ready or Not‘, ‘Superstitious‘ and ‘Cherokee‘. Joey Tempest’s voice was outstanding and the sound was perfectly loud and crisp. Not surprisingly, they went out in grand style with their timeless anthem ‘The Final Countdown‘ and that tune just never seems to get old.

Foreigner have crafted some of the most memorable and melodically strong compositions known to man, and tonight’s performance was a classy and vibrant affair where brilliant cuts such as ‘Double Vision‘, ‘Head Games‘, ‘Feels Like the First Time‘, ‘Urgent‘, ‘Jukebox Hero‘, and ‘Dirty White Boy‘ blew us away and made for an excellent concert experience. There was confidence and energy aplenty here, but it was the interplay between the members of the ensemble and the sheer level of passion that made it outright unforgettable. The three encores, namely ‘Long, Long Way from Home‘, ‘I Want to Know What Love Is‘, and ‘Hot Blooded‘, were a very emotional and beautiful experience in that founding member Mick Jones walked on stage and joined in. The already ecstatic crowd erupted into eupho­ria and gave him a rapturous and much-deserved applause. Another aspect worth touching on is how punchy and occasionally thunderous Foreigner sounded at the arena – truly a wonderful thing to behold. The latest incarnation of the outfit was right on the money and those immortal compositions of theirs sounded as spirited and magical as ever with ‘Cold as Ice‘ being a personal highlight of the show. Any negatives? Yeah, the second instrumental interlude, which primarily consisted of a drum solo, went on for too damn long and more inventive or musically creative things could have been done during that time instead. Overall, the band wielded AOR/melodic rock magic and it was a real treat to finally experience these gents in a live setting.

The iconic Whitesnake and the wonderful city of Newcastle have a very special relationship, and it was hardly surprising that Cover­dale and his talented cohorts gave it their all and blessed those of us in attendance with fiery and spirited renditions of such glorious anthems as ‘Slide It In‘, ‘Love Ain’t No Stranger‘, ‘Crying in the Rain‘, ‘Fool For Your Loving‘, ‘Give Me All Your Love‘, ‘Slow an’ Easy‘, and ‘Here I Go Again‘. Kicking things off with the explosive ‘Bad Boys‘ was a stroke of genius and the touching version of ‘Is This Love‘ was pure gold. The atmospheric ‘Still of the Night‘ was utterly epic and that one never fails to give me the chills – and that earth-shattering main riff in the song is simply out of this world. Speaking of chills, the highly emotional take on the heartfelt ‘Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City‘ was worth traveling from Norway to Newcastle for alone. A massive highlight for yours truly was the inclusion of ‘Hey You (You Make Me Rock)‘ from their 2019 opus Flesh and Blood with Joel Hoekstra and Reb Beach doing things on the guitars that can only be described as the stuff that kick-ass rock ‘n roll dreams are made of. Things ended on a high note with a scorching rendition of Deep Purple’s ‘Burn‘ and it was a breathtaking affair. Billed as The Farewell Tour, it was a rather melancholy thing to contemplate the fact that this may well have been the last time we witnessed this marvelous constellation of world-class musicians on stage in Newcastle, and you could tell that David was very moved by it all too. The songs and memories will live on and let us not forget that true love lasts a lifetime. Fucking amazing is what this group is!

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