It doesn’t seem too long since I saw the Journey, Whitesnake & Thunder tour at the Arena, and tonight brings another strong line up as Whitesnake return, this time co headlining with Def Leppard on this run of Arena shows.

Opening on this run are Black Star Riders, he band born when the latest incarnation of Thin Lizzy decided to write and record new material under a different name. Now onto their second album, he band have gained a lot fo respect for the way they have gone about things, and their albums have been rightly praised and seem to be doing well. On tonight’s showing its easy to see why they are doing so well, hey have a great line up of musicians with a wealth of experience in different styles and genres and great set of tunes to play. A shame not to see a bigger crowd from the start, but that built during the set and I’m sure they will have left with a few more after their set. After showcasing a few off their recent album, they finished off with a couple of Thin Lizzy classics to a rousing reception, showing again that their choice of Rick Warwick as frontman was an inspired choice.

First of the co-headliners were Whitesnake, and by the time Coverdale and Co took to the stage, the arena had nearly filled. The legendary frontman hasn’t lost any of his energy and stage presence and makes the most of the chance o throw in a few Deep Purple numbers, which tonight, stand out a bit more than the other tracks on offer. This 90 minute set, could have come from the height of heir popularity, with each of Coverdale‘s requests for the crowd to “make some fucking noise” getting a more fervent response each time and he even got some knickers thrown at him, which he then draped out of his pocket for the rest of their set. Another highlight of a very entertaining set was drummer Tommy Aldridge’s drum solo, when after throwing his sticks into the crowd, completed his solo using just his hands. The band belied their advancing years and put n a show a lot of bands half their age would struggle to keep up with. Long may it continue.

Def Leppard finally took to the stage, knocked up the volume a couple of notches and lived up to vocalist Joe Elliott’s promise of “something old and something new”. They threw a couple of songs from their upcoming album into the set and they seemed to go down well, but of course it was the classics that the crowd were here for, and they got them. The biggest cheer of the night was left for guitarist Vivian Campbell, whom Elliott introduced and “very healthy”, great news after his battles with illness over the last few years. Similar to the Whitesnake set earlier, this isn’t just an exercise in nostalgia, they still sound as good as ever and the crowd still love them for it. A lot of people have suggested that rock is dying and that there are no successors to the legacy acts currently headlining arenas and festivals, but on this form (and the likes of Iron Maiden producing one of the strongest albums of their career), these old bands don’t need replacing just yet.

Black Star Riders setlist:

All Hell Breaks Loose – Are You Ready – The Killer Instinct – Jailbreak – Bound For Glory – Soldierstown – Finest Hour – Whiskey In The Jar

Whitesnake setlist:

Burn – Bad Boys – Love Ain’t No Stranger – The Gypsy – Give Me All Your Love – Ain’t No Love In The Heart Of The City – Mistreated – You Fool No One – Drum Solo – You Fool No One: Reprise – Soldier Of Fortune – Is This Love – Fool For Your Loving – Here I Go Again – Still Of The Night

Def Leppard setlist:

Let’s Go – Animal – Undefeated – Dangerous – Love Bites – Armageddon It – Rock On – Two Steps Behind – Rocket – When Love And Hate Collide – Switch 625 – Hysteria – Let’s Get Rocked – Pour Some Sugar On Me – Rock Of Ages – Photograph

Def LeppardOfficial Website

WhitesnakeOfficial Website

Black Star RidersOfficial Website