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On Tuesday, August 4, legendary British bands Whitesnake and Judas Priest played SDSU's Open Air Theatre. Though I was eager to see headlining heavy-metal giants Judas Priest, I was dismissive of Whitesnake's popular but goofy power balladry.

It was a night of blown expectations.

While David Coverdale (vocalist of Whitesnake and formerly Deep Purple) and Judas Priest's members were all pushing 60, the difference in vitality between the two bands was staggering.

Coverdale's quiet stroll onto the stage was captivating, and when Whitesnake played, despite the muddy mix, the passion in the songs came through crystal clear. Frontman Coverdale proved that while he is decades removed from his last hit, he has never left his prime and will probably die with a microphone in his hand.

Judas Priest, on the other hand, despite having every advantage -- great sound, costumes, and an arena full of devoted fans -- gave an unenthusiastic performance. Technically, the musicianship was flawless, but almost every song lacked the power that made them rock stars in the first place.

Whitesnake was worth the price of admission to witness a man defy his age with charisma and his standards in tact. As for Priest, stick to the CDs of the '80s and remember the good times.

Daniel Axelrod is a cultural and self-development writer. Read more of him at http://www.wordofdan.com.

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Josh Board Aug. 20, 2009 @ 3:37 p.m.

A friend of mine moved to Lake Tahoe years ago, and always saw Coverdale dropping his kids off at the same school he was near. People would ask him about music, and he'd say he was retired from that. Good to see he got back to rockin' (and I highly recommend his Coverdale/Page CD, with Jimmy Page). One of the most underrated CDs of all-time.

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antigeekess Aug. 20, 2009 @ 8:33 p.m.

In a sudden unexpected spasm of good taste and unprecedented accuracy, Board declared:

"(and I highly recommend his Coverdale/Page CD, with Jimmy Page). One of the most underrated CDs of all-time."

I gotta second that. That CD ROCKS.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RDNw_O2rH3M

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9qYvXl0R7Lc

The only 2 official videos from that album, apparently. Neither is my favorite. The 2nd one sure is Zeppliney, though, ain't it?

Gotta love that.

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Josh Board Aug. 21, 2009 @ 1:23 a.m.

I heard that Robert Plant absolutely hated this band, claiming they were trying to be "Zeppelin".

(although, I'm sure you'll find some source anti...that has Plant claiming to love them ;-)

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