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.