Whitesnake took the stage one man down at Hellfest 2022, and Steve Vai, following his own impressive solo set, joined the band for the last song of the set, Still Of The Night.
As Whitesnake take the stage for what is promising to be their final performance in France, the band are one man down. Guitar hero Reb Beach is away with illness, so double the pressure is guitarist Joel Hoekstra.
However, it’s nothing the band can’t handle as they power through a superb set with frontman David Coverdale looking and sounding wonderful. “Well fuck me, did you see that?” Says a grinning Coverdale referring to Steve Vai’s set, “little Stevie Vai! Once a snake, always a snake”.
This really was the perfect festival set, given the circumstances. Crying In The Rain was wonderfully sandwiched between guitar/keyboard and drum solos. Joel Hoekstra performed wonderfully, holding the six-string elements down perfectly.
The run-in of Is This Love, Give Me All Your Love, and Here I Go Again was epic. This ran into the finale, when Vai, who last played with Whitesnake in 1990, joined the band for Still Of The Night.
As the song leads into the solo, a wave of disbelief and delight sweept the crowd as Steve Vai strolled on, guitar on hand, to take the solo. As a final song of the final French show, nothing could be more fitting.
The crowd went wild, and this was a wonderfully beautiful moment in time.
Whitesnake, Hellfest setlist
Bad Boys / Children of the Night
Slide It In
Love Ain’t No Stranger
Slow an’ Easy
Fool for Your Loving
Guitar and Keyboard Solos
Crying in the Rain
Is This Love
Give Me All Your Love
Here I Go Again
Still of the Night
Hellfest 2022 will be held over two weekends in June, featuring 350 artists on six stages. For more information visit www.hellfest.fr/en/
You can read all the MetalTalk Hellfest coverage at metaltalk.net/tag/hellfest-2022
This year there is also a virtual edition, Hellfest From Home. For more details visit fromhome.hellfest.fr