[% META title = 'Tour Reviews' %]
Almost Human in Colorado?
For a month, it had been over 90 degrees and not a cloud in the sky. The day that DP got into Colorado Springs, they brought with them cool and cloudy weather and it stayed that way the next day for their gig at Red Rocks. The day after, it was back to sunny and HOT!
I drove like a bat out of hell to make it from Denver to the Springs in time to see Dio and his band climb onstage to open one of the best shows I've seen in a very long time. I was not very familiar with the members of Dio's band, or his music, but after he and the guys performed that night, I certainly became so. Of course I recognized a couple of the songs, but by the time they walked off stage, I was wanting more and I will definitely be buying some of their CDs.
Next was a 20 minute break from the madness that is rock and roll, and half of the audience left their seats to obtain drinks, etc. That was my chance to sneak up front to get a closer view of Deep Purple when they graced us with their presence. I made friends with a couple who were standing against the 'drunk barrier' and they invited me to watch DP from the front row, which is the only place to be if you want to receive guitar picks and friendly smiles from Steve. Being a Steve Morse fan from way back, it's always a special treat to see those fuel injected fingers blister the fretboard from only feet away.
The lights finally went down, Deep Purple made their way on stage and the crowd went absolutely wild. Many people weren't back at their seats yet so I had plenty of room to bounce! Big Ian was wearing his usual comfortable clothes and was barefoot. Roger had on one of his classic dew rags (head wraps) and Don had on jeans. Paicey was in 'comfortable wear' also and Steve had on his usual jeans, cut off t-shirt and Native American choker. All wore smiles that night.
They opened up with Ted The Mechanic. As usual, Steve's solos were flawless. Big Ian was in particularly good voice this night, possibly due to the day of rest before this show. Paicey played with his usual tenacity, and Roger played a great, very up beat solo. Don has done a wonderful job assuming the difficult role of Hammond-ist for DP. It is usually hard for fans to accept 'the new guy' in a band after many, many years of hearing someone else tow the line, but Don has made it much easier for us hard core DP fans to enjoy their music without having to re-train our ears too much. I loved the Star Wars bit!
I was so involved with watching the greatest rock band on earth play some of the best songs ever written, that I don't particularly remember the order of the setlist. I do, however, remember most of what was played...
The Well Dressed Guitar, which is a wonderful, original peice that I hope gets recorded. Perfect Strangers sounded like it always does, making the entire crowd bang their heads to the beat and the green spotlights added a bit of an eerie, medieval flare to the song. Smoke On The Water made its usual heavy impact, allowing great audience participation. Woman From Tokyo had the same effect on the crowd, sending all involved into a frenzy of singing, dancing and jumping up and down. Knocking At Your Back Door, which I had never heard live before, was excellent and reminded me of my school days.
The sound of the band itself was very good that night, even Don could be heard pretty clearly. Almost Human was impeccably performed, especially Steve's guitar work at the beginning of the song. Hush was in there, as was Fireball, Lazy and I think I remember Space Truckin'. Of course all the songs rocked the World Arena to no end.
Even before joining DP, Morse has always made eye contact with his audience, smiling at them, making each person feel like he is playing just for them. But I've noticed over the years, the rest of the band are doing that same thing more and more, which only adds to the colossal enjoyment that DP brings to their audience at all of their shows. As DP were getting ready to walk off stage after the encore of Highway Star and....? Steve unstrapped his guitar, held it up in the air, as if to worship the Gods for giving him his incredible gift, then lowered it to his lips and kissed the edge of it as he made eye contact with his adoring audience to say 'thank you and I love you all'!
I didn't stay to watch the Scorpions, for it was Deep Purple who I had travelled to see. Anyway, I got to see the Scorps play first the night after, at Red Rocks. I think it is a wonderful idea to switch the headliners every night. Neither one is thinking "We're the headliner, everyone is waiting around to see us", plus it gives us fanatics who attend more than one show the chance to see both of the bands in the spotlight.
Overall, it was the best DP concert I've ever witnessed and it will be a tough act to follow.
#1 Morse fan,
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