North America reviews
House of Blues, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
February 15, 2004
Waiting For An Alibi
Don't Believe A Word
Still In Love With You
The Boys Are Back In Town
In between set music over p.a. included:
For Those About To Rock (AC/DC)
Now I'm Here (Queen)
Hell's Bells (AC/DC)
Attack Of The Mad Axeman (Michael Schenker Group; a nice surprise)
1st set 9.00pm- 9.54pm
Woman From Tokyo
I Got Your Number
Strange Kind Of Woman
Knocking On Your Back Door
Well Dressed Guitar
Airey keys solo
Machine Head set 9.55pm-10.40pm
Maybe I'm A Leo
Pictures Of Home
When A Blind Man Cries
Airey organ solo
Smoke On The Water
Speed King incl. snippets of: Lucille, At The Hop, It's Now
A fantastic night of rock and roll here in Sin City.
Thin Lizzy (who should really be called the Sykes/Gorham Lizzy Tribute)
opened the evening with a well balanced set of favorites. The sound was excellent,
unlike reports from previous shows on this tour.
Sykes and Gorham ripped it up and their anonymous sidemen played with a fiery
zest as well. It's too bad Brian Downey and Darren Wharton aren't involved.
It could truly be called Thin Lizzy at that point, with just a replacement for
Phil Lynott, although Phil's obviously irreplacable.
I would love to hear new music from this line up, or some more obscure Lizzy
tracks like Angel Of Death and Chinatown. Heck, I'd love to see Sykes toss out
Still Of The Night just to see the crowd's reaction. Overall, a perfect opener
Deep Purple's last show in Vegas was the opening date of the Scorps/DP/Dio
triple header in May 2002. Purple stole the show that night. I'd been into the
band for quite some time, but had never seen them until then. That first show
featured "obscurities" (not for me, but to a vast majority of the
audience) like Fools and Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming that were dropped as
the tour went along. Had I witnessed the greatest hits set that tour devolved
into, I may not have been quite as thrilled. It was with much anticipation Vegas
was getting an actual headlining show this time around.
The HOB was nicely packed. Probably not a hundred percent sold out, but easily
95%. The crowd pretty much fit into the stereotypical "classic rock"
category. Not a lot of youngsters to be seen, unfortunately. The crowd's reaction
throughout the evening was unpredictable, if anything. I had a great vantage
point directly to the right of the soundboard with a clear view of the band
and the venue, although I couldn't see up into the balcony. The crowd alternated
between frenzied and heavily sedated, although not during times where you'd
predict they would be.
Set opener Silver Tongue got one of the blankest reactions I've ever seen at
any rock show, but Woman From Tokyo was greeted with a response akin to Britney
Spears stripping onstage. Conversely, Highway Star and Smoke On The Water were
given tepid responses, while Maybe I'm A Leo and Never Before got rapturous
ovations. Go figure. I was very pleased the lesser known tracks got such a great
The sound for Purple's show was excellent and Ian's voice was *perfect.* I've
read many times (even on this tour) about him having problems with his voice.
I must be blessed as the three times I've seen him (twice now with Purple and
once with Sabbath in '83), his voice has been nothing short of superb.
I Got Your Number came off fantastic in the live setting. After the quiet middle
eight when Morse sets off into a blazing solo and the bottom drops out with
a jamming Glover bassline, that was one of my highlights of the evening. Great
All of the new material was great and I wish there'd have been more. Sun Goes
Down and Never A Word would've been great additions to the set. Now that I'm
thinking about it, the first set should've been all Morse era material from
'95 to the present. Yeah...that's a great idea. ;)
When I first heard that Machine Head was going to be the featured album, I was
honestly nonplussed. I'd much rather see a complete Fireball or Who Do We Think
We Are show. (I *must* see Rat Bat Blue once in my lifetime.) After last night's
stunning performance, there was no doubt in my mind about the chosen album.
This is material that is truly as fresh now as it was back in '72. How thrilling
it was to get storming renditions of Leo, Pictures Of Home, Never Before, Blind
Man and the other classics all in one show. Music is simply not made like this
anymore. Can you imagine Linkin Park playing their debut in its entirety 30
years from now? Didn't think so.
Speed King was a great - and unexpected - encore tune. Since Black Night has
been the only song (aside from Hush) reported thus far in the encore slot, I
wasn't even thinking about Speed King. A tip of the hat to Elvis and Vegas with
It's Now Or Never was a sweet touch.
The band seemed to be genuinely having a great time and with a show this strong,
it certainly bodes well for the future. Hopefully we get a DVD out of this tour.
Don't miss it when it hits your town.
Oh, and what is that banana they were selling for 50 bucks last night?
Again the mix for Thin Lizzy is terrible. I guess their
Front Of House engineer must be tone deaf. I could not wait for Thin Lizzy to
finish their set again. They are good players and it is a shame that they have
a guy touring with them who can't mix for shit.
Again we are pumped for Purple. They hit the stage a bit after 9 PM and
open up with Silver Tongue. They play almost the same as the night before in
LA except they leave out House and Pain and there are no guests. They finish
off with Speed King and Hush. Great show once again.
I have seen Deep Purple with almost every lineup. This might have been the best
I have seen them in the Steve Morse era so far. They are a great band and even
with the loss of Jon Lord (which I was really disappointed about) Don Airey
has done a very good job of filling his shoes. As Steve had to do with Ritchie
After catching the lads in sizzling form both in San Francisco
and Los Angeles, I pushed on to Las Vegas for my third show of the tour.
The House of Blues is tucked inside a huge casino called the Mandalay Bay. Strange
indeed! The crowd was 'meek' especially compared to San Francisco and Los Angeles.
The show was great (as usual) and if I'd had no obligations at home I would
be well on my way to New Mexico now for the next show.
However, the House of Blues is a poorly designed venue. There couldn't have
been a sound engineer on this project because the sound upstairs flat out sucked!
Skip this venue next time lads.
With a great new album and a ass-kicking show I once again tip my hat to everyone
connected with Deep Purple. Thanks for three great shows!
Show review by Caught