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Wiltern Theatre, Los Angeles, California, USA
February 14, 2004

Silver Tongue
Woman From Tokyo
I Got Your Number
Strange Kind of Woman
Knocking At Your Back Door
Contact Lost
Well Dressed Guitar
House Of Pain (with Michael Bradford on guitar, Beth Hart on backing vocals)
Keyboard Solo
Perfect Strangers
Highway Star
Maybe I'm A Leo
Pictures Of Home
Never Before
When a Blind Man Cries
Space Truckin'
Smoke On The Water

Speed King (w/High School Hop)
Hush (with Michael Bradford on guitar)

The St. Valentine's Day Massacre is what a live album (be it official or bootleg) should be called if is released of Deep Purple's performance on Valentine's Night, 2004. The band was in precision form and literally rocked the very foundations of the Wiltern LG Theatre. At several points in the set, it felt like the entire balcony was rumbling and swaying with the motions of the fans.
The band opened with a snarling rendition of Silver Tongue. Arguably one of the better songs from the new album, it set the stage for a ferocious performance lasting a little over two hours. Of course the crowd really came alive when the familar riff of Woman From Tokyo began.
Ian Gillan was in masterful form, in his zen-like white pajamas outfit and barefoot. IG saw over the proceedings like a master balladeer. After Woman, he let the crowd know how things were going to go down for the performance.
In all, Purple played five tracks from Bananas. House of Pain, I Got Your Number, Silver Tongue, Bananas and Contact Lost. Some of those in the crowd less familiar with the new material still got into the new vibe of the material from Bananas. The thing I found most interesting about these performances was how bang on they were to the album. You would have thought they had been performing these tracks in their live set for 30 years. Bananas in particular was amazing, with its odd time signature.
Producer Michael Bradford joined the band on second guitar for House of Pain. Also making an appearance on backing vocals was Beth Hart, who belted out the chorus and shook what her mama gave her like there was no tomorrow. This was quite a welcome distraction. :)
Contact Lost was introduced by IG with a poignant reflection of how the band felt when they were recording the album and heard the tragic news of the Columbia disaster. Contact segued into an absolutely thunderous Well Dressed Guitar. Even knowing the song from live albums, but having never seen this performed live in person, I was amazed watching Steve Morse's fretboard frenzy.
The Bananas songs were so strong in a live setting, I wished that they would have played more material from it. Razzle Dazzle, Picture of Innocence, Doing it Tonight and even Haunted would have been welcome in the set.
After blowing the entire crowd away with SM's guitar solo, it was Don Airey's turn. Now being a two-decade-plus Purple fanatic, I hope I am not commiting blasphemy against our (Jon) Lord when I say it almost seems like Don has been playing with the band for decades. His playful solo incorporated the Simpsons and a thunderous rendition of the Star Wars main titles, complete with a Death Star "explosion." This led the band into a monstrous version of Perfect Strangers.
It was nice to see the band out of the classic rock/greatest hits mode and sneak in some material not around for a while. Seeing them pound out Knocking at Your Back Door was quite a treat. Unfortunately no material from Purpendicular or Abandon made the set.
When the big screen time travel sequence began for the track by track performance of Machine Head, the crowd erupted. Hearing Pictures of Home and Maybe I'm a Leo was beyond a breath of fresh air. The guys snuck in the Machine Head outtake, When a Blind Man Cries after finishing up side one. The rendition was so passionate and stirring, it left the crowd momentarilly silent after the last note.
Side two of MH was played backwards. Space Truckin, Lazy and Smoke. Of cource the place went nuts for Smoke. Since their mainstay encores had already been played, I was trying to figure out what they would close with. A white hot rendition of Speed King was followed up by a return appearance by Michael Bradford, for Hush. MB layed down a funky wah pedal solo that even had SM stop to watch.
Having seen them live before and hearing countless recordings of their live sets, I have to say this was the best I have seen or heard the band. The only two things I sort of missed were Steve's high octane intro to Highway Star and the Purpendicular Waltz.
The Wiltern holds around 1600 people. They recently renovated the interior and gutted the seats on the floor, making for a great European style general admission audience. The hardcore fans were lucky enough to be able to get right up close to the band. I had an enjoyabe conversation with a lady named Tammy, who got a kick out of the fact that she was a bit older than me and that I liked the band as much as I did. The crowd was one of the more interesting ones I have seen at one of their gigs. The demographic skewed a bit older, but it was great to see a large contingent of 13-17-year-olds (and even some younger kids) getting into the Purple sound.
It would be like preaching to the choir to say you have to see this tour. It was also be news if the band wasn't as tight as a Swiss watch. It was an absolute pleasure though to see how much fun the guys were having. Since Bananas was recorded in Los Angeles, it must have almost felt like a homecoming show for them. I am glad I was able to take part in their celebration.
Rick Sebastian

They just keep on going......
I'm writing this just after midnight, and I just got home from seeing Deep Purple once again. The Wiltern is a smaller venue, and I had great seats in the first row balcony.
Some genius thought taking the floor sets out for standing room only was a good idea. I tried that once at the House of Blues tour, and it's just too crowded that way.
The set list is the same as earlier shows, and everyone I talked to was thrilled at seeing the entire Machine Head album performed.
GIllan was incredibly animated during this show, and the entire band was having such a good time. It was so clear on their faces and in the performances. I remember the same from the last tour.
Unfortunately, the sound was way too loud, and no I'm not complaining because I'm getting older. The Wiltern holds perhaps 3,000, and the volume switches seemed to be set on 'Arena'. On half the songs, I couldn't hear Gillan clearly at all, and Paice's drums seemed to fade in and out. I saw him hit the cymbals, but couldn't hear them. I only heard Morse and Don consistently, and it is truly sad that the sound was so off. Did they even do a sound check? This ruined what could have been a great show. With all the advances in music technology, you would think a clean sounding concert would be easy to achieve. I'm sorry I am sounding kind of negative, but when you spend good money, you deserve every penny's worth.
Prior to the show, a shadowy figure in the parking garage asked me if I had a spare ticket, and this guy sure looked like Rod Evans. If it was, I would have kicked him in the nuts and demanded my money back for that awful bogus tour of 1980. [Please go easy on Rod, he's an endangered species and we really need his phone number. Anyone? Rasmus]
Mark Bustamante

I just found your site yesterday and thought you might like to hear how the Wiltern Febuary 14th show went. [Are you kidding? Rasmus]
Me and a friend of mine had seats in the upper mezzanine area. The Wiltern is a small enough theatre where all the seats are pretty good. We arrived at 8:10, missing Thin Lizzy's first couple of songs, which was no great loss to me. The kindest thing I can say about that band is that the drummer is awesome! They played The boys are back in town for their closer which was at about 8:45.
The crew took about a half hour or so to to set up Deep Purple's gear. The band came out to play at 9:15 and really blew the place apart. The sound was great and Gillan was in top form screaming into the microphone.
Keyboardist Don Airey excellent - Jon Lord would have been proud. Maybe. Don is a fine an astute keys player. He proves this with the current lineup.
On House of Pain the band was joined onstage by the producer for the latest album, Bananas, Michael Bradford on guitar and Beth Hart on backing vocals. It was great!
One part of the show was a countdown from 2004 to 1972 on a movie screen. They played the key songs from the classic Machine Head album. Wow!
Roger Glover did a couple of cool bass solos. Ian Paice had a drum solo in Space Truckin'. He's still a powerful drummer!
For Hush they brought Michael out again to play and he and Steve Morse had a little guitar duel that was pretty fine! And Steve Morse man, he is an excellent axe player! On songs like Lazy, Pictures and Highway Star he shone brightly! I don't care that Blackmore's not with them any more. He was a great guitarist, but sometimes I wondered if he had fun. Morse is excellent. I've seen him play solo and he can play anything he wants to. And he really enjoys the music. You can see that.
And I think that about sums up Deep Purple for this great show. There's a certain chemistry among the band. They have a good time playing together, you can tell. The musicianship at this show was amazing, which kept the songs interesting! I would gladly see them again!
Joe Mastro

The Los Angeles show at the Wiltern Theater was an amazing performance from the members of Deep Purple. The energy level from the crowd was electric with just about a sold out crowd of around 3,000.
From the opening number of Silver Tongue right into the Machine Head set with the backdrop covers of the album it was amazing.
Michael Bradford and Beth Hart came to the stage to jam on House of Pain.
Then for the encores of first Speed King which rocked the house and then Hush. Out comes Michael Bradford to join the band again on Hush. It was a great night all around. Don Airey has a done a great job replacing the Babe Ruth of keyboard players Jon Lord. The mix was such a pleasure to listen to. Great night all around. It is just great to see this band playing with such energy and intensity at this point in time.
Tommy Fiore

On Ian Gillan and Roger Glover's "Accidentally On Purpose" album there's an atmospheric number titled, "She Took My Breath Away": that pretty much sums up this show.
This show flat out kicked some serious ass! Whew!
House of Pain with Michael Bradford and Beth Hart! Was Michael slapping a six string bass or was I just imagining things?
I'm not a big fan of them doing the whole of "Machine Head" thing, but on this night it worked like a charm. The passion and intensity put into these old numbers was sublime.
I saw the show in San Francisco and thought that was fantastic, however, LA wins this hands down. Even Thin Lizzy was in a playful, flirty (John Sykes) mood soaking up some great vibe coming from this generous LA crowd.
I thank you Mr. Gillan, Glover, Paice, Morse and Airey! Fantastic!
Victor Martinez


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