North America reviews
Massey Hall, Toronto, Canada
February 26, 2004
Who says you can't celebrate Christmas in February? As a loyal
Purple fan for the last 33 years I just experienced the best present anyone
could ask for.
Not only was I lucky enough to get tickets and backstage passes for their sold
out show at Toronto's Massey Hall. My son and I were also fortunate to attend
a "meet and greet" afternoon seasion with Ian Paice at a local music
store. To top it off, the next day, we attended a taping of a local talkshow
which featured Purple performing two songs as well as a Paicey interview.
The "meet and greet" was a drummers dream (both my son and
I are drummers). Here we were with about 50 other fanatics just mere inches
from our idol shooting the breeze about this and that. Ian's intent was to keep
it as informal as possible, fielding questions, signing various items and having
lots of pictures taken. He also gave us an up close and personal demonstration
on the snare (the store provided him with a copy of his signature series snare).
The session lasted about two hours, afterwards Ian was gracious enough to have
his picture taken with my son and I in front of my car (my license plates read
DPPURPLE). He is a true gentleman. Thanks Ian for a wonderful afternoon. What
a way to start off our Purple experience.
Now to the concert. In a word, fantastic. The band has never sounded
so good and the venue was just right. A somewhat intimate Massey Hall which
holds about 2500 people,was jammed to the rafters with fans of all ages. The
set list was much the same as previous shows, and I would just like to add that
the new stuff from Bananas holds up very well along side the classics.
I was very saddend when Jon left but I must tip my hat to Don, not only is he
a worthy replacement but has given the band a tremendous energy, just like Steve
did when he joined. The Machine Head segment was fantastic, to hear the entire
album played note for note was awesome. It was the first time I have ever heard
Never Before performed live, just magic.
After the show we went backstage for a "meet and greet" session with
the entire band. Like Paicey's afternoon appearance, this was a very low key
affair, everyone was very relaxed, signing autographs, having pictures taken
and stopping to chat. A perfect end to a perfect day.
The next morning my son and I were up and headed back into Toronto to see our
idols once more. The venue this time was a local talkshow, The Mike Bullard
Show. We were treated to two songs by the band, Highway Star and Silver
Tongue. In between, Paicey was interview by Mike Bullard. Again, this was a
great experience and as usual the band did not disappoint us, giving it their
all even although it had only been mere hours since they had performed at Massey
Hall. I was even fortunate enough to have a little on-camera banter with the
host. Great fun and a great afternoon had by all. The band looked like they
were enjoying themselves as well.
There you have it. An experience neither my son or I will never forget.
One thing I should mention, Ian told us that the band was hoping to add another
North American tour in the summer, maybe August or September, where he wants
to arrange a more formal "drum clinic". Roll on summer.
Jim Irons, Oshawa, Ontario
The Bananas material fit nicely among the time honored DP classics.
I felt it was a bold move to open the show with Silver Tongue,since there was
a chance that a fair portion of the sold-out Toronto crowd might not yet be
familiar with it. Any unfamiliarity quickly passed with the opening drum fill
of Woman From Tokyo. Ian Gillan seemed to forget the first verse,but no one
seemed to care !! He also had some microphone problems early on in the set,but
was in great voice all night.
I Got Your Number and Bananas were given powerful treatment and got great response.
The only low point of the evening was The Well-Dressed Guitar. Since it has
yet to appear on an album it should have been put aside in favor of a tune from
Purpendicular or Abandon. Both discs were sadly ignored.
The entire Machine Head presentation was well done.What a treat to hear Maybe
I'm a Leo and Never Before! Side two rocked, especially Space Truckin'!
Ian Gillan seemed almost humbled by the enthusiastic welcome and response from
With the last notes of Hush still ringing in my ears,I made my way back into
the winter chill. My only thought "What a band!"