North America reviews
Orpheum Theatre, Vancouver, Canada
February 8, 2004
Woman From Tokyo
I Got Your Number
Strange Kind Of Woman
Knocking At Your Back Door
Well Dressed Guitar
House Of Pain
(Don Airey solo - including a lot of Rhapsody In Blue, Oh Canada, The Entertainer)
<...the lights then go out, with thunder-like sounds, spotlight strobes, video
projection starts - a montage of images from 1972 and era...
Maybe I'm A Leo
Pictures Of Home
Smoke On The Water
When A Blind Man Cries
"How was the show?", you ask. Good God, you shoulda been there!
Speaking with Roger afterwards, he said the band was galvanized by the energy
and vibe from the audience, and it certainly showed - after about the fourth
song the security finally gave up trying to control them and let everyone just
rush the stage, and it was at that point that the level of the performance went
from good to great. DP is a band that really needs a responsive audience to
evoke their best, and Vancouverians got what they were clamouring for.
The crowd remained standing for most of the show and as appreciative
of the new material as for the old; there were even some lighters held aloft
during Contact Lost in honour of the shuttle astronauts for whom the piece was
The loudest cheers were of course reserved for the old favorites - and Roger
even hauled out his original Rickenbacker bass for Lazy!
It was a very successful kickoff to the tour, according to all witnesses - even
from those folks whose arms I had been forced to twist into going (along with
effusive thanks for having done so! ;^)
Judging by the bar set by the band coming out of the starting gate, it's going
to be scary by the time they pull into New York City. This tour has all the
hallmarks of becoming legendary - you would be wise not to miss it.
The venue was a grand old theatre, home to our symphony orchestra.
A 2,800 seater which sold out in a week. Very good news since DP haven't been
in town for about 19 years!
Thin Lizzy is a band I know of but was never a fan. They opened with
Jailbreak and closed with The Boys Are Back In Town. The sound at the start
was much louder than I would have thought a warm up act would be and a bad mix
to boot. They worked out the balance somewhat over the course of the set but
it never qualified as "good". All in all I have to say Thin Lizzy
was one dimensional and uninteresting.
On to the main event. Deep Purple started off with something from the
recent set list but new as an opener. A pleasant surprise being it is a personal
The sound was still being fine turned but was a big improvement over Lizzy and
thankfully not much of an increase in volume. It's been said, if it's too loud,
you're too old! OK, I'm too old :).
The stage set is similar to the recent tours as well. Bananas on the risers
and back drop, and a purple carpet on the stage. The lights were very well done.
Not overly elaborate but well utilized.
Contrary to previous reports, the Machine Head portion is not in the middle
but comprises the second half of the set. So without giving too much away, the
main set ends with Space Truckin'.
Another note on the sound and the only real complaint on the night. They managed
to have it sounding very good a couple of songs in but then upped the volume.
Now, most of what we like about DP is the level of the musicianship, however,
at this volume level it was next to impossible to distinguish individual players.
Roger was the loudest most of the night and Paice's snare would snap through
loudly but the keyboard and guitar would only be clearly heard on occasion.
Too bad. Gillan was at a good level for pretty much the whole night and was
in very good voice.
The band were in the usual good spirits and played to the audience very well.
IG shook hands constantly during the set and waved and gestured to the upper
balcony. Steve held is guitar out to the front row a couple of times and let
a few amateurs play a note or two.
Another incident I have to note given our familiarity with IG's fondness for
the security guys. They were keeping people away from the very front of the
stage early on. Finally one guy sneaks through right to the middle front. A
couple of security descend and fairly gently urge him away up the centre aisle.
They get about 20 feet from the stage and he starts to struggle a bit more and
is joined by several other people. When it looks like it might just get ugly,
it seems IG gestures and the security let the guy run back down to the stage
where Ian gives him a handshake and a pat on the back and then the guy lets
security lead him off. Nicely handled! The crowd shortly afterward gets to surge
to the stage without incident.
Back to the set in general. About midway into the show
at the end of Perfect Strangers, a video screen lowers in front of the back
drop. A short montage of images from the early '70s play as the familiar notes
of Highway Star burble up. From here on in they is no verbal banter between
songs just a short video of images and into the next cut. The tunes are done
in order off the LP and Never Before sounds damn fine for being what many feel
is the weakest track on the album. The only time IG says anything is to introduce
When A Blind Man Cries.
The crowd were on their feet through the whole MH set
except some sat for Blind Man.
All in all a great show. I think they way the MH portion
was handled was very effective and well done. Looking forward to The Toronto
They opened with a song from their new
CD Bananas which I'm not familiar with [Oh, the shame! Rasmus].
When they played Machine Head in its entirerty it was in the order of the album,
They also did a song for the astronauts who were killed. The encore was cool
- Hush, then a very short funky, bluesy version of Hit the Road Jack, then into
Black Night. That was it.
The crowd was very excited, all night, and being sold out, the only disappointment,
was the sound. The vocals were hard to hear at times, and I could barely hear
Ian Paice on the drums most of the night. I was impressed with Don Airey the
keyboardist. He played a long solo piece - very classical sounding, then into
Oh Canada, the Canadian national anthem.
Overall I would give it 8.8 out of 10
What a night!
The first stroke of the evening was on my notepad, putting a line through the
words Highway Star as I thought I'd get a head start on the setlist. Surprise!
Silver Tongue hammered away first to a sold-out audience (about 3,000)at the
Orpheum Theatre. DP got a rousing reception and the energy level from the band
was, as usual, a sight to behold and feel from beginning to end.
The quick facts are:
* DP's 2-hour show started at 8:45 p.m. and finished at 10:45 (including the
* Each set was an hour; no break.
* The material from Bananas went over very well - a great sign because I doubt
most have heard the CD.
* Roger brought out his old, refinished Rickenbacker on Lazy. I loved the sound,
I had no complaints. But in conversation afterwards with RG, it seems I was
in the minority for the bass' sound (that is the instrument, not the player!).
He says it still needs some work.
* Throughout the Machine Head set, images from the era were displayed on a big
video screen (Vietnam, Janis Joplin, Pink Floyd, Muhammad Ali, Woodstock etc.
- highlighted by video and pictures from the casino burning down as Smoke On
The Water was chopping its merry way around the theatre).
* I think that's the closest I've heard Steve play the SOTW riff to the Machine
* Don's intro on Lazy was close to the original with a few changes.
* At the merchandise table, there were a couple of new t-shirt designs. We're
still not sure what those bananas for sale exactly are!
After close to 20 years of waiting if not more to see Deep Purple
again, Sunday's show at the Orpheum was worth every minutes wait. Not only did
my wife and I see our first concert with our 15-year-old son, but with my brother
and four friends also.
Deep Purple was worth every penny, but Thin Lizzy was quite the disappointment.
I was looking forward to seeing the Sykes lineup, but when they came on as loud
as they were I knew it wasn't going to be anything special. We were in the lower
balcony on the right hand side, and the sound trouble wasn't just too much volume.
One of the speakers kept crapping out, and it was all too noticeable. All in
all, they put in a performance that was sub-par, and when DP came on, they made
Lizzy look and sound like a garage band. The difference in everything, was like
night and day!
Deep Purple was amazing! What a show, what a professional performance!
Highlights were Lazy, Highway Star, Smoke, Knocking and Silver Tongue.
Ian G. had some trouble with the high notes particularly during Highway, and
he had a problem with a bit of feedback , but otherwise it was a tremendously
entertaining show, and we loved the video that went along with the Machine Head
part of the show.
Hush was a great encore pick, but I was wishing so bad they'd have played The
Cut Runs Deep, Fire In The Basement, Speed King, or so many others. But just
like any show, there's only so much time.
In closing, a packed Orpheum showed their appreciation, and the lads certainly
noticed. Wishing them all the best on their North American tour, and that they
will come back in the not too distant future please!
Roger Glover was wrong.
Over the years when asked why the band has not played the Pacific Northwest
in so long, he always answered that there was not enough support here. Well
last night's sold out gig and the hero's welcome proved him wrong.
This is a dream come true to have them play at the Orpheum - a beautiful theatre,
home of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. Besides, they have not played Vancouver
since they sold out the Pacific Coliseum on April 6, 1985. They also sold tickets
for a gig in Kamloops BC about five years ago, but that was cancelled without
explanation (does anyone out there know why?).
Before Purple took to the stage, our ears had been brutally assaulted by a very
average Thin Lizzy who's poor sound was stupidly loud. My wife attended
the show six months pregnant and we thought we might lose our third child! I
noticed Sykes and the boys afterwards in the wings enjoying the whole Purple
set - as my wife put it: "to watch the real men play".
Deep Purple took to the banana-clad stage in great spirits, looking fit
and relaxed. They spent the evening with big grins and giving each other the
'thumbs up' etc.
They started off with mostly "Bananas" numbers, proving that they
are current (at least everywhere except Canada and US) and I'm sure - selling
a few copies of the new album in the process. I felt like I was the only one
there who knew the new songs - but the 40-something crowd listened politely.
Squeezing in there was Woman From Tokyo as the second number, and Strange Kind
of Woman a bit later. Gillan also took time out for a dedication to their friends
in the NASA Space Shuttle crew as it has been a year since the tragedy.
Then, the screen rolled down behind Paice and Airey exclaiming "1972"
in large letters followed by event footage of that time. This was the big kick
off into the Machine Head numbers - Roger Glover's plan on America. Yes, the
whole album in order. Playing the whole of Machine Head to "classic rock"
America works.There was no more sitting in your seat for the rest of the night.
It worked marvellously! Roger Glover was Right.
On top of this, several more non-Machine Head classics made their way into the
set throughout the evening which ended with two encores.
As a Mark 2 purist, I came with doubts about the line up... but they were great.
Airey may not be Lord, but he entertained and included terrific humour into
his solos - goofy white hat aside. Gillan kept up the shrieks for the evening,
also costume changes... three of them! Has he been hanging out with Cher? Is
this the same guy that wore the same red and white polka dot shirt and white
blazer for several years and many tours during the early 70's?
WOW !! What a show!
After 21 years, I got to see Deep Purple for the first time. Thank you, Ian,
Roger, Ian, Steve, Don, this was fantastic. It truly went beyond my expectations.
First were Thin Lizzy. They started at 7:30pm right on the dot and played
for 45 minutes. I was not familiar with most of their songs, but they could
have been quite good had it not been for the horrible sound mix. Given that
they spent close to half an hour doing a sound check just before opening the
doors, I don't understand how they can get it so wrong. At first you could hear
only the drums, very very loud, and the guitars and vocals were at 10% of the
drums volume. From my point of view, lower balcony, almost center-stage, it
looked like the singer was opening his mouth but only the faintest sound would
come out. Ditto for the guitars. They got it better, gradually, and by the end
of their set, finishing with "Boys are back in town", it was almost
After another half hour setup, at 8:45pm Deep Purple started what turned
out to be a 2 hour show, encores included. Deep Purple's sound was so much better
than Thin Lizzy's, it was an astonishing contrast. In the break between Tihn
Lizzy and Deep Purple I worried that the acoustics of the Orhpeum theatre had
a lot to do with how the band would sound, but happily this was not the case.
Still I think the theatre was not a great venue sound-wise. Others have complained
that Ian's drums were not heard well, or volume was too loud, etc. From my position
things sounded balanced very well and apart from very early in the DP show you
could hear every instrument clearly, almost all the time.
As soon as DP came on, the crowd just went wild, and continued like that for
the entire two hours! I don't know this of course, but it looked like Roger
and Ian Gillan, particularly, were blown away by the enthusiastic crowd and
didn't expect everyone to be so wild from the first note. It was great.
Steve threw a lot of picks or just gave them away into eager hands, and also
a few times allowed guitar fans to shred on his guitar at opportune moments.
He shook hands quite a few times and was all smiles, as did Ian Gillan, who
grabbed his head with both hands a few times at the beginning as if to say "wow,
you guys are too much to handle" - well at least I'd like to think that
is what he meant by the gesture :-)
The new songs were received as if they are established hits. We on the balcony
would mostly be in our seats during a song (so that everyone can see DP - I
thought we were as polite as a Japanese audience ;-) ) - although still shouting,
waving, cheering, moving to the beat, etc. But then at the finish of each song
we would just erupt from our seats cheering as loudly as we could.
The band was so tight, it was unbelievable. Ian Gillan's
voice sounded great, and everyone rocked and sounded tight, consistent, but
also fresh, powerful, with an "umph", a fire in the belly, throughout
the set. I wondered how Machine Head would sound - and was blown away by it.
Maybe I'm a Leo is such a great song to play live, as are Pictures of Home and
Never Before. Thanks guys, you made it sound so fresh and fiery.
I was impressed with everyone, but given that I have not
heard Don Airey much before, I was really impressed by his playing. He manages
to create, when he wants to, a Jon Lord clone of a sound from the Hammond (and
the Leslies), and at other times to do his own thing with ease, speed and precision.
I noticed that he played mostly Jon Lord's solos for the Machine Head set (very
slight variations here and there), including the album intro to Lazy, which
was kind of cool and I liked his choice for that particular part of the show.
Steve for his own part did not follow Ritchie that closely in the solos, although
it seemed like he was making his guitar emulate the sound of a Fender Strat
with single coil pickups (you know what I am talking about) as opposed to the
somewhat fatter sound of his usual humbucker (?) pickup setup. All in all, the
1972 complete set (including When a Blind Man Cries) sounded fantastic.
Everyone just went berserk when the set finished, so the guys came back to play
Hush, a bit from Hit the Road Jack, very cool, and then Black Night. We did
the sing along "oo-oo-oo-oo.." to the Black Night riff. Cool :-)
Then it was over, though the crowd was so fired up we
wouldn't stop cheering and shouting, hoping against all odds for a second encore,
until someone put the canned music on and the house lights were turned on.
What an experience. It bettered anything I imagined it to be. Thank you so much,
guys. I have wanted to see Deep Purple for more than 20 years. It felt like
meeting a long time friend who has been in my thoughts for 20 years, that I
finally got to see and "talk" with for a while. It was so sweet, but
so short. I had to fight back my tears when I realized it was over. I hope to
see you again soon!
Being an 'old' rocker having attended the dark days of Woodstock,
much rock has passed by my ears both in quality, volume, and skill. We travel
a great deal and catch the boys everywhere we can.
Last eve's Vancouver concert was again a superb demonstration of craftsmanship
in what true unfettered rock music should be. It was a love-in from fans, some
as young as five, and older ones whom I met that were well into the eighty-something
Don Airey through talent, dedication to his craft and pure unfettered love of
rock has earned and deserves to play ivory. He fits as comfortably as the warmest
of familiar surroundings. His added touch of playing O Canada was greeted resoundingly
by the sold out crowd of 2565 fans.
A mulitiude of surprised fans commented on the approachability to the band during
their performances and on how they completely appeared to be enjoying their
visit back to Canada's West Coast. Off times they were shaking hands during
the gig, or passing out picks. Appreciative fans tossed hats onto the stage
with Airey wearing one for the final numbers.
Perhaps here is a good place to put the only sour notes of the eve. Thin
Lizzy is not needed anywhere on this tour, Nazareth perhaps, but Lizzy nah.
Sorry Liz fans but they didn't really warm anyone up. Their sound was abominable,
and no one we discussed the matter with could make out any words.
We had superb seats, dead center, front row balcony, which is about 35 feet
from the stage. Their sound was crap. During the break several of us went to
the soundman and stage manager and let them know of a very bad top end speaker
set that was shorting out on stage left. Further discussions with the crew had
that matter corrected when crossed wires and a loose connection was rectified.
From the poignant dedication to the Shuttles crew of Contact Lost off the new
Bananas album, to the old favorite Hush, through Highway Star and the long remembered
standard Smoke, Ian led the crowded house over a range of emotions.
When Deep wrapped it up, we were left with a mixed feeling. We were much sated
in the music we had just savored for two very short hours, but saddened to think
they may not be visiting the city again for another twenty years, and that would
be the tragedy.
I had the pleasure of attending the show Sunday
in Vancouver and have to agree with what was said by most of the other reviews
Thin Lizzy was brutally loud and the mix was muddy
for most of their set. Michael Lee is a pretty amazing drummer, a real basher,
in the vein of Keith Moon and Bonzo - he really shone during Bad Reputation.
John Sykes looked pretty wired, but his playing was very fluid and he certainly
possesses a lot of talent as a lead player. Scott Gorham and Randy Gregg did
their parts, but didnt really look or play like they were inspired.
From the thundering bass riff that introduced Silver Tongue,
the crowd was on their feet and provided a lot of energy for the band to feed
Roger Glover, Steve Morse and Ian Gillan were all smiles throughout the whole
concert and seemed genuinely touched by the support and response from the crowd.
The sound mix again wasnt what it should have been with Morses guitar
and Gillans vocals being lost in the mix. Overall, the most clearly heard
were Don Aireys keyboards
although a great player in his own right,
it just wasnt the Jon Lord trademark 'beast' sound. Ian Paice was steady
as a rock all night, but other than the snap of his snare and the bass drum,
nothing much seemed to rise out of the mix.
That being said, I have waited all my life to see both
of these bands and really enjoyed seeing 'real' bands put on a show the way
it used to be and is supposed to be. Now, if we can just get Black Sabbath,
UFO and a re-vitalized Van Halen out there performing, all will be right again!
Fantastic,what a great concert this truly was.
First off, Vancouver is a beautiful city and the people are very nice.
Thin Lizzy was a little too loud for proper audio. They played a fast
rocking set, which was in need of some more veriety. But as an opener they can't
do everything. I was still impressed because I just love the music.
Deep Purple have not been to this area in so long, it was nice to just
have to do a 300-mile drive when we've usually had to do 1500 miles to see the
They played a spectacular show and the crowd was wild, they never sat back down
Silver Tongue kicked things off with a tremendous groove, very good opening
number. WFT was played as well as I've ever seen. IGYN had the crowd still standing
and was played with passion. SKOW was not received as well by the crowd and
plenty had sat back down. Ian Paice did his famous sneakers in the dryer drum
roll at the end, which was a great moment for me, I love that.
Bananas had most of the sitting,back up again, but Ian didn't bring out the
harp for this one. The song was played with fury and conviction. At this point
there was some crowd activity happening. Someone was approached by security
for standing at the foot of the stage.They were trying to move the guy. Some
of his friends got into the picture and they managed to move back toward the
stage. Gillan motioned for people to move on up and so they did, the crowd was
in a frenzy and they never let up from that point.
Steve was letting lots of hands grab his axe and it was even unplugged at one
point in the show.
Things were quite crazy at around KAYBD. Lots of herbal odor and I mean lots!
My eyes are still red from it. They have no law for this in Canada so it was
much heavier than a usual show, for me anyway.
Next we have Gillan sitting down for the announcement of Contact Lost. The lights
were cool. When Steve was done it was solo time. He cooked to a hotpoint before
taking things into TWDG. There was tons of crowd participation, Steve really
had things under control and it showed.
House Of Pain was a lively version, Gillan not forgetting his harp this time.
Don Airey went through a compelling solo spot and played bits of Oh Canada,
The Simpsons and Star Wars. Then came Perfect Strangers - total chaos in the
crowd as they jammed hard with a spectacular light show to boot.. Awsome!
Then we got Machine Head in it's entirety. Highlight for me were: Intro to HS
and the film footage shown. Never Before was done album style as was most of
MH. The end of Smoke had the MIJ style drums at the end very classy. Frank Zappa
was shown on the screen, also very cool.
WABMC was done very quickly it seemed, but Gillan was fabulous! Encores Hush
and Black Night with Hit The Road Jack, Fever and some Tequila. All of this
was extremely superb.
It was a great concert wih little to no complaints. A couple of more highlights
were when my brother Jerry got the pleasure of having his tour program signed
by Ian Gillan. He and his wife were flung several picks from Steve as well.
They always get rewarded nicely by their paticipation and tonight was no exception,the
band is always good to them. There was also some great photos taken, soon they
will be up.
I've waited 30 years to see Deep Purple. The Vancouver show
at the Orpheum couldnt have been any better. The new Bananas material
sounded awesome live. Congratulations DP on another outstanding album. I thought
the Vancouver audience showed great support for all the new material.
My treat of the evening was When A Blind Man Cries. I hadnt even considered
that they might perform a song like that. Thank you very much. It was also great
to see all the young people there. That alone is evidence of how great a band
DP is that they can attract such a wide range of ages.
It looked as though DP had a great time on stage, they shook hands with so many
people and even signed some autographs before they left the stage. That personal
contact means a tremendous amount to people.
Thank you again, Deep Purple, for the incredible performance. I hope that you
continue to produce new material.