Regent Theatre, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
April 24, 2004
Woman From Tokyo
I Got Your Number
Strange Kind Of Woman
Knocking At Your Back Door
Contact Lost (very touching moment)
Steve Morse's solo
Well Dressed Guitar
Don Airey's solo (incl Star Wars theme and Waltzing Matilda)
Lazy (incl drum solo)
When A Blind Man Cries
Smoke On The Water (this brought the house down - again)
Hit The Road Jack
Wow! Like a good bottle of wine, they just keep getting better.
Last night was the fourth time I have seen Deep Purple live in Melbourne since
1984 and I walked away after the show in awe of five masters of their respective
They played much the same set as the Sydney shows and each of the songs worked
Welcome Don to the DP family and congratulations not only on filling Jon's shoes
but bringing a new dynamic to the band. It was great to see the guys thoroughly
enjoying themselves and working off each other.
I think Ian's voice was the strongest out of all the four concerts I have seen,
managing to get through the duals with Steve and the screams that he is legendary
for without breaking.
He sat cross legged at the front of the stage to introduce Contact Lost. After
hearing the background to this tune you listen to it in a whole new light.
Steve Morse is such a fine technician, when he played his solos I got chills
up my spine.
If you haven't yet seen DP live, just do it, it is an experience you will never
One could start by praising the promoters for their choice of
venue. The Regent Theatre built back in 1929 stands as a classic monument, and
who better to perform in such a place other than the original hard rock masters
DP, which have stood the test of time, and show no signs of slowing down. Promoted
as an "Up Close And Personal Tour", performing at smaller venues like
the Lyric and Regent theatres appears to have been a huge success.
Not knowing if there would be more than one Melbourne concert and not wanting
to miss out - the Regent Theatre only seats 2200 people - I gladly paid the
additional $50 through Visa Preferred Seating to secure decent "A Reserve"
seats. Happy with this decision, I ended up sitting ten rows from the front,
slightly left of centre. The rest was history in the making.
What a fantastic concert, both visually and aurally.
Gillan's voice was in great form, with Airey's replacement to Jon Lord an unmistakeable
choice. During Don Airey's solo, the seats were vibrating from the awsome depth
of sound coming through the PA's. They all played well, but apparent most of
all was the feeling one got, that the band was on a high from the crowds responce,
who showed great appreciation towards the band. The last three or four numbers
kept the crowd standing and rocking in appreciation to the band's awsome performance
and determination to what they do best.
I started following DP back in 1973, and I think they sound just as good now,
if not better. The only thing missing from the concert, was maybe a couple of
more songs from Bananas, such as House of Pain and Haunted, but I can live with
that, as you can't please everyone.
It would be great if they produce a live DVD somewhere along the Bananas world
tour to capture this moment in the band's history.
Most of all, I hope they keep writing new material, and with that, they tour
again, including downunder, and show the world they are one of the greatest
rock bands to ever exist, as once they stop, no band will ever be able to replace
or replicate these masters.
It's a road trip this time. Drove from Sydney to Melbourne yesterday
to see Deep Purple play their first Melbourne concert. It's been a long couple
of days. The road trip took 10 hours each way. On the way down I listened to
The Corrs [What?! Rasmus], In Rock, Bananas, Bananas in Dusseldorf, The
Whitlams, Led Zeppelin and Major Impact 2.
Melbourians have a (well earned) reputation as the best sporting crowd in the
nation. To that crown I think they can now add the premier DP audience. It was
good to see the crowd really enjoy the show and why wouldn't they. This band
is hot, the set-list is very well thought out and the playing (especially the
singing) was exquisite. The thing about going to a rock concert is the more
the crowd puts into it the more the crowd gets out of it as the band feeds off
the energy, In fact, Ian welcomed us to the band as the 6th member (all 2,000
I saw the show with Trevor and Christine from Adelaide and Dean and Errol from
Melbourne. To be Up Close And Personal in sixth row seeing such a fantastic
band put on such a great show - and share it with your mates was very special.
Whilst I have never understood why they play Hush (as IG and RG never played
on the single), tonight's version was an absolute corker. Don's solo was really
The other highlights were Ian's drum solo, Steve's playing (especially in Contact
Lost and Bananas), Roger's solid work throughout the night (and I managed to
get a plectrum for my daughter). Don really seemed to enjoy himself tonight
(more so than the three Sydney shows) but the true highlight was Ian's singing.
IG, what a superstar, your vocals last night were the best I have ever heard
in six tours downunder (four with DP and two with Gillan). Simply amazing.
If DP are visiting a town anywhere near you do yourself a bit favour, go and
see them. Better still, take a few mates with you, you'll have a great time
seeing a band that is truly shining with a great set-list, great playing and
the band is having fun. And you will too.
Pulling into the driveway tonight the intro to Woman from Tokyo started on the
radio (WSFM). A great end to a special weekend. Never a word, a word so true.
The fifth or sixth time I have seen Purple since 1975 and without
a doubt, the best.
An inspired choice of venue - the Regent Theatre is a magnificent confection
of a place and allowed us to really get Up Close & Personal.
For those of us who were upstairs, we were able to use the side balconies to
jump around and generally go off, whilst getting closer to the band.
An inspired choice of support act - Billy Thorpe singing and playing as well
as ever. (Just like being back at the Music Bowl in 1970, Thorpie!) But I could
have listened to Thorpie for another hour or so - the DP boys were waiting to
lift us out of our current lives and transport us to a special place where they
turned it on for 2,000 of their special mates. At least that's what it felt
like. This was a band in their prime who for two magical
hours wrapped us up in their world.
Highlights? Heaps! What shone through was the musicianship, the craft that was
on display. Peerless!
From Paicey's solo to Steve's moving Contact Lost /WDG to Don's beautiful keyboard
work to Gillan's incredible voice to Roger's bass that glued it all together
it was sensational.
The new stuff, which I admit to not having heard before, was fabulous! I'll
have the album by the weekend.
Personal choices? Wonderful to hear Knocking At Your Back Door again and played
in such a relentless way - it chugged along! Perfect Strangers I loved as I
did Lazy, Highway Star and Woman from Tokyo. Regrets? Fireball - the first DP
album I ever bought and only the second ever. (The first was a Creedence, by
Suggestions? (I'll get hanged for this!) Drop Strange Kind of Woman - I reckon
it's had its day; and get Hush out of the encores.
By the time they got to Space Truckin' I was literally off in a world of my
own, so much so that I actually forgot they would play Smoke on the Water! Mate,
when Steve launched into it, the adrenalin rush was incredible. All of us on
the balcony went ape-droppings! [Huh?! Ape-droppings? Rasmus]
The energy coming out of the audience was wonderful but I can't help but be
puzzled why almost all the crowd upstairs sat down for most of the night and
really only got up for Smoke and the encores. All of our arm waving and cries
of"Get off your arses!" were to no avail and most of you all kept
sitting. Very puzzling!
As fantastic as the concert was, the three of us had a bigger thrill - we wandered
around the block, found the stage door and walked into a room with 20 or so
other people. We all then went into the Green Room and met four-fifths of the
band. I wish I had met Paicey! As a part-time drummer, Ian P. has always been
an inspiration. When I was 14 in 1970, all I ever wanted to be was Ian Paice.
Now at 48, all I ever want to be is Ian Paice.
We came away from our DP experience with autographed tickets and t-shirts, but
more importantly, a reaffirmation of the power and impact of music that is meaningful,
that speaks directly to our life experiences.
Every so often, life throws us a magical experience that long stays in the memory.
This was such an occasion.
I attended the show at the Regent Theatre
last night. I initially thought ticket prices were a bit steep, but in hind-sight,
worth every cent. What a show! These guys really know how to rock.
The thing that strikes me the most about Ian, Roger, Steve, Ian and Don is that
they genuinely appear to be having a whale of a time up there on stage and this
projects so powerfully to the audience. There were many highlights and here's
just a few.
I loved the tracks from Bananas. When I first bought the album back in October
I was really hoping Purple would grace Australian stages again on this world
tour so I could hear these new songs live (particularly I Got Your Number and
Bananas) - I was not disappointed. These songs seem to sit so naturally along
side the older ones. Contact Lost - what can I say that wasn't already expressed
so beautifully by Steve's strings. This song has to be heard live to be believed.
I was hoping to hear Doing It Tonight as I saw it on the set list from some
previous nights, but they didn't play it. Never mind.
My friend Andy and I love Ian Gillanisms and were treated last night. The highlight
being when he introduced Strange Kind Of Woman as a song about an ex-girlfriend.
His story was that he arrived home one night and found her in the refrigerator.
I love that stuff. [Careful, it might be illegal in some states -it's certainly
painful everywhere! ;^) Rasmus]
Perfect Strangers is such a powerful song. They performed it with such energy
Space Truckin' was a real treat. I'd never heard this song live before. They
did it justice in every way.
Now to the band members:
Ian Gillan - I love him. I was in awe of the man's vocal ability. I saw Deep
Purple in 1999 and 2001 and think his voice has gotten better. Truly a rock
Roger Glover - The man is a machine. He just stands to stage left and hammers
that bass guitar for two hours solid without a break. Drives the band rhythmically.
Ian Paice - Thoroughly enjoyed his drum solo. It probably went for longer than
the last couple of tours but that was good. The man strikes me as being very
Steve Morse - Another machine with fingers of steel. I know this will be a dagger
in the heart to many but he leaves Blackmore for dead. Steve plays with such
grace and feeling that I have never experienced listening to Ritchie play. Steve
has really brought something to this band that seems to being growing with every
Don Airey - This was the first time I have heard Don play live with Deep Purple
and I was very impressed. He is obviously a professional. Really enjoyed his
solos. I am a keyboard player myself and an avid Jon Lord fan. I was heartbroken
when he retired and thought no-one could ever replace him. I do feel for Don
Airey having to fill those shoes, but he is doing most admirably.
One thing I will say is that Jon Lord has a predominant bluesy Hammond sound,
which is what I love and what most Deep Purple fans have come to love, however
that is not quite there with Don, but I'll get used to it as I have no intention
of giving this band away.
Overall an amazing experience and one that I will not forget.
In closing I would like to send a personal message to the band:
Dear Deep Purple,
Please, please, please just keep doing what you're doing and don't ever stop.
Just got home from the greatest gig/concert I've ever seen!
I saw the lads on the 1999 Total Abandon tour and the 2001 tour as well. Having
seen DP at the bigger venue twice (Rod Laver Arena), I can honestly say this
smaller venue (Regent Theatre) was even better. Gladly paying the extra $31
to get better seats (8th row). First up Billy Thorpe was amazing as a support
band. They played an hour of great music. Many bands would be ashamed to follow
them. Deep Purple are not one of those bands!
I have no idea how in his 59th year IG seems to be singing so superbly! He didn't
hit a flat note or crack at all at any stage in any song. And this was his fifth
gig in six nights! It was a stunning display of vocal gymnastics, wit, joy and
fan respect - even inviting a gleeful (male) fan up on stage to shake his hand
and give SM a kiss on the side of the head.
Ian Paice is a freak. The greatest rock drummer that ever drew breath continues
to inspire another generation of fans. My hat is off to you Paicey. (I loved
his DVD, 'Not for the Pros')
Roger Glover (a personal hero as I am a bass player myself) continues to amaze
and inspire into his 59th year also! Has this man ever play a false note or
out of time - or done anything wrong ever? [He might have walked a red light
once ... Rasmus]
New boy Don Airey was a master technician and seemed to thoroughly enjoy his
role in the line-up. Nice touch adding Waltzing Matilda to his solo also. As
the only man to play in Whitesnake (session work), Rainbow and Deep Purple,
this man deserves the greatest praise. I used to call him the second best rock
keyboard player ever, now I just call him Sir! The only downside was a lack
of video screen so we could see his hands..
And Steve Morse... Well, the friend I went with said the Contact Lost/WDGuitar
combo was the best thing he had ever witnessed live and I decided that I had
to agree with him. The tone, power, control and energy both used and given surely
must rank him among the elite rock musicans of all time. I have seen him three
times and never once have I thought 'I wish Ritchie was here'. That is amazing
considering I love RB. What SM brings to the band cannot be defined. Quite simply,
I doubt the band would exist had they not found him in 1994.
The concert was the perfect volume, clarity and mix of old and new songs (wishing
for Pictures of Home is just being greedy).
Did I mention being eight rows from the front? Did I mention that I snuck forward
and Steve Morse shook my hand? Did I mention the yellow Ernie Ball 'Steve Morse'
guitar pick I jumped for and caught in my right hand at the end? Did I mention
that my friend and I made eye contact with SM, IG and DA? These things could
not have happened 50 rows back in a stadium.
To look around and see a 16-year-old girl dancing her butt off and a 10-year-old
boy singing along to Highway Star and was a beautiful thing to behold.
This was the greatest band ever, playing the greatest music ever, by (among)
the greatest musicians ever. I asked myself if Led Zeppelin had toured (with
a living drummer) [Preferrably! Rasmus] what would they sound like? Then
I started laughing when I remembered they were terrible live to begin with,
let alone as fat, old has beens. No no no - there is only one greatest band
of all time - and that band was seen by me this very evening - and that band
is Deep Purple. I'm so pleased RG has informed us he will retire in 2048!
Here endeth the lesson.
By the way, I am still shaking my head in awe at how amazing they still are
Going Bananas - The Regent Theatre, Melbourne was looking more
like a tropical plantation in far north Queensland with its stage backdrop of
banana palms. Deep Purple had returned to feed the hungry Melbourne crowd with
a feast of delights off their current album, Bananas.
Opening the first show on April 24th, a barefooted Ian Gillan (vocals) hopped
back and forth swinging arms to the heat of the enduring rock beat provided
by Ian Paice.
Surprisingly, a few songs from the album missing on the night, but from Perfect
Strangers onward we realized that fruit was just the entrée and the banquet
had really begun!
Steve Morse has now established his presence in the legendary band and commands
his own place on the stage with the ever-youthful, Roger Glover setting the
pace for the younger guitarist.
Don Airey brought a Hush to the theatre with undoubtedly the best performance
ever of that Deep Purple '68 classic. (Ian Paice being the only original member
left to confirm that). These rock legends just keep getting better. I can't
wait to see what they serve for dessert!
So they kept the vibe alive, by playing, and tearing it up in
Japan, Singapore, South Korea, China, and Australia and beyond, as they don't
want to stop. And I am told why stop when you are this good live, maybe the
best they have been in years. They have played at the best place around, and
while the SMOKE ON THE WATER' never clears, a theatre of 2500 would debate
the merits of each version they have formed.
Mick Harris - read Mick's
What a great pleasure it was to walk up the steps of the Regent
Theatre in Melbourne on a cold Saturday night knowing that inside awaited a
top line show. When the lights dimmed, people who were standing and talking
quickly focussed on the stage. A buzz went through the place. When the lights
went on and the guys walked on stage the crowd went off - big time.
It was great to see folks of all ages there. I spoke to a woman in the foyer
and she was bringing her 10-year-old son to his first rock concert. She said,
He might as well see the best to start with. Funny, I had the same
experience with my son, his first concert was DP in Melbourne 2001.
Ian Gillan was the consumate performer on the night. His banter between songs
was very entertaining and he showed us the bands appreciation of the buzz
they were getting onstage. Everyone was having the best time. I just wish Ian
Paice had launched a drumstick 20 foot straight down the middle. It would be
on my wall right now!
The backdrop and ligh show was spectacular. Up close and personal - fantastic!
Finally I would like to congratulate the band for their stellar performance
in keeping such a great sound over the years and also their support to us (the
fans) for touring regularly to Australia. They know they are very welcome to