North America 2
Cynthia Woods Pavillion, Spring, TX, USA
Aug 28, 2004
Woman From Tokyo
I Got Your Number
Strange Kind Of Woman
Contact Lost /
Steve Morse solo /
Well Dressed Guitar
Knocking At Your Back Door
Don Airey solo
Highway Star (with Paint it Black in intro)
Smoke On The Water
In short, another fantastic show from Deep Purple, performing
at the Woodlands outdoor pavillion just North of Houston.
The unique moment was the performance of Contact Lost. I'd seen them
perform it in San Antonio last February and was expecting something special
the following night when they performed in Galveston, which is South of Houston
and very close to NASA. As it turns out they didn't perform it at all and I
had speculated that they didn't think it would get the respectful attention
it deserved, since they were performing outdoors at the Galveston Mardi Gras
in front of thousands of drunk party goers. I later read an interview with Steve
Morse that confirmed that many of the NASA folks had come out for that show
but they'd cancelled the song for exactly the reasons I'd surmised.
I was really glad then that they got another chance to perform it in Houston.
After a brief introduction to the song, Ian Gillan turned the microphone over
the husband of Kalpana Chawla and the wife of the pilot. They briefly
retold the story of meeting Deep Purple in 2002, taking several Purple CD's
along on the Columbia mission and selecting Space Truckin' as a wake up song.
They also indicated that it was a great honor to have such exceptional musicians
create a tribute to their loved ones and dedicated the song to all the people
of Houston and Texas who helped in the recovery and who supported the families
ofthe astronauts. The audience burst into applause several times during their
remarks and couldn't have been more respectful during the song.
Steve gave another stunning performance of the song, but I wondered if it might
be a pressure situation even for him. If there's one time you really want to
get it right, that's it. It's difficult to cover a mistake in a slow emotional
peice like that. Gillan must have had the same thought, he came out and patted
Steve on the shoulder afterwards.
The pavillion was packed and Purple had the audience totally wound up and eating
of their hands. Given only 90 minutes,the set list was perfect. They blended
the new material into the early part of the show and then kept wratcheting things
up with the classics through the close.
Speed King was given a new introduction. As the band retook the stage for the
encore, Don Airey started playing some somber, churchy organ and Ian Gillan
began, "Dearly beloved. We are gathered here today to ROCK AND ROLL."
BAM.Right into the SK riff!
The tunes from Bananas were again fantastic and though
I'd have loved to hear more I have to admit that the general audience isn't
hearing them on radio and although they go over well they don't get the same
response as the older more familiar tunes. Even so, Ian - you do not have to
appologize for "inflicting" Bananas on us. Great song. In all fairness
Bananas had more songs in the set list (five if you count the Well Dressed Guitar)
than any other album. Machine Head was second with three and Perfect Strangers
next with two.
All in all a fabulous evening and as always I left in
awe of the sheer musical talent and stage presence of these guys.
This was the best concert experience I've had in quite a while.
Ian's voice was amazing. He was simply spot on. I honestly forgot just how good
of a front-man he is... He has never sounded better to these ears. Steve Morse
was his usual killer self, and provided this guitar player his second big treat
of the night. Satisfying my huge guitar virtuoso fix along with the always amazing
Joe Satriani earlier.
Purple has some of the best classic hard-rock songs ever written, and it's almost
too bad for them for that was obviously what the crowd came to see. You know
they really want to promote their new stuff, but what a gracious band... They
gave us what we wanted! And, man, did they ever deliver. Everyone went crazy
when they played Woman from Tokyo, and then later reeled off the power trifecta
of Highway Star, Space Truckin', and Smoke on the Water. They were tight, powerful,
and quite simply amazing.
Excellent sonic delight. I left very happy and played my old Deep Purple albums
deep into the night! Great job, boys, come back to Houston as soon as you can!
I had the pleasure of seeing a brilliant display of world class
rock along with 6,000 or so other enthusiastic fans on Saturday night. As a
long time fan, bringing my 17-year-old son to his first DP concert, I was concerned
that he would view it as an oldies act. This was no oldies act, as most Purple
fans know, as the band ripped through a number of their new tunes from Bananas
along with fan faves "all the way from 1968", as Ian Gillan announced
unabashedly when introducing Hush during the encore.
A highlight was the introduction of two members of Kalpana Chawla's family
prior to Steve Morse's instrumental, Contact Lost. Chawla, as many know, was
a crewmember of the ill-fated STS-107 Columbia space shuttle, and a fan of the
band, and traded emails with the group for several days while in space. Their
moving remarks preceded Steve Morse's powerful rendition of the tribute piece.
The band demonstrated why they are world class musicians over and over. The
playing was tight and inspired. Steve Morse showed why he has earned his reputation
- playing the classics like he owned them, while injecting vitality into them
with his solos. Don Airey demonstrated why he is such a worthy successor to
Jon Lord, with his diverse style, and imaginative solo work (including a tip
of the ten gallon hat to the proud locals with his rendition of The Yellow Rose
Of Texas). Roger Glover's tight bass lines and Ian Paice's always-solid skins
work really showed why Deep Purple has evolved and still sets a standard for
any up and coming act to strive for. Finally, Ian Gillan's vocals were superb
and seemingly effortless. His grace and wit with the audience showed what a
true professional he is.
As previous reviewers have noted, the band was hot, animated,
and just appeared to be having fun the whole time. Roger, Ian G and Steve roamed
the stage, exchanging playful riffs with each other and interacting at times
with audience members in the first few rows. Their enthusiasm was contagious
and the crowd was into it.
A large number of the crowd were teenagers, like my son, who hopefully left
with an appropriate sense of awe for what they heard and saw.