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Le Zénith, Toulouse, 6/12/12

Just a few words about Deep Purple’s Toulouse show last Thursday.

Having been to Nantes in November, I must say this was perhaps a bit weary overall, although quite nice — well, maybe it was the sunday schedule, and a lame audience — I don’t know, but some of the band members (NOT Ian Gillan) seemed a bit uninspired, although the show was professional and enjoyable as always.

In Toulouse, the band were in high spirits, the audience quite hot (about 5000 people, aged 8 — my daughter ! her first concert — to 68).

Ian Gillan (68 — well no, 67 actually) could be my father, but in my opinion, has never been better before: he sounds amazing, especially in the upper middle range. OK, he doesn’t scream around that much any more, but as soon as he started off the scream to Fireball, you could tell that this was gonna be a grand Ian Gillan. And so it was, from Fireball to Black Night.

I love the guy, I love the voice, but I had to say a few 75% positive, 25 % negative things about his voice a few years ago (Toulouse 2009)– earning bitter angry comments from fanatic “praise-the-lord-or-die-by-our-sword, you traitor ” kind of fans. But the fact is, the guy keeps getting better and better (anything to do with lifestyle ? seems obvious). 67 !!!!! Keep on rockin, Ian !

A few highlights, in no particular order:

- The opener, well in fact the openers ! These 5 songs, without any breathing space, really get it on.
- Ian Gillan. Oh — have I said that allready ?
- Steve Morse. Much better than in Nantes, and doing some great interaction with Don. Their playing on Lazy was amazing, as was yhe jam in Hush.
- The Mule: I love that song from the riff to the outro, not forgetting the gorgeous melody line and Paicey’s drum solo.
- Gillan’s singing.
- The total adrenaline rush on Into the Fire and Space Truckin !
- Gillan’s voice.

Setlist as usual (Wasted Sunsets during the Steve-Morse-phase), no Speed King, unfortunately … Well,that was the only thing one could say: the last “greatest hits” part of the show has remained unchanged for years now, except on special occasions. I think this could be rethought, maybe for the 2013 tour, which will figure some more Steve-Morse-era songs (only the 2 instrumentals in Nantes and Toulouse — be proud of your recent history, gentlemen !) And I miss Highway Star a bit … Well, this is just a minor footnote, cause it has to be said once again:

Deep Purple are brilliant !

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4 Comments to “Le Zénith, Toulouse, 6/12/12”:

  1. 1
    Marek says:

    It’s nice review. In 2013 there will be much more concerts ( in 2012 only in february Canada Tour and october -december from Russia, by France and Deutschland to berne, Switzerland) promoting new album. Release 26th april. We must wait over 4 months, i’m not sure they will play new stuff in Australia on late february/march. We will see. And I wonder how long They will be touring, they may be really tired when They reach their seventies ( 70 years – in 2015). But time still goes on, so it’s not far away future ..
    -And how about tour in Great Britain and USA? last time They were there in 2011 ( USA- 06/2011) . Maybe some tour on april/may to promote new Album and RRHOFame when induct may be ( Led Zeppelin for sure) – in Remachined well known guitarists suggests (as Kirk Hammet) to induct Deep Purple as Blackmore is there yet.

  2. 2
    Marc says:

    well, i think it was a real great concert, being in front of the stage. the sound was as always of very high qualiti.
    i am glad to reed that you found big ian even better than last times
    i think he’s one of best singers in the world, and the band is a really good oiled machine: the can do what-ever the want to play.
    stevie and don were battling like jon and ritchie did.
    i think we must not forget the master of rythm the man that keeps every-one in line, even little ian. MISTER ROGER GLOVER!!!
    little ian was in great shape, a drumsolo like in the early days
    thanks for this amazing concert

    marc,bazas,france

  3. 3
    TheVincek says:

    “Be proud of your recent history, gentlemen!” – Bravo!
    More Steve Morse era songs !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. 4
    schiele says:

    You’re right, Marc ! I should’ve mentioned Roger; I usually do, in fact … Paice/Glover is simply my favourite rhythm section in rock music. And Glover’s contribution to Deep Purple is huge in terms of writing and sound and overall stability. He sends so many good vibes …

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