Falconer Salen, Copenhagen, Denmark
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
I went to see the band last night in Copenhagen. It’s been a few years and I actually enjoyed it. Sound was the best I’ve heard from them and like seeing a bunch of old friends I delighted in the reconnect, not knowing if and when I would see them again. Even though there will probably be more chances.
Staying home seemed like a crazy consideration once at the show. Those who say “it’s all over, they’re just going through the motions” would likely change their minds if they saw them. I doubt anyone walked away saying that was a bad show.
Quite the contrary, once there it was evident to me they’re really in some sort of zone now where they’re enjoying their playing. And that they could go on like this for a long time, possibly even releasing new albums. Now What?! is a defining album for them and the vibe of those songs set the mood for the concert. Along with the solos of which there were plenty.
One comment I saw about them being the only true jamming band left like that on an arena level rang true with me as well. The show was ’70s’ in that sense even though the improvisation and playing of Airey and Morse is different from Lord’s and Blackmore’s. With Gillan now going offstage more, there seems to be a heavier focus on soloing and it was a bit overpowering at times. On the other hand, the sheer assault from Morse and Airey (massive Hammond sound really) was the ‘hard rock’ ingredient in the show. Otherwise it would have been closer to jazz
Paicey sounded powerful still, with him and Glover really grooving, even more so now than before? Gillan’s lung capacity decreased but tone intact (and dignified because of the latter). There is only one Gillan and there’s no faking it, nor will there be. So if he has to go to the tent every now and then in order to recuperate, then so be it…
Airey now almost the driving force with his sound, his solos on the Hammond often manic. In fact, when his proper solo spot started I thought he had already had one (starting Lazy). By the time Hush came around I had lost track of the number of lengthy workouts he’d had, but the solos are the format of the show now and will continue to be I think. A slight reduction of these with Gillan singing a bit more and the balance would have been perfect. Switching Apres Vous out for another opener would also be wise.
Perfect Strangers a crowd highlight, Gillan’s singing making it sound majestic. Paicey’s snare hit at the ending, Gillan front of the stage hands raised, lights out, classic. All hands in the air clapping after this one.
Goosebumps for me as well when Paicey closed out his solo, the fast part. He just sounded so powerful, sharp and one of a kind.
I actually enjoyed the newer songs more than say Space Truckin (played too laid back), just to hear Gillan pull these off close to the studio versions, and really giving it his all in order to do so. The tent beckoned afterwards…
If I were to sum up the show with one word it would probably be dignified.
Rating by DP standards: 4/6
Rating by normal standards: 5/6
Review by Daniel Bengtsson