Deep Purple live at Westfalenhalle (Dortmund, Germany 2013-11-01)
First of all let me make it clear that I was on the very skeptical side when I read the reviews of the Regensburg gig. Although I’ve always been a big admirer of Mr Gillan, I always hated it when he was struggling and I´ve witnessed that a bit too often recently. So I was very anxious before the Dortmund concert. I took my 13-year old son and would I have to be ashamed? Would I bring him to a bunch of old fellows beyond their prime, led by a frontman who cannot sing anymore and doesn’t communicate with the audience? Well, that wasn’t the case. Far from it. The opposite.
Mr Gillan delivered from A to Z, and boy did he deliver. There was not a single weak note. He was absolutely in command of his voice from the beginning to the end. Also he seemed to have a lot of fun and was very charming and enthusiastic about the audience, smiling a lot, too. He wore his medical boot, but that was hardly noticeable. Funny too, when he came on stage for the encore in a white crooner style dinner jacket and then changed into a shirt which looked like a black dinner jacket! More than a great job – thank you Ian!
The band has been praised more than once recently and very rightly so. Everybody was on top of their game, from Ian Paice’s solo in “The Mule” to Don’s and Steve’s breathtaking and very entertaining playing, to Roger’s cool bass solo during the encore.
The setlist was a dream. I was skeptical about “Apres Vous” as an opener, too, but it worked fabulously. They apparently put a lot of work into this show, for they very cleverly let songs shift into each other in a well rehearsed manner and connected them with little bridges, all very fluent and effortless.
It was a real rock show. Light and sound was flawless and with the LED backdrops the stage looked very professional and at times very dramatic.
Highlights were “Above and beyond” and by far “Perfect Strangers” which they played with a power and grandeur I don’t remember having heard on other tours (and I saw them all since 1985!). But then again, every song seemed to be the highlight. All new songs were great and the audience loved them all.
So, what can I say? Mind you, I’m not so easily impressed and saw them countless times before, but this was one of the best Purple concerts I’ve ever seen. And, phew, yes I definitely could take my son there. He was absolutely overwhelmed. Thanks again, gentlemen, for letting me be proud of you.
(Setlist as the previous gigs, maybe 3000-4000 people in a ¾-filled Dortmund Westfalenhalle.)
review by Joerg