[% META title = 'Tour Reviews' %]

Plugging Airey

This was my second Purple concert, the first being on last year's summer tour at the same venue. I was impressed by last year's show, but I liked this year's even greater. The band was tight, playing loud and dramatically.

Dio opened and the Scorpions closed the show. I was also into those bands as a teenager in the eighties, but in my opinion, Purple definitely outplayed both bands. Purple has survived countless line-up changes and ups and downs in overall popularity, but still commands a legendary appeal.

If I didn't know better, it sounded like Jon Lord was still playing keyboards - which I mean as a compliment to Don Airey. It was once hard to imagine Purple without Blackmore, but both concerts I've seen with Steve Morse prove the band is much better with him on guitar. Same with Airey in place of Lord. I walked away not at all concerned about why Jon Lord left, or if Airey is a good replacement; change is good - let's go forward! The only downside was the lack of keyboard sound during the opener, Fireball. A couple of roadies came onstage and plugged in a couple wires and the sound was fine the rest of the night.

The song selection was terrific, and the band managed to play quite a bit of music in the seventy-five minutes they were alloted. Highlights included the new Well Dressed Guitar which sounds like a heavy metal/classical piece, and a smokin' Space Truckin'. Morse played no solo, probably due to time limits, but that's no big deal.

There should be no doubt that this band should continue. I'm looking forward to the next album to hear some new sounds from Mr. Airey and the rest. Unlike any other 'classic rock' band still plundering the earth (such as Aerosmith - yawn), Purple still gives a great performance and makes (hopefully soon) new, exciting music that can compare to their seventies 'heyday.'

Here are all the songs they played in (probably) the right order:

Woman From Tokyo
Ted The Mechanic
Well Dressed Guitar
Airey solo
Perfect Strangers
Space Truckin'
Knocking At Your Back Door
Speed King (including bass and drum solos)
Smoke On The Water
Highway Star

Thanks for the great web pages, which I've enjoyed for about six years now.

Don Branham

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