[% META title = 'Tour Reviews' %]

Naked footed thunder

The band was in very strong form on a beautiful moon'n'stars night after opening acts by Dio (Still a potent voice. Well mixed vocals and well supported by his musicians) and the Scorpions (Poor mix; could barely understand half the words they sang! [Did zey haaf an accent? ;^) Rasmus] More 'show'than 'go.').

Deep Purple were no doubt helped by the night's rest inbetween their previous show on 19 June in Atlanta.

The set list:

1. Fireball (Perfect from the opening note to the finish.)

2. Woman From Tokyo (As always … awesome. Crowd went berserk.)

3. Ted The Mechanic (Good response but the crowd was clearly waiting for more of the old standbys they'd recognize from airplay.)

4. Lazy (Great! Gillan's voice was as strong as thunder.)

5. Well-Dressed Guitar (Morse cut loose. He really kicks ass - pure and simple.)

6. Knocking At Your Back Door (Gillan had that wicked tone to his voice as he sang this innuendo-laced ditty.)

7. Black Night (As good as they've ever done it live, I'm sure.)

Set list interrupted whilst Don Airey 'showed off'. It was great! It wasn't Jon Lord but then, who the hell is? [Jon...? Rasmus]

8. Perfect Strangers (Fabulous! Gillan's voice was rocking strong. This one might be a good 'live'album cut.)

9. Speed King (Gillan's twisted laugh near the end led the way to a strong finish - astounding.)

10. Smoke On The Water (Well, it was the song everyone waited for - and it was worth every note from beginning to end. The crowd 'fell on its ass' when Ian G. held out the microphone and invited them to sing a chorus. Excessive beer consumption? I think so.)

Exit Stage - Encore rest:

11. Hush (Except for Gillan's slight off-key wandering, a strong performance.)

12. Highway Star (What a way to end a marvelous evening! The band left no one disappointed as they hit the road for Virginia Beach, Virginia the next night.)

All songs were apparently as the roaring crowd expected except for Hush. Gillan was way off key from the music and the rest of the band on the 'Nah, nah, nah's.' Morse's Well Dressed Guitar was a real unexpected surprise and showed just how great he's has become as the band's lead ax man. Very, very impressive. Glover and Paice still some of the hardest working, consummate performers in music. Ian P. never ceases to amaze. Glover and Morse were clearly having a great time in front of a very large crowd (16-18,000) - smiling and exchanging glances back'n'forth all night - along with Ian G. - and all three masterfully whipped all of those down in the pit in front of the stage to a frenzy. Gillan is one of the best lead men and 'emcees' a band could have and - except for Hush - just as impressive as ever. Hit all of the notes with great gusto.

Airey is still a bit of a shock to get used to but he clearly has his Kurzweil synthesizers in full tune. Just a little too much of the circus-midway 'toodle-ooooohing' notes here and there.

All in all, a great night in beautiful Charlotte, North Carolina with the greatest rock band of all time.

Best wishes to all,

Tom Hodge

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