[% META title = 'Tour Reviews' %]

Like father like son - like Purple!

My wife calls me from her work at 5pm and says they have two tickets available to the Scorpions/Deep Purple show, and should she hold them for me? After I scream at her that she should, my 10-year-old son Ben says, "Can I go too?" When I ask him why, he tells me "You always listen to them in the car, I wanna see what they look like." This was his first concert.

So we pick up the tickets and arrive about half-way through Dio's set. The band was hot, and RJD sounded as grand as ever. The house was only about half full before Deep Purple started, but they were stoked - partly in anticipation of Detroit clinching the Stanley Cup that night (Red Wing jerseys and hand-held TVs were in abundance).

They started their set with a rousing version of Fireball, then went right into Woman From Tokyo. Ben appeared kind of quiet, but when I saw him playing air-drums to Ted The Mechanic, I knew he was hooked. They then played Lazy, and the new instrumental, The Well Dressed Guitar, which went over really well with the audience.

Ian Gillan was in particularly fine voice, and the band appeared in great spirits and good humor, as evidenced by the smiles all around as Don Airey flubbed the intro to Knocking At Your Back Door. Big Ian introduced Black Night as "a Chinese, Irish, Italian love song, tango, disco sort of thing," and Steve Morse kept the crowd jacked up by playing a few riffs from Gary Glitter's Rock And Roll (Part 2) during his solo.

Don Airey performed a wonderful keyboard solo, complete with piano and a few bars from the Star Wars theme song. They then ran through Perfect Strangers, Speed King, and ended with a rollicking Smoke On The Water. The group played very inspired. Roger Glover was bobbing his head, keeping the bottom firm, and Ian Paice... well, for me, his playing was the highlight of the show. 34+ years of pounding the skins and he hasn't lost a step. Simply amazing.

When they came out for an encore, Ian Gillan announced they were playing the next song "on its anniversary. It was exactly 100 years ago today we recorded this song!" and then they launched into Hush. My son nudged me and asked, "did they really make that song 100 years ago?" I told him I didn't think so. A few minutes later, he nudged me again and said "They weren't even alive 100 years ago... were they?" I bit my tongue as I shook my head no.

They showed their appreciation to the crowd by ending their show with a ripping Highway Star. They were onstage about 75 minutes, and it was time well spent. After a long and intense discussion ("Dad, could we go home and watch the hockey game?" "Umm, okay"), we decided to skip the Scorpions. On the way home, Ben pronounced Deep Purple "awesome" and asked when they were coming around again - and that's all I really needed to hear. Seeing Deep Purple with my son and a Stanley Cup in one night. It just doesn't get much better than that.

Steve Cutlip

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