[% META title = 'Tour Reviews' %]

Headliners headed for the big hurrah

Let's get one thing staight from the start. I am a huge DP fan, and that doesn't mean I'm fat.

I attended the Cleveland show and was in the 12th row dead center. The crowd were heavy metal fans based on the large number of Dio, Judas Priest and even Black Sabbath t-shirts.

Dio came on to a warm reception from the early small crowd and his set included his new CD as well as his work with Black Sabbath and Rainbow. They were good. Enough said.

After a short intermission Deep Purple came out and played Fireball as their first song. Exellent choice. Well done, cool ending, I was impressed. Having seen DP twice last summer with Steve Morse I kinda knew what he can do. He was superb. Ian Paice did what he always does, that is show us the world's best rock drummer and making it look easy all the while. I paid more attention to Roger and his playing tonight and appreciate his talent. For whatever reason the bass player is never the star, yet this night he stood out more than in the past.

Now to Mr. Gillan. After hearing Child In Time some 32 years ago I was hooked. Nobody, in my opinion sounds better. On this evening he killed. I have a couple of DP videos to prove I know a good show from a not so good show.

Crowd favourites were Perfect Strangers, Knocking At Your Back Door and Highway Star. I thought they lost a wee bit of momentem during the keyboard solo. Speaking of which, Don Airey has got some big shoes to fill but for the most part he did well. I can't explain but with Jon Lord the sound was maybe a little fuller.

No Hush tonight but that isn't a Mk 2 tune anyway. Overall an exellent show although I did enjoy When A Blind Man Cries and Fools on last year's tour. I realize they have to play SOTW but I would trade it for Child In Time or something from Who Do We Think We Are? What about Strange Kind Of Woman from Fireball?

Now the bad news. As I understand it DP co-headlines with the Scorpions. Does that mean that when Purple headlines they make a grand announced entrance? Do they get a zillion more watts of power? Two zillion more lights? How is it the headliner was louder yet clearer? I had never seen The Scorpions live before but guess what? They kicked Purple's butt.

Deep Purple I'm sure are quite proficient but Scorpions rocked. The crowd ate up every kick, twirl, jump and everything else they read in rock star 101. Klaus Meine was clear and powerful, Rudolf Schenker at fifty-something bounded about like a kid.

Lead guitarist Mattias Jabs ain't no Steve Morse but his solo went over very well in deed. The star however was none of the above. The entertainer of the Scorpions was their drummer James Kottak. What a maniac! Best drum solo I've seen this side of John Bonham. Though he didn't manage a one handed roll a la Paicey, his hero has to be Keith Moon. Amazing! A big rock show with all the bells and whistles.

The crowd now at full capacity going wild with every song. It was either a Scorpions crowd or they were really good. I know this is a Purple forum yet on this night The Scorpions were tight, polished and kicked serious ass. I will have to attend a show where DP headlines to see how they do in that capacity.

Tom Halton, Ontario, Canada

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