[% META title = 'Tour Reviews' %]
Great seats, four rows in back of the high priced main floor and we were raised up so no obstructions. Missed about four songs from Dio. But heard a pretty good set. His band is very strong, guitarist Doug Aldrich took a number of big solos and Ronnie even left the stage for at least five minutes to let the band work the crowd. His drummer did his solo early in the set which was kind of exciting for that early in the evening. There were a large numberof people there to give Ronnie plenty of encouragement. Singing and hand waving. He deserved it. People in the bay area love this guy.
I went out for a leak and a beer but never got the beer as up starts Deep Purple.
Woman From Tokyo
Vavoom / Ted The Mechanic
Well Dressed Guitar
Knocking At Your Back Door
Speed King (I believe it was Now Or Never a la Elvis from Big Ian in the middle)
Smoke On The Water (with a little Whole Lotta Love thrown in)
The good floor seats were about 30% empty and I thought maybe they were in for a rough time. But about four or five songs in, people were paying attention and the seats were full. My son tells me that the beer stand cleared real fast when they started the set. The crowd did not seem as excited as they were for Dio. Purple were not be really pounding as hard on sound as the previous band .They did have a very smooth and polished sound. Ian Paice was jammed between two powerhouse animal guy drummers but this man had the finesse of a master.
Ian Gillan of course sang brilliantly, I did see him cough a bit and I could have done with a little higher mix for his voice. Steve Morse played very well throughout the set. Nice solo from Roger Glover. And Don Airey was every bit as good as I could hope for in the absence of you know who. He did a great fill against Steve's playing during Well Dressed Guitar. Fireball and Lazy both had good Hammond sound in them. Perfect Strangers came out fine, a little different but damn near perfect. He made a flawless transition to the piano on the bridge in WFTokyo.When they got to Hush I thought no way can he pull this off... Wrong, he nailed it. Right from the great little bit at the start, this is a rock organ classic.
There wasn't any video until the last four songs because of the daylight. The crowd got hot on Knocking and Space Truckin', not my favorites but these did air on the radio and people knew them. It got pretty wild during Highway Star and they definitely wanted more at this point but that was all. Lots of hand slapping and some autographs at the edge of the stage.
The Scorps had darkness and tons of lights. Frigging huge sound and that's who most of the crowd came to see. But if Purple want to play for large crowds I guess you do what you have to do. They certainly made a big impression on a lot of people who wouldn't even know about them otherwise. The thing that worries me is the short set doesn't let Steve Morse do much of the newer songs he worked on. It would be pretty much it if he goes.
I'll be seeing them again on the 31st in a smaller venue so I can decide then as to whether I'll be returning next time. I may be getting old.
Paul A. Pedroli
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