[% META title = 'Tour Reviews' %]

Willie Nelson on bass?

There isn't much to say other than the performance, the high energy-level was unbelievable. I say unbelievable because of their age, because of their touring schedule, I thought they would just be going through the motions. Their performance in Dallas last night seemed too good for themselves to top. I would doubt they could play this well or play before fans as enthusiastic as Dallas the rest of this tour. This event should have been video taped.

The venue seemed pretty packed and looking back several times from the third row (unless my eyesight is failing me) most people appeared to be standing, dancing, cheering, boozing, whatever... as far back as I could see - throughout the show, unlike last year in Dallas when most people sat and didn't even know who the band was when they came on stage.

This year they knew. They had better energy than their Dallas stop last year, probably because it's early on in the tour and the weather was good, it was cloudy and rainy, not the typical Texas summer heat? The lead singer, Gillan, appeared to be in better shape although my wife said his face was "turning red, real scary looking." Even guitarist Steve Morse looked like he been in a fight with somebody (possibly his guitar) towards the end. His string broke during the solo of Highway Star.

Ian Paice would raise his arms up to pose at times for the on-stage photographer. (I'm a press photographer and was jealous at his access). Bassist Roger Glover, or, "the one who looked like Willie Nelson," according to my wife, just stood around swinging his guitar and having a good time. The other guy, that keyboardist, knows how to play, he's very good.

Setlist. There was a setlist but I'd rather have you, the reader, or future concert goer on this tour be surprised, what you don't know will make for a better show. I will say that the medleys are a nice mix, some new classic rock riffs thrown in breaking the monotony and predictability and not just prelude to SOTW but covering other songs as well. The set list in Dallas last night was different from the early reviews, from Las Vegas and Phoenix, in a different order with one DP 'lost classic' thrown in.

Now, if you want to see a good show. It's up to you, to go there, get rowdy, if you think you're as good as or better than Dallas. The band really feeds off the energy of the crowd. They deserve it, they work so hard. I'm just glad they are back in the States and that this long world wide tour of the past two or three years is winding down. With any more tours they will burn out, or worse; somebody will collapse. All this touring, I think I figured it out - it must pay well! Maybe it's best they go out on top. Or take time off, go to Florida and cut that new CD and do ONE more tour in another two-three years, while they do their solo stuff.

OK, now for the letdown. For those of you sneaking a camera into the show - beware. I took a Nikon Coolpix digital camera in, and kept shooting from the third row for over an hour during the Scorpions set, before the Event Staff had me follow them to a room where I had to turn it in, and pick it up after the show. Amazingly, my camera disk wasn't confiscated or erased.

Alec Richards

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