[% META title = 'Tour Reviews' %]

Don's not a tosser

This was my fourth time seeing Deep Purple, not counting the Bogus Purple of 1980, (OK... I admit I went) [Tell us more! Rasmus]. The set was the same that has been reported many times already, and I was pleased to see Fireball added to the set list. Something about the band and I just click, because this is the second time I was in the front row. In fact, at one time, I turned around and estimated the crowd to be close to 30,000 at this outdoor arena.

I mention this because if we are to the believe the popular culture talking-heads, music fans want rap, Britney, and American Idol. What nonsense! Rock music was alive and kicking some major ass at this show. This gave me hope that bands who actually master an instrument, write their own music, and produce it will one day rule again.

Ronnie James Dio opened and he sounded just as good as ever. I liked how he used the entire stage, even extreme stages right and left. He made eye contact and acknowledged myself and those around me. Dio truly was enjoying the moment and not taking us for granted. A warm moment was when a father held out his six or seven year old son to Dio. The kid was grasping a pen and the Black Sabbath Heaven And Hell CD. Ronnie signed it, and shook hands with the young fan. That was one happy kid!

I agree with those who did not enjoy the drum solo or guitar solo. You could have given us another song, Ronnie! Still, he did perform music from Rainbow, Sabbath and solo work. It was a good selection. Thankfully, I did not have a big dinner before the show because I got a good look at Jimmy Bain. Not everyone ages gracefully.

The set change was remarkably quick and suddenly Don Airey could barely be seen sneaking up on his keyboards for the Fireball intro. He has slipped in there quite nicely. Yes, I miss Jon Lord too, but you could not ask for a finer replacement.

The entire band sounded superb, tight, and they were having fun. Gillan sounded fine, and just how does he do it every night? However, I do have a bone to pick with Mr. Gillan. This is a large stage. It has more than just center stage. There is a stage right and left. Use it all, would you? Don't just wave at those at stage right and left. Go on over to them; it's not too much to ask. He was the only one who seemed to be just going through the motions. Not too cool Ian. OK, maybe he was having an off night.

Roger was clearly the most animated, tossing guitar picks every chance he got. And, I got one. Let' see, since 1998, I have gotten from this band the following; One harmonica, a drum stick, and picks from Roger and Steve. Too bad Don doesn't toss his Hammond into the crowd after a show. [In the old days Jon at least tried tossing the Hammond around... ;^) Rasmus]

In closing, I was very pleased with the evenings music. The only true negativity to the show was from some unruly fans who decided a night from the trailer park was a good idea. How can such people enjoy a show when drunk?

Didn't stay for the Scorpions. Didn't want to.

Mark Bustamante

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