[% META title = 'Tour Reviews' %]

Big Flats nearly on the money...

We came from miles around (we being a strong Canadian contingent) to get in Deep with Purple for what collectively would add up to more than 150 times. Strange thing is, we have a loyal dislike for this band, but for some reason we keep on coming, hoping that maybe this would be the time they'll get it right for a change (a wink and a nudge to Roger Glover for a grand post-concert story!) They're still not quite right, so it looks like England is beckoning in September. [See you there! Rasmus]

Seriously, they were in tip-top form and a special kudo to Don Airey for making his own mark on stage; Jon Lord knows he's left this part of the drama in good hands. His five-minute keyboard solo after Black Night led off with Phantom Of The Opera and later incorporated the Star Wars theme. He also tripped a couple of those Pink Floyd-like sequencer bits. And he's off to an admirable start in the licks-trading department with Steve Morse on Speed King. That's the kind of exchange that needs months/years to get to the point where Lord and Morse had it.

Ian Gillan was in fine vocal mode and had the wail ready and willing, along with facial grimaces for those legendary screams. He had the vocal phrasing bang on all night, particularly standing out on Knocking At Your Back Door (not the easiest song to sing). He also executed the brush-off of the night, literally sweeping the stage during Steve Morse's fiery solo on Well Dressed Guitar. Perhaps he was cleaning up the solo, or the smokin' fretboard debris from it. :-)

Glover and Ian Paice are always a joy to watch, getting time to play loud and proud on their solos. Glover is one of the best finger hitters in the business. His thundering bass lines and the rhythms he produces are key to the Purple sound. Paice, the birthday boy on this night (as recognized via a few seconds on Morse's strings on Speed King) shows he's still the teacher when it comes to drumming. As history has shown, he's a fine architect of rolls building. It's his bang-bang timing that leaves so many in awe of the 'how-does-he-do-that' variety.

It was nice to hear a short Who medley for the intro into Smoke On The Water as a tribute to John Entwistle. A hot summer evening concluded, featuring fire flies filling the clear sky by the time Highway Star had drained us all for the umpteenth time.

Dio and the Scorpions were excellent - a very enjoyable triple bill with all of the bands going down well with the crowd of about 4,000 (almost packed for this venue's size). Dio also showed a lot of rock and roll warmth at the beginning of his set by walking into the crowd a few rows deep to help hold up a Dio bedsheet sign. A great moment and, no doubt a highlight thank you to the fans who made it.

Soon after the show had ended, Morse was high in the sky - flying himself to the next gig. I was standing beside Airey, mockingly waving bye when he flew over (it had to be him at that time of night). If there's Purple sound moving the airwaves, it's always worth the price of admission, but some day they will get it right!

Woman From Tokyo
Ted The Mechanic
Knocking At Your Back Door
Well Dressed Guitar
Black Night
(Don Airey solo)
Perfect Strangers
Speed King (with Paice and Glover solos)
Smoke On The Water

Highway Star

Glen Miller

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