[% META title = 'Tour Reviews' %]

Old stick seeks partner

I arrived at 6:00 and got a spot in front of the left side speakers about 15 rows back. Dio came on at 7:00 and put on a great show. I always liked him from the early Rainbow albums, but I have never seen him in concert before. Now I know what they mean by the “little man with the big voice”! Man On The Silver Mountain was played too fast. Long Live Rock'n'Roll was a real crowd pleaser.

When the Scorpions hit the stage the crowd went nuts. They stood the whole time and everyone sang the words to all the songs. It was definitely a Scorpions crowd. The drummer was quite energetic but he seemed to being trying way too hard. The smashed beer bottle on the head probably explains that.

Deep Purple came out and played a fantastic set. I loved every minute of it. The crowd seemed to appreciate it, but most of them sat on their hands. I was up singing to every song. I think Roger and Ian Paice noticed me once or twice. In fact, Ian tossed his drumsticks towards me at the end. I wasn't expecting that at all and missed picking one up. (The Scorps pretty much gave one to everyone who bought a ticket.) I have one of Ian's sticks from Radio City Music Hall in 1976. Wish I could have made a set of it!

It was Ian Paice's birthday and he really seemed to be enjoying himself. The band played a little Happy Birthday doodle for him. His drumming was pure and effortless. His solo was amazing – the one handed drum roll stunned the crowd.

Roger Glover was an awesome figure on stage. I couldn't believe how much attention I paid to him. He even had a neat little solo.

Steve Morse can PLAY. Some of the earlier reviews gave me the impression that he stood off to the side most of the time. Well, he was front and center almost as much as Ian Gillan. The band really seemed to be enjoying each other's playing. Lots of smiles and joking around.

Don Airey played well on all the songs. I didn't care for his solo too much though. His interaction with Steve on Speed King was fantastic. They kept trading riffs.

Ian Gillan is in great singing form. He hit all the high notes in all the songs. After seeing the other two little guys sing, Ian was huge in comparison. He really dominated the stage. They ought to put a mike on those congas of his. One thing I noticed was that during Don's solo, Ian didn't leave the stage. He stood behind the equipment listening to Don and perhaps encouraging him. It was a nice gesture which 99% of the crowd missed.

The crowd exploded with Smoke On The Water. Hush and Highway Star were great closing songs. Everyone left knowing they had just seen the greatest rock and roll band ever. Even the Scorpions fans appreciated the energy and professionalism of DP.

What can I say? It was way too short! I want to see a 3½ hour concert of nothing but DP. They could do this set list first, and then break into some of the slower stuff and then close with another blazing set. There are so many songs I want to hear them play. They shouldn't shy away from playing Burn just because Ian Paice was the only member around then. That is one of the greatest songs DP ever did – it has everything in it.

The 2½ hour drive each way was well worth it for me. I can' t wait to hear the new album.

Set list:
Woman From Tokyo
Ted The Mechanic
Well Dressed Guitar
Knocking At Your Back Door
Black Night
Don Airey solo
Perfect Strangers
Speed King
Smoke On The Water
Highway Star

Joe Fallon

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