[% META title = 'Tour Reviews' %]

Great in Gilford

My second tour stop this year was the offbeat Meadowbrook Farm in Gilford New Hampshire. Apparently, The Meadows in Hartford CT was the preferred stop for this night, but Rush was opening their world tour there instead. And originally the show was booked at Singer Park in Manchester, NH, but then was moved to Gilford due to technical problems. The new venue wasn't much better. Apparently some of the road crew were a little put off as well. When they went to check out the production building, they found it hadn't been built yet!

Nonetheless, Dio kicked things off promptly at 6:30. Then towards the end of the opening track, the stage power went off! The band seemed puzzled and after milling around onstage, were told things might take a while. They came back about five minutes later and picked up with Egypt. Production problems seemed ironed out from here on, but Dio's set was cut short due to the lost time.

Purple was up next tonight, and played to an appreciative crowd. We were in the front row directly in front of Glover, and I have never heard the man sound so good. Gillan was also in great form, and gladly shook hands with members of the crowd who were allowed down to the front. At one point a woman was lifted up onto the shoulders of someone, before being told to get down by security. "I don't care where you sit," Gillan said from the stage. From then on it was a real fun atmosphere up front, with Glover signing one woman's shoes at one point!

Being close up allowed me to check out Don more, and his playing was great, and he seemed to be having a great time. During Lazy, Ian apparently grabbed the wrong harmonica, and after the first solo, looked down at it with a puzzled look on his face. He looked up, and looked at me with the same bewildered look, and I pointed to him as if to say "Oooops!" Ian said, "Do you want it?" before throwing it my way, but it was deflected off a couple rows behind me. Too bad.

The show was a bit longer than Mansfield two nights before. The bass and drum solos were thus added back into Speed King. Before Smoke On The Water, the band played a medley of three Who songs as a tribute to John Entwistle. I thought it was great, and quite moving too. Ian stood back with a smile and nodded in approval as the band jammed away.

Hush and Highway Star closed things off bringing the crowd to a frenzy. As we walked away from our seats, we heard people wondering how the Scorpions would be able to follow the band's set. It was a great night for the band, and a great performance.

Brendan Johnston

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