[% META title = 'Tour Reviews' %]

Close look at Purple

I must say I was impressed. This was my fourth time seeing DP. Previously on the House Of Blue Light tour at the Spectrum in Philadelphia, then at Giants Stadium along with Guns N' Roses and Aerosmith, and finally in August 1998 at Jones Beach on Long Island along with ELP and Dream Theater.

Tonight's performance was a major improvement over the 1998 show. I could literally feel the energy coming off the stage. Gillan has always been of particular interest to me. He sings on the edge. He attempts to hit notes that he knows he may or may not hit 100% all the time. But he hits 'em most of the time, and the result is raw, unbridled energy that no other vocalist in rock can even come close to achieving. He's in a class by himself.

Great seats from the ninth row, and a pair of binoculars showed every sweaty twist and contortion of Gillan's face as he belted out some serious work. It honestly made me feel rather inadequate, that this 50-something year old legend is up there busting his ass, running around in the heat and screaming his head off, and I'm 30-something and somewhat out of shape! What's your secret Ian?

The crowd was a bit surprised at the start, as DP came on without warning. Seats quickly filled up and we were all on board real quick. The energy Gillan and company projected seems to be in direct correlation to the crowd's level of enthusiasm. In '98, the crowd was piss-poor, and the band's and Gillan's performance were not quite there. Tonight, the crowd was killer! Gillan commented on several occasions about the vibes the crowd was giving out, and you could see that look in his eye. He was amazing!

Gillan and Morse seemed to be having the times of their lives. On several occasions, Gillan seemed to 'congratulate' Morse if a particular part was nailed just right. That was nice to see. Morse's playing was tremendous. Being a player myself, and a big Blackmore fan, 1998's show was a bit of a letdown. Morse's Zakk Wylde-like 'squealing' was far too frequent. At this show, I didn't hear it at all - and frankly I didn't miss it. His playing was far more appropriate tonight, a real work of art. He was a force on stage.

Glover and Paice were solid as usual. Ian's drum solo was aggressive. Both seemed pumped - again, very unlike '98. Airey was energetic and did a great job. I'm very excited about the potential of this line-up, and it's time they set out on their own, perhaps with an opener like Dio (who did very nicely I might add). But in the shadow of the Scorpions? No thanks, Purple deserves better!

Mike Confalone

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