[% META title = 'Tour Reviews' %]

Next time, come with news!

I saw my third and final DP show this year at the Arts Center in Holmdel, NJ. This was also the last show before a two-week break in the tour while the Scorpions head to Germany for a few shows. [...and Ian Paice will do a drumming show... Rasmus]

Dio kicked things off promptly at 6:30 and played to a packed audience. I have never seen so many people in their seats for the first act before. Even Dream Theater who are really popular in the northeast played to a small crowd when they played with Purple at the same venue in 1998.

We were again able to go backstage for Dio's meet and greet, and chatted briefly with Ronnie, Jimmy Bain and Simon Wright. We made our way back to the front of the venue to catch the last two songs by the Scorpions, and they were certainly going down well with the audience.

Deep Purple's intro music seemed longer tonight than the previous shows I attended. It sounded like an Airey piece and lead into Fireball. As much as Airey has won me over on this tour, he doesn't seem to nail this song like he does the others. He just doesn't manage to get the growl out of organ that I've come to expect. It's interesting to see him getting into his playing more than Lord, yet still not be able to pull the same sound out of the organ. At a couple points, it seemed like he was trying to beat a nasty sound out of it, but it just didn't happen. Despite this he is adding some new tones to the closing of Perfect Strangers which sound amazing. And his sound during the Well Dressed Guitar is just massive! But these are keyboard tones, not on the Hammond.

The show had the same highlights as the previous shows I saw - Perfect Strangers, Knocking At Your Back Door and Black Night in particular are sounding great. I think it's time the band reintroduced some more Mark 2 reunion era material. Knocking was a great addition to the set, and I'm sure Bad Attitude or The Battle Rages On would also sound great.

Purple played to a large audience (I have yet to see large numbers of people leaving after Purple as reported at other shows), and went down well, especially from Smoke On The Water onwards. Tonight's intro to Smoke again included a couple Who songs, but was shorter than the version they did in New Hampshire.

I thought it was another energetic show for the band, and was glad to be able to see them again this year. Hopefully by the time they hit the States again they will have a new album under their belts.

Brendan Johnston

Back to reviews