[% META title = 'Tour Reviews' %]

Women danced, men yelled, Purple jammed

Road trip - Unfortunately, Deep Purple did not have dates at Portland or Seattle, so I decided to make a major road trip to see DP in concert. A couple of friends tagged along and we drove 1000+ miles through the Oregon wilderness to see Deep Purple in Nampa, Idaho. The road trip was an adventure as we saw many wild animals (deer, wolf, coyotes, jackrabbits, mice and raccoons) along US route 26. We listened to the soundboard CDs as we negotiated a road filled with twists and turns along mountain side cliffs in the dead of the night. We drove all night to get to Nampa in anticipation of DP.

I've been a Deep Purple fan for over 22 years and I've seen them a multitude of times since 1984. DP was absolutely spectacular on this night and they obliterated the Scorpions into absolute musical irrelevance. Deep Purple's performance was immensely satisfying and it was well worth driving a 1000+ miles through the Oregon wilderness just to see them. [Travelling DP-style is cool. THS editors do it frequently - see 1998 report. Rasmus]

Dio - First on the bill was Dio. The band played powerfully and impressed many in the audience. Dio played a few tracks off his new CD and some of his classics like Rainbow In The Dark, Holy Diver as well Stand Up And Shout. During the middle of the set Dio's band played their renditions of Man On A Silver Mountain and Long Live Rock'n'Roll. I thought the band did a good job on the Rainbow songs, but I don't think his band is quite up the caliber of Rainbow during the Dio years.

Simon Wright's drum solo went over with the crowd very well and was received with thunderous applause. Dio's guitarist was also quite good during his solo. After playing some rapid fire blues and metal licks, he fell to the stage floor and slid the guitar along the floor as he picked at the strings, creating an enormous feedback sound. He stood upright to play a different guitar and continued to base his solo on distorted blues and metal riffs. The audience found his solo entertaining and cheered loudly after he finished.

RJD was impressive vocally and he proved himself to be a very charismatic entertainer as the crowd was amused with his presence, banter and demeanor. Jimmy Bain and Simon Wright formed a very good, punishing, tight rhythm section that gave the band a really heavy and dense sound. Overall, Dio's band was very solid and gave a very good performance during their set. It was a shame that Dio did not get to play a long set for the audience.

Scorpions - Abysmal would be a good description of their performance. Dio and Deep Purple absolutely demolished the Scorpions. When the Scorpions played Coast To Coast, the band was not together, the guitars sounded out of tune and the song was barely recognizable because of the lousy performance. Only James Kottak turned in a good performance. A few people booed while they played and demanded that the Scorpions leave the stage early. Based on this performance, I can't understand why the Scorpions were even on this bill. King Crimson or Tool would have been better choices for this bill.

Of course, the Scorpions played the same set they always do and bored many in the audience. Only the drunks cheered loudly for the Scorpions throughout the concert. At first, the Scorpions fans cheered loudly and began to cheer less frequently as the Scorpions continued to play their set. In fact, few in the crowd cheered after Coast To Coast was finished. Mathias Jabs' solo was boring, ugly and cringeworthy. It was cliched and uncreative, just like many solos from the 80s era glam metal bands. Kottak's drum solo was not quite as good as Wright's drum solo, but it was entertaining and well played. Unfortunately, the shrill guitar sound and poser moves made the set unlistenable and unsatisfying. Only after Rock You Like A Hurricane and Still Loving You did the crowd cheer with enthusiasm.

Deep Purple - Astonishing would be the word that would most accurately describe Deep Purple's performance. The entire audience stood up for DP and pushed towards the stage during their set. DP played Fireball, Speed King, Highway Star, Spacetruckin', Perfect Strangers, Lazy, Knocking At Your Back Door, Woman From Tokyo, Smoke On The Water, Hush, Ted The Mechanic and The Well Dressed Guitar.

Steve Morse was stellar and clearly demonstrated that he is one of the greatest guitarists in the history of rock. He played very precisely, articulated the notes beautifully, improvised well and played very musically and creatively (the chinese bluegrass riff before Speed King was not only comical, it was great.) tonight. Ian Gillan sang extremely well and screamed like he did in the 70s. He sang so effortlessly that I figured that DP might play Child In Time, but it was not to be. Ian's vocal interplay with Steve Morse's guitar was excellent and sounded incredible.

Don Airey also wowed the crowd with his solo spot as he played Star Wars, a number of classical pieces and jammed on the keys before playing Perfect Strangers. Ian Paice delivered with a solo that demonstrated why he is one of the ultimate drummers around. His rolls and fills during the solo illustrated his blistering stick speed and awesome skill. When Ian Paice lifted his right hand into the air and performed the one handed roll with left hand while delivering a punishing bass drum rhythm, the audience was stunned. Glover's bass solo was astounding and he played superbly. All night long, Paice and Glover blew away the audience away with precise, tight rhythms, fills and rolls that captivated the crowd.

People stood in awe as DP jammed with an incredible clarity of sound, musicianship and intensity. Women danced on the chairs and swayed to the hypnotic rhythm section and guys kept yelling as loud as they could as DP raged on stage. People in the audience were clearly impressed by Deep Purple. Deep Purple enjoyed the audience response and appeared to be very happy tonight. The overall performance was spectacular as everyone in DP delivered the goods and then some.

A friend remarked, "I have never seen a band where everyone in the band could jam so well." He was very impressed by DP. Another friend remarked that he was "blown away by DP and they sound so good live that their stage performance and sound is like a high quality studio recording of an excellent artist."

Dewayne Bowlin

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