[% META title = 'Tour Reviews' %]

Joe or no Joe - Hey Joe!!

Having seen the Concord show a couple nights earlier, I was hoping for a couple more DP tunes this time around as the headliner. Dio played the exact same set and the Scorps had swapped In Trance for Winds Of Change and that put a big smile on my face! I'm always hoping to hear Child In Time, but didn't really expect it and DP also played the same setlist as Concord.

Dio sounded great and totally rocked the place. His band is certainly capable, Jimmy Bain looks like he's having fun, as does Simon Wright on drums. The guitar player, still didn't catch his name, plays all the riffs perfectly. I was definitely impressed with the Rainbow In The Dark solo but his unaccompanied solo was pretty self-indulgent, but that's OK, that's what 70s & 80s metal was about right?

The Scorps came next and sounded just great! In the 10 years I've lived in the area, this is the fourth time I've seen the Scorps in Reno. Reno is kind of a medium sized city and doesn't always get the big rock'n'roll tours, but the Scorps always make a point to come here. I think they really like the town (hangin' out at the craps tables at 3am probably) and it showed in their performance. They just looked like they were havin' the best time in the world and blistered through their set. The sound was crystal clear and the crowd was absolutely whipped into a frenzy with the band feeding of us and vice versa! Phenomenal performance, DP would have a tough act to follow.

Deep Purple - After grabbing a beer during the break (no cutoff, it's Nevada!) we returned to our fifth row seats just as the drum intro to Fireball began. Where was everybody? The crowd had definitly thinned and even the ticket checking security had gone home. So we settled into the second row to watch the boys do their thing. The band was in good spirits, though barefooted Ian's crowd interaction was almost verbatim from the Concord show. Steve was all smiles as usual and just wailed through the Purple classics - Lazy and Space Truckin' being the highlights. He and Don Airey also do a great tradeoff in Speed King, though seems like Morse is still feeling him out, Lord he's not.

Then came the highlight of the evening. Ian mentions about 1993 and 94 and I look up at stage right and see the shiny dome of Joe Satriani. Just as I point him out to my buddy, Ian intros him and the crowd freaks out! I know Joe has a home up at Tahoe and just got back from touring Europe so he was probably relaxing and laying low before going out on the road again next week with Dream Theater. But he just couldn't pass up a chance to jam with his old buddies.

And what a jam it was. He and Steve just absolutely tore up those fretboards, trading licks, exchanging riffs, wowing and amazing the crowd and each other. Then they broke into Smoke On the Water, yeah I knew it was coming but so what! And for the encore they continued to share the spotlight for Hush and finally for Highway Star. That has to be the most incredible version of Highway Star ever played, and I know that's saying a lot! Steve does a great job on this song and Joe didn't disappoint. These two all-time guitar heavyweights harmonized perfectly the solo that Ritchie made famous.

I've seen a ton of concerts and it takes a lot to wow me, but this one did it! Not a show I'll soon forget. As another reviewer commented, those poor misguided idiot Scorps fans who took off early have no idea what the missed. Joe or no Joe, what the hell were they thinking?

Andy Crow

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