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Dio, Deep Purple, Scorpions Unleash Storm at E Center

By Julie DeHerrera, The Salt Lake Tribune

The E Center was up to heavy-metal and rock’n’roll standard Thursday night when Dio, Deep Purple and the Scorpions performed a renaissance of new songs, old songs and everything in between. In doing the math and adding up the years of all three bands, give and take original band members, there was almost a century of music whittled down to just under four hours of performance time.

First up were the high-range and extended vocals of Ronnie James Dio, who opened with three songs from his latest album: Killing The Dragon, the title track, Push and Rock And Roll. Dio's fist-pumping and devil-horn salutes got the floor crowd on its feet during an hourlong set, which also included Egypt (The Chains Are On). His band gave a thunderous hook and pulse to Dio's all-too-frequent lyrical portrayal of what lurked in a world a long time ago, before light and darkness separated, when there was terror, the dragon. (This was paraphrased from a 1985 tour program and evidenced by a fire-breathing winged dragon that served as the backdrop on this tour.) Dio concluded with 1983's Holy Diver and Rainbow In The Dark.

Deep Purple vocalist Ian Gillan still has the pipes to get the job done. The audience responded enthusiastically to the favorites from the archives: Woman From Tokyo, Ted The Mechanic, Lazy, Space Truckin’ and Speed King. Dressed in white casual attire, Gillan praised the audience for “sending out some great vibes.” He then introduced some new material - Well Dressed Guitar, an instrumental that showcased bass, guitar and drum styles - before launching into Knocking At Your Back Door.

As expected, each bandmate had a solo to work in, beginning with Don Airey's keyboard to the first few stanzas of Bach's Toccata & Fugue in D Minor, developing to the theme from Star Wars and then some interplaying with Steve Morse's electrifying guitar riffs, followed by extraordinary bass and drum solos. Of course, the set would not be complete without Smoke On The Water, Hush and Highway Star.

Concluding the evening was Germany's own Scorpions. Coming Home and Bad Boys Running Wild opened the set, followed by Zoo, as singer Klaus Meine ran from one end of the stage to the other throwing out an endless supply of drumsticks. True to form, Meine displayed his operatic vocal cords, going from the hard-driving Big City Nights and Tease Me, Please Me to softer stuff like We'll Burn The Sky and Still Loving You. Each band member unleashed powerful and manic solos, and the set ended with the hit Rock You Like A Hurricane, as fan after fan hurled themselves onstage only to be quickly escorted off.

Sent in by Michael Nakoryakov

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