[% META title = 'Tour Reviews' %]

Love Gillan in an elevator

My girlfriend and I fly from New York to Vegas for the highly anticipated Deep Purple show, including Dio and Scorpions who are also well liked by us.

So we check in, still jet-lagged, and get in the elevator to go to our floor. The elevator stops - door opens - in gets none other than Mr. Ian Gillan! My girlfriend, not yet realizing what just happened, looks at me and wonders why I look like I just swallowed a canary. I finally manage to get over my speechless-ness and say "IAN!" He says "Yes?" and I stare at him for a few seconds trying to get my tongue to move. To make a long story short - I tell him I'm a great fan and that we just flew in to see him, etc. He was the perfect gentleman, very friendly and polite, and even volunteered to hold the elevator door which was buzzing to shut by this time while we frantically scrambled to find a pen to get his autograph. Here's a guy who's sometimes been a spec in the distance in a giant stadium to me, now standing alone with us in a tiny closed elevator for a couple of minutes - very twilight zone-ish.

As though that wasn't exhilarating enough, we pop to the pool to get some sun, and who are the bunch of guys laying on beach chairs a few feet from us? The Scorpions.

Oh yes - the show - I won't get into the set details etc. again since other reviewers already have, but I can say I was expecting a great show, and it was better than I expected. I could have seen Dio, Scorpions or Purple by themselves and it would have been a satisfying concert experience. The three in a row were just phenomenal.

Ronnie came on and non only did Dio songs, but also ones he'd done while with Blackmore's Rainbow and Black Sabbath. He was great. Then came Purple. They were tight and did a fantastic show, though it was sad to not see Jon on keyboards. Don did do a great job though, fit in perfectly, and never sounded like he was trying to replace Jon, since he has his own style variation which is also well synchronized with the Deep Purple style. The Scorpions then came on and also gave us a good show. These chaps were all fantastic.

I couldn't help thinking though that both Ronnie and Don were part of the band that the ex-guitar player of Deep Purple formed, and that the Scorpions were the opening band touring with Ritchie and Rainbow a couple of decades ago - a nice musical and historical tie-in.

I could complain that the Aladdin venue was not prepared for the intensity of the exhilarated crowd (one bathroom for thousands of people and intermingled beer lines wrapping throughout the entire lobby) - but let's end on a good note.

Bejan Rafii

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