[% META title = 'Tour Reviews' %]

Gillan - basically God on bare feet

This was my first DP show. I'm only 17 and I went with a 15-year-old and a 12-year-old kid. As a result many people talked to us and asked us all kinds of questions about how long we'd been DP and Dio fans. Our homemade Dio t-shirts received about 10 compliments, it was quite interesting.

Dio rocked the house to open up. I love the man, and it was our first time seeing him live. He kicked ass. What a showman. I'll never forget him blessing the crowd during the "make me holy again" part of Man On The Silver Mountain. Dio acknowledged our carefully made Happy Birthday Dio poster several times, which was quite an honor. I only wish the set was longer. Considering the circumstances, Dio did well, with no light show, no props, a crowd that was only half standing, and only an hour to play. My only complaints were that the drum solo was unncessary (could have been replaced with another song), and the guitar solo, while very impressive, was way too long. It also ate up song time. The setlist was the same as it is in all other reviews, with Last In Line, my favorite Dio tune, as the encore.

On to Deep Purple, the reason we bought these tickets in the first place. They were, to be honest, much more awesome that expected. I came to pay homage to some of my favorite rock gods, not expecting to be blown away, which I was.

First, Ian Gillan, was basically god. I had no idea his voice was still in that shape! He screamed all the time, which was so awesome. His 'duets' with Steve Morse á la Strange Kind Of Woman off Made In Japan were a welcome surprise. He was just as I'd imagined him to be, be-bopping around, being ridiculous, having fun. I wish he'd go back to his classic hair though - he doesn't look quite as incredible with his conservative current hairstyle.

Roger Glover was on fire. The bass was quite audible to us in our 8th row center stage seats. Watching him play is a joy. His solo was stunning. Steve Morse also blew me away. He is also quite the showman, and he seems to be having a great time, smiling, having fun with the rest of the band. As far as talent, no one in the building could touch him. In fact, there's hardly anyone I can think that is a better player currently on the hard rock scene than Steve. He was flawless, and his personalizations of the songs were interesting. I like how he didn't recycle Ritchie's solos note for note either. His seeming spontaneity with the extra DP and non-DP riffs he throws into the middle of songs was great too.

Don Airey's solo was great. Very well done. I wanted to slap the people who promptly sat as soon as it started. They can't appreciate anything but constant in-your-face loud rock. DP - unlike crowd favorites Scorpions - are a band with actual depth and talent - which seemed at times unnoticed. However, I think the crowd reception of DP was good - everyone liked the powerful set they did. As for Ian Paice, considering his drumming on the live albums and studio albums I own, I expected more fireworks. He's still my second favorite drummer next to Neil Peart, but it seemed like he has declined with age. Was it my imagination or did he eliminate every complicated fill and drum roll in the songs? I don't know. The drum solo he did was very nice though - topped off with that stunning one handed drum roll! Wow.

As for my few complaints, I'd say the keyboards were at too low volume. Airey's solos were often inaudible, especially in Fireball. I think they fixed it a little after that. Fireball was probably the worst song they did that night because the keyboard solo was so bad. I wish they had played longer. Oh, what I would give to see these guys for three hours. The set was the same they've been doing for a while now, except Hush was dropped.

The Scorpions had everything going for them. They were the closing band, they had a good light show, a great stage set up, it was dark, they were louder than everyone else. But let's be perfectly honest, musically they don't cut it compared to DP or Dio. But, because most people are interested in loud fast hits (with the occasional cheesy ballad), Scorpions were the winner with the crowd on this night. They were good and I enjoyed their set. The drummer is impressive, very, very good. And he's totally insane. Spraying water all the time from his mouth, throwing and flipping and rotating his sticks every chance he got. [Wouldn't mean much in the studio, would it? Rasmus] His solo was great. No one else was very impressive. The rhythm guitarist was very annoying. If you're going to an upcoming show, you'll see what I mean.

Overall, Dio and DP kick total ass, and the Scorpions are very good. It's an excellent concert to go to.

Francis Beringer

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