[% META title = 'Tour Reviews' %]

Well dressed in Houston

It was great to have Deep Purple rock the Houston area for the second year in a row after a drought of over 16 years (what did I do to be so blessed!).

On Saturday, June 8 they played the Woodlands Pavilion with Dio and The Scorpions with nearly a full house in attendence. I have to admit I wasn't as pumped as I've been in the past for a Purple show due to Jon's retirement, although I understand and respect his decision. It was Jon's organ playing that turned me onto DP way back when, so with him not there my attitude was sort of "okay guys - impress me". I should have known better to not to give the band a dare!

Unfortunately, I had to work and arrived late, missing most of Dio's show. It was the first time I've ever seen Dio live and I was really impressed with his voice and showmanship - and the audience loved him and cheered him on loudly. Dio's band played well - Jimmy Bain was on bass. If you're going to the show, take my advice and arrive early so you can see all of Dio.

After a quick changeover, DP casually walked on (it was still daylight) and launched the show off with WFT. The band sounded great, Ian's singing was superb and everything was fine until the piano break. Urgh, I didn't like what Don played, probably because it wasn't what I was expecting to hear.But, soon the band were off play Ted the Mechanic, all was good and that was the last time the keyboards/organ sounded different (more on that later).

Next came a new song called Well Dressed Guitar and that was awesome and reminded me of hearing Watching the Sky for the first time live, before it was recorded (H.O.B.-L.A.?). All I could think was "must get a tape of the show". I was real happy and surprised to find the song on the Live Rotterham Ahoy CD that was for sale at the concession stand (I've been off the internet/out of the DP loop for a couple of years). [Yes, where were you, Dana? Rasmus] I now own WDG and it's on 'repeat' in my car's CD player.

This isn't a set list but these are some of the songs the band played: Woman From Tokyo, Ted, Well Dressed Guitar, Mary Long, Lazy, Perfect Strangers, Black Night, Speed King, SOTW, Hush, Highway Star. It was a shortened set list so great songs like No One Came, Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming, Watching The Sky and Pictures Of Home were sadly missing.

Mary Long was a big surprise. It sounded great but I don't understand why the band chose to play a song about 70s British politians to an American audience. I would have choosen Smooth Dancer, but the band never calls and asks for my DP set list.

My biggest (only) complaint was Don's solo which sounded exactly like what Jon would have played: Bits of classical with bits of show tunes (the Star Wars theme was popular). I could have closed my eyes and not known the difference and that's my complaint. If Don's going to remain in DP from now on, I hope he does what Steve has done and incorporates his playing into the songs and doesn't just copy what Jon's done in the past. In a way Don's damned if he does and damned if he doesn't and I have no problem with listening to a new person try new things, even if I wasn't thrilled with the WFT piano bit.

That said, the show was fantastic and I'm now looking at my busy schedule to see if I can squeeze in a road trip to see another gig or two (I didn't bother to stay and see the Scorpions - been there, done that, no thank you).

Don't miss Purple if they come anywhere near you, you'll enjoy what you hear.

Dana McDermott

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