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Wembley Arena, London, England
June 21, 2003
Pictures Of Home
Well Dressed Guitar
I've Got Your Number
Don Airey Solo
Steve Morse Solo
Smoke On The Water
I had a great time at Wembley last Saturday! It was the best
gig I've been to for years, but please tell them to get rid of the seats next
time, so I can get closer to the front - I can still hear, that can't be right!
The surprise highlight was the new song, "Haunted".
I really like this song! It's got a nice melody, a good guitar solo, and tonight
it featured an excellent performance from Gillan.
The other new song, "Got Your Number", also works well. I don't know
how much it's changed from last year's prototype version ("Up the Wall")
- I recognised the basic song, but this version seems to work better. I thought
Up The Wall was structured a bit oddly; this version flows much better.
Apart from two new songs and one surprise from the vaults ("I'm Alone",
which works so well live you wonder why they've never done it before), it was
pretty much as you would expect. Everybody played well, with Gillan especially
in great form throughout. Don was a bit lost in the mix a lot of the time, but
when he was showcased (notably on Lazy and Hush), he played superbly. Definitely
worthy of a place in the world's greatest rock band.
So, not sure what else to say...
It was... good.
Having been to quite a few of the previous tours we were looking forward to
Lynyrd Skynyrd was just a bonus as far as we were concerned. As it turned out
they were the highlight. What a brilliant set they played, and they lit the
place up. For Purple it was a case of "follow that". Unfortunately,
The set list, although different, was definitely nothing special. People were
either just standing still or even sitting down (quite good for me as the guy
two rows in front was over six foot and whenever I strayed a few inches to the
left to see, the aisle police pushed me back).
The two new numbers seemed OK. It also seemed to be the "Don & Steve
Show" - where was Ian's drum solo? We felt that this was a "going
through the motions" show. We ended up leaving (with a lot of others) before
Oh, and the 'new programme'. It's the old one from a couple of years ago with
Jon Lord replaced with Don Airey. At £10 a throw, a complete rip-off.
Overall, very disappointing.
Chris & Jackie Archer
After a more than superb rendition of
Freebird by Lynyrd Skynyrd, we could just imagine DP backstage whispering amongst
themselves "Blimey, are we going on next?"
Rest assured, a different set from the recent ones, with great showcase promotion
of both Steve Morse and Don Airey (Jon Lord can never be replaced - but Don's
solo was gob-smackingingly good!), Ian G was on brilliant form - except he seemed
to be reading from notes the whole time (and where were the bongos - someone
Ian P was just Ian P as usual (shame he didn't get a solo tho'), and Roger is
just always so damn groovy.
Right - which gig do we go to next? Just can't get enough of DP.
Deep Purple showed they were the masters of rock last night
giving an excellent performance. Playing roaring rock classics to a few Bananas
from the new bunch, they held the audience in the palm of their hand.
The brilliance and skill of Steve Morse shone out like an highly illuminated
Highway Star - his playing seems to get better - Steve had a few volume pedal
problems and needed a little tech assistance at one point
but continued his screeching and wailing style in a totally professional manner.
He also had a new guitar to show to the crowd - the same Musicman 'Steve Morse'
but in Sunburst with a matching headstock!
Ian Gillan had a great night, his voice has never sounded as good in recent
years - something tells me that he may give 'Child in Time' a bash again if
the improvement continues!
Good banter, as always, amongst the band. It seemed Gillan was extremely happy
Morsey pulled off one or two new solos in just the way he wanted.
As usual Roger Glover's bass was hard, precise, warm, flawless and friendly
(All of Deep Purple seem to give back an huge amount of time and support to
their fans - special tribute to Jon Lord on our meeting in Plymouth last year!).
The man at the back Mr Ian Paice showed why his perfect timing, energy, enthusiasm,
skill and personality have helped the band stay at the top for so many years
- He is the rock in the Purple quintet - no one does it better. We did miss
the normal Paicey solo, with his one arm drum roll and seemingly effortless
talent with the skins - please bring it back.
Don Airey put in a good performance although the normal keyboard/guitar duel
during Speed King was not as polished, accurate, interesting and fun as when
Jon Lord and Steve Morse battle - let's give it/him time though.
Yes, it was an unusual mix and order of songs - the first half of the concert
seems to need a little mixing around to keep the interest flowing (new/old,
rock/ballard etc) but all said it was a good night out.
I look forward to the 'Bananas' tour and maybe the reintroduction of anything
'Purpendicular' or from the abandoned 'Abandon' (I won't list - you know the
Martin & Darren Wonnacott
I decided not to attend the Wembley show as I saw the band wasn't
playing anything from "Purpendicular" and "Abandon" - and
only include songs that I've already heard live.
I think the two excellent studio albums recorded with Steve Morse deserve to
be well represented in any DEEP PURPLE show, at least a couple of songs from
And what about "Strange Kind Of Woman", "Maybe
I'm a Leo", "Child in Time" or "Knocking
at your backdoor"? These songs haven't been played for ages either.
I hope the band consider this and put on a much better show for the Bananas
They're still one of the best rock bands ever.
Thanks very much,
Gillan's voice seemed to be in pretty good shape, particularly
in Space Truckin'.. he was really screaming his head off, albeit with Steve
adding some backup on the guitar in case he didn't hit the notes - he did though!
Space Truckin' was definitely one of the highlights of the show.
Don Airey fitted in superbly, he was a bit withdrawn last time (possibly because
Jon Lord was lurking about), but tonight he contributed some really interesting
/ weird solos! His solo section with just him was quite interesting aswell,
despite the obligatory Star Wars. He was quite buried in the mix for quite a
few of the songs, which was a shame, but that may have been because of where
I was sitting.
Haunted ( a new song ) didn't seem to go down hugely well - I've heard it before
and so know the song (took a bit of getting used to!), but the crowd didn't
seem to think it was that great, and Gillan made what seemed to me like a veiled
excuse afterwards. However, the second new song "I've got your number"
was fantastic, an extremely rocking song with Roger, Steve, and Don doing backing
vocals (not Paicey though) - another one of the highlights of the evening. I'm
Alone was also (as IG would say in a dodgy French accent..) "superb."
Lowlights? Well, occasionally the sound got a bit muddy and turned into a wall
of noise, but that was only occasionally. They played a by-the-book version
of Highway Star, which gets on my nerves as it's a song open for improvisation.
The Machine Head version is wooden enough as it is, and they replicated it exactly.
In terms of performance, the band was almost flawless - it was very loud, and
they all seemed to be enjoying themselves.. other than a few headbangers, the
crowd weren't jumping about but they seemed to be appreciative of it, the atmosphere
was great. It's notable that the arena was almost full - they can still draw
a crowd from the look of it! Lots of younger people were also there (like myself),
which is always good to see.
On one of the hottest days of the year we set off early so we
could grab a McDonalds before hand as my lottery ticket wasn't a winner so I
couldn't afford Wembley catering. We got there to see no long queues and a welcome
sign saying cameras are allowed in the venue if you weren't a budding David
Bailey , much to the annoyance of my 14 year old son Ian who had been told to
leave his in the car. How many times are children right ? hardly ever but I
put my hands up to that one. Lets hope more groups allow this to happen.
- read Alan's full review
What an appallingly ragged and disappointing performance.
This was the first time I have seen Deep Purple live, despite having been a
concert goer since around 1974. I was really looking forward to the gig but
what a load of pretentious rubbish they played.
With a back catalogue to die for they played over-the-top keyboard solos, guitar
solos including bits of Jessica and the Star Wars theme and so on. WHY???
We walked out just as Smoke on the Water was starting but that wasn't a good
enough reason to stay.
I think it is terrific that Wembley invite people to a show
on receipt of a large sum of money and then charge £10.00 to park and
£3.50 for a bottle of beer! What a rip off.
We waited patiently for Lynyrd Skynyrd to start thinking this would be a great
warm up for the main event. On came Skynyrd, Wembley suddenly came alive. The
band were connecting with the audience in a way I used to see bands do 25 years
ago. It's not that the quality of the playing/singing was so great but every
song was delivered with conviction and the band wanted Wembley to enjoy their
performance and to get involved. And they certainly did. At many points in their
set virtually everybody in the auditorium was on their feet clapping, singing,
waving lighters around in time with the ballads etc etc. when Skynyrd left the
stage Wembley erupted, demanding an encore and the band kept them waiting and
clapping/chanting/stamping for a long time before returning to perform the inevitable
Free Bird which was delivered with great passion and drama. What a brilliant
set - and I'm not even a LS fan!
But if this was only a warm up, Deep Purple would surely rise to the challenge
and deliver an equally storming set. Wrong. The band came on stage and I knew
that Highway Star was the opener. What a damp squib. The auditorium was quiet,
glued to their seats. Highway Star gave way to Mary Long. Still no connection
with the crowd and no real attempt either.
It wasn't until Speed King that a handful of people rose to their feet and responded.
Why? The guys on stage were performing well. Gillan in fine voice, Steve playing
with his usual technical brilliance, Ian "the metronome" delivering
with precision as usual, Roger pounding out the bass line and Don, well Don's
performance was technically flawless as well. So the sum of these parts is a
great performance then? Well no it certainly wasn't. The performance as a whole
was lack lustre, was delivered in a formulaic fashion and largely failed to
connect with the audience.
At one point Ian said "Thanks, you're sending down some great vibes, means
a lot to us," but he must have been in a different venue because the atmosphere
was distinctly subdued. [Maybe it's in his crip sheet... Rasmus]
When Purple left the stage they came back on for the encore after about 60 seconds.
Good job too because many in the crowd were not asking for one.
What happened last night at Wembley? Well, I think that one band gave a total
performance and made a lot of friends in the process The other band played their
music extremely competently but very mechanically and predictably and disappointed
many of their fans including this one. Something has to change if Deep Purple
are to maintain their standing and their fan base and the message is "listen
to the people who still want to see you deliver an exciting. inspiring performance
and concentrate more on connecting with the audience than delivering a technically
flawless but tired and uninspiring set.
Simon Smith & Rosie
This is the loudest gig I've been to in ages this includes seeing
DP at my local venue. Hope that continues.
They all played very well as usual, Ian Gillan stands out head and shoulders
again. He continues to look fit and well and his vocals are superb. Think back
to the eighties with him croaking with that double chin. And playing the harmonica
in Lazy all dressed in white lit up with the spots looking, well all god like
What can you say about Don. The exchanges in Speed King betwen Steve and JL
just flowed sounding natural bouncing back and forth. With Don they sound a
bit mechanical shall we say. But he is worthy. Steve played Happy Birthday on
the guitar for him.
As for the 2 new songs the wife and I liked them. And Im Alone was really
good. It was the B-side to the Strange Kind Of woman single on the old green
Harvest label. Lost my copy ages ago.
More happy memories to carry until the next time. Great show and a great end
to a horrible sticky day in London.
The main problem was the crowd shame on you. A lot of people
sat down during Purple's performance!
A bit too much Airey for my liking even if it was his birthday. Steve Morse
was brilliant as ever but was left in front way too much.
This was very much a 'well we have to play so this is it' show. Straight forward
and good cos Purple always are, but for me a lacklustre performance.
One thing I cannot fault Purple for, is their lack of ego. Any
band who are happy to allow the best rock performers of all time to steal the
show (not the first time Skynyrd have done this) must be applauded. Lynyrd Skynyrd
were awesome, and had the crowd eating out of their hand.
Purple were very good, Skynyrd were simply the best.
This was their 35th Anniversary tour - you'd think they would
pull out all the stops? Wrong!
Where was Child in time, Strange kind of woman? No doubt they get fed up with
playing the same songs all the time, but what they don't seem to realise is
that audiences never get fed up with hearing them.
A nd why does Gillan never want to sing any of the Coverdale era songs? Imagine
AC/DC not doing any Bon Scott tracks, Judas Priest not doing any Rob Halford
songs. I'm sure Burn, Stormbringer and Mistreated would have all gone down a
We all know what great musicians they all are, and so should have put their
talents to better use. Next time I hope they leave their egos behind and play
for the fans.
Generally the band seemed lethargic to the point of dis-interest.
Sure - they played amazingly well but something was missing. I blame the venue
- the last time I felt Purple didn't reach their own high standards was the
Abandon tour at the same place.
Once again - a cabaret show with only two tracks from the current line up. As
those two tracks were from the new album and had to be played anyway made the
fact that nothing from Purpendicular or Abandon was played even more criminal.
Steve Morse is a genuine contributor to the Purple legend but we will lose him
if they continue to showcase a disproportionately Blackmore era track list.
Having said all that the two new tracks were awesome (I consider Well Dressed
Guitar an 'oldie' since it has been part of the set for more than a year now).
I really cannot wait for the new album - and another tour to promote it please!
Have to agree the majority that this was a performance to forget
from Purple. They didn't seem interested and the set list was without any highlights.
To now find out that a couple of nights later they felt the need to revamp the
set list to somewhere near decent has added insult to injury.
I will await judgement on the two new songs as they were delivered without any
passion so I will wait for the cd to come out before commenting.
Overall this was the most disappointing Purple performance I have ever seen,
and that's a lot of gigs.
Thank god that Lynyrd Skynyrd delivered the goods otherwise the whole evening
would have been a complete waste. Proberbly not a good idea to be on the same
bill as band of the calibre of LS next time. Just hope that this tour in general
was a blip!!
After the LS sound problems, I was fearful about what DP would
Loud. Louder than I have heard them over the past 7 years - louder even than
1985 in Sydney. The loudest I have ever heard them. Even more impressive, the
sound was clear. Not crystal clear - the keyboards kept getting lost - but a
hell of a lot better than what had gone before.
Musically they were fine, and Steve does appear to be playing more DP and less
Steve. The new songs rock (even though I was wondering whether they were winging
it during "I got your number"). The crowd where I was were standing
(except during the keyboard solo - traditionally, this seems to be "old
people sitting down time").
It would be interesting to see how long it was before the encores started -
but it was more than 60 seconds.
Of the two gigs Ive seen this tour (the other one was Feb 2002) this was musically
the better one.
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