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Regent Theatre, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
April 24, 2004

Silver Tongue
Woman From Tokyo
I Got Your Number
Strange Kind Of Woman
Knocking At Your Back Door
Contact Lost (very touching moment)
Steve Morse's solo
Well Dressed Guitar
Don Airey's solo (incl Star Wars theme and Waltzing Matilda)
Perfect Strangers
Highway Star
Lazy (incl drum solo)
When A Blind Man Cries
Space Truckin'
Smoke On The Water (this brought the house down - again)

Hit The Road Jack
Black Night

Wow! Like a good bottle of wine, they just keep getting better.
Last night was the fourth time I have seen Deep Purple live in Melbourne since 1984 and I walked away after the show in awe of five masters of their respective trades.
They played much the same set as the Sydney shows and each of the songs worked well live.
Welcome Don to the DP family and congratulations not only on filling Jon's shoes but bringing a new dynamic to the band. It was great to see the guys thoroughly enjoying themselves and working off each other.
I think Ian's voice was the strongest out of all the four concerts I have seen, managing to get through the duals with Steve and the screams that he is legendary for without breaking.
He sat cross legged at the front of the stage to introduce Contact Lost. After hearing the background to this tune you listen to it in a whole new light.
Steve Morse is such a fine technician, when he played his solos I got chills up my spine.
If you haven't yet seen DP live, just do it, it is an experience you will never forget.
Eric Noordzy

One could start by praising the promoters for their choice of venue. The Regent Theatre built back in 1929 stands as a classic monument, and who better to perform in such a place other than the original hard rock masters DP, which have stood the test of time, and show no signs of slowing down. Promoted as an "Up Close And Personal Tour", performing at smaller venues like the Lyric and Regent theatres appears to have been a huge success.
Not knowing if there would be more than one Melbourne concert and not wanting to miss out - the Regent Theatre only seats 2200 people - I gladly paid the additional $50 through Visa Preferred Seating to secure decent "A Reserve" seats. Happy with this decision, I ended up sitting ten rows from the front, slightly left of centre. The rest was history in the making.
What a fantastic concert, both visually and aurally.
Gillan's voice was in great form, with Airey's replacement to Jon Lord an unmistakeable choice. During Don Airey's solo, the seats were vibrating from the awsome depth of sound coming through the PA's. They all played well, but apparent most of all was the feeling one got, that the band was on a high from the crowds responce, who showed great appreciation towards the band. The last three or four numbers kept the crowd standing and rocking in appreciation to the band's awsome performance and determination to what they do best.
I started following DP back in 1973, and I think they sound just as good now, if not better. The only thing missing from the concert, was maybe a couple of more songs from Bananas, such as House of Pain and Haunted, but I can live with that, as you can't please everyone.
It would be great if they produce a live DVD somewhere along the Bananas world tour to capture this moment in the band's history.
Most of all, I hope they keep writing new material, and with that, they tour again, including downunder, and show the world they are one of the greatest rock bands to ever exist, as once they stop, no band will ever be able to replace or replicate these masters.
Paul Mattielli

It's a road trip this time. Drove from Sydney to Melbourne yesterday to see Deep Purple play their first Melbourne concert. It's been a long couple of days. The road trip took 10 hours each way. On the way down I listened to The Corrs [What?! Rasmus], In Rock, Bananas, Bananas in Dusseldorf, The Whitlams, Led Zeppelin and Major Impact 2.
Melbourians have a (well earned) reputation as the best sporting crowd in the nation. To that crown I think they can now add the premier DP audience. It was good to see the crowd really enjoy the show and why wouldn't they. This band is hot, the set-list is very well thought out and the playing (especially the singing) was exquisite. The thing about going to a rock concert is the more the crowd puts into it the more the crowd gets out of it as the band feeds off the energy, In fact, Ian welcomed us to the band as the 6th member (all 2,000 of us!)
I saw the show with Trevor and Christine from Adelaide and Dean and Errol from Melbourne. To be Up Close And Personal in sixth row seeing such a fantastic band put on such a great show - and share it with your mates was very special.
Whilst I have never understood why they play Hush (as IG and RG never played on the single), tonight's version was an absolute corker. Don's solo was really hot.
The other highlights were Ian's drum solo, Steve's playing (especially in Contact Lost and Bananas), Roger's solid work throughout the night (and I managed to get a plectrum for my daughter). Don really seemed to enjoy himself tonight (more so than the three Sydney shows) but the true highlight was Ian's singing. IG, what a superstar, your vocals last night were the best I have ever heard in six tours downunder (four with DP and two with Gillan). Simply amazing.
If DP are visiting a town anywhere near you do yourself a bit favour, go and see them. Better still, take a few mates with you, you'll have a great time seeing a band that is truly shining with a great set-list, great playing and the band is having fun. And you will too.
Pulling into the driveway tonight the intro to Woman from Tokyo started on the radio (WSFM). A great end to a special weekend. Never a word, a word so true.
Graeme Milton

The fifth or sixth time I have seen Purple since 1975 and without a doubt, the best.
An inspired choice of venue - the Regent Theatre is a magnificent confection of a place and allowed us to really get Up Close & Personal.
For those of us who were upstairs, we were able to use the side balconies to jump around and generally go off, whilst getting closer to the band.
An inspired choice of support act - Billy Thorpe singing and playing as well as ever. (Just like being back at the Music Bowl in 1970, Thorpie!) But I could have listened to Thorpie for another hour or so - the DP boys were waiting to lift us out of our current lives and transport us to a special place where they turned it on for 2,000 of their special mates. At least that's what it felt like.
This was a band in their prime who for two magical hours wrapped us up in their world.
Highlights? Heaps! What shone through was the musicianship, the craft that was on display. Peerless!
From Paicey's solo to Steve's moving Contact Lost /WDG to Don's beautiful keyboard work to Gillan's incredible voice to Roger's bass that glued it all together it was sensational.
The new stuff, which I admit to not having heard before, was fabulous! I'll have the album by the weekend.
Personal choices? Wonderful to hear Knocking At Your Back Door again and played in such a relentless way - it chugged along! Perfect Strangers I loved as I did Lazy, Highway Star and Woman from Tokyo. Regrets? Fireball - the first DP album I ever bought and only the second ever. (The first was a Creedence, by the way.)
Suggestions? (I'll get hanged for this!) Drop Strange Kind of Woman - I reckon it's had its day; and get Hush out of the encores.
By the time they got to Space Truckin' I was literally off in a world of my own, so much so that I actually forgot they would play Smoke on the Water! Mate, when Steve launched into it, the adrenalin rush was incredible. All of us on the balcony went ape-droppings! [Huh?! Ape-droppings? Rasmus]
The energy coming out of the audience was wonderful but I can't help but be puzzled why almost all the crowd upstairs sat down for most of the night and really only got up for Smoke and the encores. All of our arm waving and cries of"Get off your arses!" were to no avail and most of you all kept sitting. Very puzzling!
As fantastic as the concert was, the three of us had a bigger thrill - we wandered around the block, found the stage door and walked into a room with 20 or so other people. We all then went into the Green Room and met four-fifths of the band. I wish I had met Paicey! As a part-time drummer, Ian P. has always been an inspiration. When I was 14 in 1970, all I ever wanted to be was Ian Paice. Now at 48, all I ever want to be is Ian Paice.
We came away from our DP experience with autographed tickets and t-shirts, but more importantly, a reaffirmation of the power and impact of music that is meaningful, that speaks directly to our life experiences.
Every so often, life throws us a magical experience that long stays in the memory. This was such an occasion.
Anthony Clifford

I attended the show at the Regent Theatre last night. I initially thought ticket prices were a bit steep, but in hind-sight, worth every cent. What a show! These guys really know how to rock.
The thing that strikes me the most about Ian, Roger, Steve, Ian and Don is that they genuinely appear to be having a whale of a time up there on stage and this projects so powerfully to the audience. There were many highlights and here's just a few.
I loved the tracks from Bananas. When I first bought the album back in October I was really hoping Purple would grace Australian stages again on this world tour so I could hear these new songs live (particularly I Got Your Number and Bananas) - I was not disappointed. These songs seem to sit so naturally along side the older ones. Contact Lost - what can I say that wasn't already expressed so beautifully by Steve's strings. This song has to be heard live to be believed. I was hoping to hear Doing It Tonight as I saw it on the set list from some previous nights, but they didn't play it. Never mind.
My friend Andy and I love Ian Gillanisms and were treated last night. The highlight being when he introduced Strange Kind Of Woman as a song about an ex-girlfriend. His story was that he arrived home one night and found her in the refrigerator. I love that stuff. [Careful, it might be illegal in some states -it's certainly painful everywhere! ;^) Rasmus]
Perfect Strangers is such a powerful song. They performed it with such energy and rawness.
Space Truckin' was a real treat. I'd never heard this song live before. They did it justice in every way.
Now to the band members:
Ian Gillan - I love him. I was in awe of the man's vocal ability. I saw Deep Purple in 1999 and 2001 and think his voice has gotten better. Truly a rock legend.
Roger Glover - The man is a machine. He just stands to stage left and hammers that bass guitar for two hours solid without a break. Drives the band rhythmically.
Ian Paice - Thoroughly enjoyed his drum solo. It probably went for longer than the last couple of tours but that was good. The man strikes me as being very humble.
Steve Morse - Another machine with fingers of steel. I know this will be a dagger in the heart to many but he leaves Blackmore for dead. Steve plays with such grace and feeling that I have never experienced listening to Ritchie play. Steve has really brought something to this band that seems to being growing with every performance.
Don Airey - This was the first time I have heard Don play live with Deep Purple and I was very impressed. He is obviously a professional. Really enjoyed his solos. I am a keyboard player myself and an avid Jon Lord fan. I was heartbroken when he retired and thought no-one could ever replace him. I do feel for Don Airey having to fill those shoes, but he is doing most admirably.
One thing I will say is that Jon Lord has a predominant bluesy Hammond sound, which is what I love and what most Deep Purple fans have come to love, however that is not quite there with Don, but I'll get used to it as I have no intention of giving this band away.
Overall an amazing experience and one that I will not forget.
In closing I would like to send a personal message to the band:
Dear Deep Purple,
Please, please, please just keep doing what you're doing and don't ever stop.
Michael Burrows

Just got home from the greatest gig/concert I've ever seen!
I saw the lads on the 1999 Total Abandon tour and the 2001 tour as well. Having seen DP at the bigger venue twice (Rod Laver Arena), I can honestly say this smaller venue (Regent Theatre) was even better. Gladly paying the extra $31 to get better seats (8th row). First up Billy Thorpe was amazing as a support band. They played an hour of great music. Many bands would be ashamed to follow them. Deep Purple are not one of those bands!
I have no idea how in his 59th year IG seems to be singing so superbly! He didn't hit a flat note or crack at all at any stage in any song. And this was his fifth gig in six nights! It was a stunning display of vocal gymnastics, wit, joy and fan respect - even inviting a gleeful (male) fan up on stage to shake his hand and give SM a kiss on the side of the head.
Ian Paice is a freak. The greatest rock drummer that ever drew breath continues to inspire another generation of fans. My hat is off to you Paicey. (I loved his DVD, 'Not for the Pros')
Roger Glover (a personal hero as I am a bass player myself) continues to amaze and inspire into his 59th year also! Has this man ever play a false note or out of time - or done anything wrong ever? [He might have walked a red light once ... Rasmus]
New boy Don Airey was a master technician and seemed to thoroughly enjoy his role in the line-up. Nice touch adding Waltzing Matilda to his solo also. As the only man to play in Whitesnake (session work), Rainbow and Deep Purple, this man deserves the greatest praise. I used to call him the second best rock keyboard player ever, now I just call him Sir! The only downside was a lack of video screen so we could see his hands..
And Steve Morse... Well, the friend I went with said the Contact Lost/WDGuitar combo was the best thing he had ever witnessed live and I decided that I had to agree with him. The tone, power, control and energy both used and given surely must rank him among the elite rock musicans of all time. I have seen him three times and never once have I thought 'I wish Ritchie was here'. That is amazing considering I love RB. What SM brings to the band cannot be defined. Quite simply, I doubt the band would exist had they not found him in 1994.
The concert was the perfect volume, clarity and mix of old and new songs (wishing for Pictures of Home is just being greedy).
Did I mention being eight rows from the front? Did I mention that I snuck forward and Steve Morse shook my hand? Did I mention the yellow Ernie Ball 'Steve Morse' guitar pick I jumped for and caught in my right hand at the end? Did I mention that my friend and I made eye contact with SM, IG and DA? These things could not have happened 50 rows back in a stadium.
To look around and see a 16-year-old girl dancing her butt off and a 10-year-old boy singing along to Highway Star and was a beautiful thing to behold.
This was the greatest band ever, playing the greatest music ever, by (among) the greatest musicians ever. I asked myself if Led Zeppelin had toured (with a living drummer) [Preferrably! Rasmus] what would they sound like? Then I started laughing when I remembered they were terrible live to begin with, let alone as fat, old has beens. No no no - there is only one greatest band of all time - and that band was seen by me this very evening - and that band is Deep Purple. I'm so pleased RG has informed us he will retire in 2048!
Here endeth the lesson.
By the way, I am still shaking my head in awe at how amazing they still are in 2004!
Anthony Emery

Going Bananas - The Regent Theatre, Melbourne was looking more like a tropical plantation in far north Queensland with its stage backdrop of banana palms. Deep Purple had returned to feed the hungry Melbourne crowd with a feast of delights off their current album, Bananas.
Opening the first show on April 24th, a barefooted Ian Gillan (vocals) hopped back and forth swinging arms to the heat of the enduring rock beat provided by Ian Paice.
Surprisingly, a few songs from the album missing on the night, but from Perfect Strangers onward we realized that fruit was just the entrée and the banquet had really begun!
Steve Morse has now established his presence in the legendary band and commands his own place on the stage with the ever-youthful, Roger Glover setting the pace for the younger guitarist.
Don Airey brought a Hush to the theatre with undoubtedly the best performance ever of that Deep Purple '68 classic. (Ian Paice being the only original member left to confirm that). These rock legends just keep getting better. I can't wait to see what they serve for dessert!
Maree Rogers

So they kept the vibe alive, by playing, and tearing it up in Japan, Singapore, South Korea, China, and Australia and beyond, as they don't want to stop. And I am told why stop when you are this good live, maybe the best they have been in years. They have played at the best place around, and while the “SMOKE ON THE WATER' never clears, a theatre of 2500 would debate the merits of each version they have formed.
Mick Harris - read Mick's full review

What a great pleasure it was to walk up the steps of the Regent Theatre in Melbourne on a cold Saturday night knowing that inside awaited a top line show. When the lights dimmed, people who were standing and talking quickly focussed on the stage. A buzz went through the place. When the lights went on and the guys walked on stage the crowd went off - big time.
It was great to see folks of all ages there. I spoke to a woman in the foyer and she was bringing her 10-year-old son to his first rock concert. She said, “He might as well see the best to start with.” Funny, I had the same experience with my son, his first concert was DP in Melbourne 2001.
Ian Gillan was the consumate performer on the night. His banter between songs was very entertaining and he showed us the band’s appreciation of the buzz they were getting onstage. Everyone was having the best time. I just wish Ian Paice had launched a drumstick 20 foot straight down the middle. It would be on my wall right now!
The backdrop and ligh show was spectacular. Up close and personal - fantastic!
Finally I would like to congratulate the band for their stellar performance in keeping such a great sound over the years and also their support to us (the fans) for touring regularly to Australia. They know they are very welcome to move here!
David Reynolds

The Age review



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