Regent Theatre, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
April 25, 2004
Woman from Tokyo
I Got Your Number
Strange Kind Of Woman
Knocking At Your Back Door
The Well Dressed Guitar
Don Airey's solo (incl Sonata #3, Star Wars theme, Waltzing Matilda)
Lazy (incl Ian Paice's drum solo)
When A Blind Man Cries
Smoke On The Water
Roger Glover solo (incl Norwegian Wood)
Fever* / Hit The Road Jack
* Ian also sang some absurd lyrics that went something like
"I love my dog, I love my wife, I love my little weenie" but I don't
know if this is an actual song.
I have seen them many times in the past and this is one of the
best times. Deep Purple up close.
The sound was incredible. At The Regent the sound they deserve gave DP their
royalty like appearance. The lighting Lewis does a great job, but this time
he out did himself.
Gillan's voice was magnificent. Glover makes all the bass lines look simple
- but are they? They are for him. Paicey with one arm behind his back broke
the speed barrier on the snare.
Don Airey is the only guy I know that could of replace Jon on the keys and get
away with it. Also throwing in Waltzing Matilda on Anzac Day was all that the
Aussies wanted. He won us over. He also played very close to the records, so
he sounded fantastic.
Steve, the smiling guitar player! How much fun can a person and a guitar have
in one night? Just watch Steve. He never missed a note - or should I say he
threw in a couple of 100 extras in as well.
Thanks to everone who make Purple what they are and get this great band rocking
around the world so people can see and enjoy their music. Brilliant. Also if
they come to your town one day, go and let them put a smile on your face and
a ring in your ear.
Let's get Deep Purple in the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame where they belong.
The opening act rocked pretty hard. I have lived in Australia
for 12 years and was entirely unfamiliar with Billy Thorpe before Sunday night.
He played for about an hour. After Thorpe, there was a half hour break, and
then Deep Purple came on stage, and started playing a song I've never heard
before, but from reading previous reviews I know it's Silver Tongue.
What's surprising is that none of the die-hard Purple fans at the front seem
to know any words to any of the songs from Bananas. What's even more surprising
is that hardly anyone got up from their seats all night. In 2001 there were
scores of people next to the stage really enjoying the music. This time they
sat and listened politely.
The highlights of the night included Gillan's vocal performance. I have read
many criticisms of his singing, but it was actually stronger than in 2001 and
listening to Purple on Sunday was like listening to the originals from the 60s
and 70s. Herein lies one of the disappointments, namely, that there was no element
of surprise. Seeing Purple in 2001 for the first time in my life was unreal,
I couldn't come to terms that I am actually seeing them live, but seeing them
in 2004 was seeing the exact same thing again, or Abandon, or Perihelion for
I wasn't even born during Mk II, but I hear that this unpredictability is what
Ritchie used to provide. Steve Morse is an excellent guitarist, his solo spot
was one of the highlights of the night. His control of the guitar is superb.
But in the context of Purple songs, it feels like they start playing a song,
then the song stops, Steve plays a solo, then song starts again. His very tone
is too funky for Deep Purple, at least the classic stuff, and his solos seem
to be interchangeable and not related to the song.
Don Airey was also very good. Star Wars and Waltzing Matilda some of the highlights,
and also the pleasure of hearing the Highway Star keyboard solo unchanged. I
managed to catch a towel he threw into the crowd, which just left a very satisfied
feeling of the whole night. Jon Lord's presence was just awe-inspiring, but
with Don I knew I would hear something different, something I haven't heard
before. It's a pity he hides behind his keyboards, he seems to be a bit weary
not to intrude on Jon's legacy, or maybe he is just quiet by nature.
Roger had an extended solo too, the likes of which I've never heard before,
but the crowd mistook it for the intro to Black Night and started singing it
prematurely. Ian Paice was awesome as he always is.
One bloke jumped on the stage, hugged Ian Gillan and kissed Steve Morse, before
being removed by security. He was one of the few fans who looked really into
it, which is a pity. I had imagined the up close and personal billing would
translate into a pub-like atmosphere, but instead it was more like a theatre
atmosphere, which is not surprising with the concert being held in a theatre.
All in all, Deep Purple are still the hardest rocking band I've ever seen. To
me their music is second only to that of the Beatles, and in the genre of hard
rock they haven't been rivalled. I hope they come back again.