[ d e e p P u r . p l e )
Tour Reviews
The Highway Star

Back to

Current reviews

North America 2


Cynthia Woods Pavillion, Spring, TX, USA
Aug 28, 2004

Silver Tongue
Woman From Tokyo
I Got Your Number
Strange Kind Of Woman
Contact Lost /
Steve Morse solo /
Well Dressed Guitar
Knocking At Your Back Door
Don Airey solo
Perfect Strangers
Highway Star (with Paint it Black in intro)
Space Truckin'
Smoke On The Water

Speed King

In short, another fantastic show from Deep Purple, performing at the Woodlands outdoor pavillion just North of Houston.
The unique moment was the performance of Contact Lost. I'd seen them perform it in San Antonio last February and was expecting something special the following night when they performed in Galveston, which is South of Houston and very close to NASA. As it turns out they didn't perform it at all and I had speculated that they didn't think it would get the respectful attention it deserved, since they were performing outdoors at the Galveston Mardi Gras in front of thousands of drunk party goers. I later read an interview with Steve Morse that confirmed that many of the NASA folks had come out for that show but they'd cancelled the song for exactly the reasons I'd surmised.
I was really glad then that they got another chance to perform it in Houston. After a brief introduction to the song, Ian Gillan turned the microphone over the husband of Kalpana Chawla and the wife of the pilot. They briefly retold the story of meeting Deep Purple in 2002, taking several Purple CD's along on the Columbia mission and selecting Space Truckin' as a wake up song. They also indicated that it was a great honor to have such exceptional musicians create a tribute to their loved ones and dedicated the song to all the people of Houston and Texas who helped in the recovery and who supported the families ofthe astronauts. The audience burst into applause several times during their remarks and couldn't have been more respectful during the song.
Steve gave another stunning performance of the song, but I wondered if it might be a pressure situation even for him. If there's one time you really want to get it right, that's it. It's difficult to cover a mistake in a slow emotional peice like that. Gillan must have had the same thought, he came out and patted Steve on the shoulder afterwards.
The pavillion was packed and Purple had the audience totally wound up and eating of their hands. Given only 90 minutes,the set list was perfect. They blended the new material into the early part of the show and then kept wratcheting things up with the classics through the close.
Speed King was given a new introduction. As the band retook the stage for the encore, Don Airey started playing some somber, churchy organ and Ian Gillan began, "Dearly beloved. We are gathered here today to ROCK AND ROLL." BAM.Right into the SK riff!
The tunes from Bananas were again fantastic and though I'd have loved to hear more I have to admit that the general audience isn't hearing them on radio and although they go over well they don't get the same response as the older more familiar tunes. Even so, Ian - you do not have to appologize for "inflicting" Bananas on us. Great song. In all fairness Bananas had more songs in the set list (five if you count the Well Dressed Guitar) than any other album. Machine Head was second with three and Perfect Strangers next with two.
All in all a fabulous evening and as always I left in awe of the sheer musical talent and stage presence of these guys.

This was the best concert experience I've had in quite a while. Ian's voice was amazing. He was simply spot on. I honestly forgot just how good of a front-man he is... He has never sounded better to these ears. Steve Morse was his usual killer self, and provided this guitar player his second big treat of the night. Satisfying my huge guitar virtuoso fix along with the always amazing Joe Satriani earlier.
Purple has some of the best classic hard-rock songs ever written, and it's almost too bad for them for that was obviously what the crowd came to see. You know they really want to promote their new stuff, but what a gracious band... They gave us what we wanted! And, man, did they ever deliver. Everyone went crazy when they played Woman from Tokyo, and then later reeled off the power trifecta of Highway Star, Space Truckin', and Smoke on the Water. They were tight, powerful, and quite simply amazing.
Excellent sonic delight. I left very happy and played my old Deep Purple albums deep into the night! Great job, boys, come back to Houston as soon as you can!
Dan Parsons

I had the pleasure of seeing a brilliant display of world class rock along with 6,000 or so other enthusiastic fans on Saturday night. As a long time fan, bringing my 17-year-old son to his first DP concert, I was concerned that he would view it as an oldies act. This was no oldies act, as most Purple fans know, as the band ripped through a number of their new tunes from Bananas along with fan faves "all the way from 1968", as Ian Gillan announced unabashedly when introducing Hush during the encore.
A highlight was the introduction of two members of Kalpana Chawla's family prior to Steve Morse's instrumental, Contact Lost. Chawla, as many know, was a crewmember of the ill-fated STS-107 Columbia space shuttle, and a fan of the band, and traded emails with the group for several days while in space. Their moving remarks preceded Steve Morse's powerful rendition of the tribute piece.
The band demonstrated why they are world class musicians over and over. The playing was tight and inspired. Steve Morse showed why he has earned his reputation - playing the classics like he owned them, while injecting vitality into them with his solos. Don Airey demonstrated why he is such a worthy successor to Jon Lord, with his diverse style, and imaginative solo work (including a tip of the ten gallon hat to the proud locals with his rendition of The Yellow Rose Of Texas). Roger Glover's tight bass lines and Ian Paice's always-solid skins work really showed why Deep Purple has evolved and still sets a standard for any up and coming act to strive for. Finally, Ian Gillan's vocals were superb and seemingly effortless. His grace and wit with the audience showed what a true professional he is.
As previous reviewers have noted, the band was hot, animated, and just appeared to be having fun the whole time. Roger, Ian G and Steve roamed the stage, exchanging playful riffs with each other and interacting at times with audience members in the first few rows. Their enthusiasm was contagious and the crowd was into it.
A large number of the crowd were teenagers, like my son, who hopefully left with an appropriate sense of awe for what they heard and saw.
Clay Looney


Donor Section

[ en-gb ] [ en-us ] [ de ] [ ja ] [ it ] [ pl ]


Subscribe to:
The Highway Star Update!

Participate in:
Purple discussions

Join the:
Mailing lists

Purple Tours
Tour Dates
Tour Reviews

Purple Music
Upcoming Releases

Sound Archives
MIDI Archives
Movie Archives

Other Sections
Frequently Asked Q's
Image Gallery
Purple Contributions
Special Features
Bios/Family Tree
Joanna's Gossip
Who To Blame



Unauthorized copying, while sometimes necessary, is never as good as the real thing (with apologies to Ani)
(c) 2005, The Highway Star

|||| _|_ This site is EMI approved