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Triumphant in an Aircraft Hangar – Wellington

Purple kicked off the next leg of their World Tour in a small aircraft hangar known as the Events Centre in Wellington. It was a mixed bag.

The sound at times was truly awful, a common problem at this venue. We couldn’t hear Paicey’s intro to Pictures and the keyboards were inaudible at times.

Compared to other set lists I’ve seen, this one was a bit short, with only three songs from RoTD, which was a bit strange given that they’re supposed to be promoting the new stuff. You can’t count The Song We Don’t Know (aka Things I Never Said). I was looking forward to hearing Before Time Began but alas it was not to be.

On the plus side, Steve was on fire and really carried the show. His guitar tone seems to have got heavier and more ferocious; absolutely awesome! Paicey and Roger – do they ever have a bad night? When we could hear him Don was creative and exciting.

Big Ian was looking extremely slim and healthy! There was plenty of tomfoolery (did somebody tamper with Ian’s lyrics book to put him off?), mistakes (Ian was off stage when he was supposed to start singing Highway Star!) and disbelieving looks at Steve’s genius.

An obliging fan gave Big Ian an All Blacks shirt; the ultimate sign of acceptance!

Although there was far too much reliance on the old stuff for my liking, the guys have breathed new life into these songs with new arrangements. The new intro to Highway Star being especially enjoyable.

Crap venue and dodgy sound notwithstanding, Purple are a class band and Steve Morse just gets better and better.

Set list (correct order not guaranteed):

Things I Never Said
Wrong Man
Mary Long
Kiss Tomorrow
Contact Lost / Well Dressed
Keyboard Solo
Perfect Strangers
Space Truckin
Highway Star

Black Night

Simon Dickens

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