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Purple school in India

Cathedral School Grounds – How appropriate for the Gods of Rock!

Deep Purple in Bangalore

Before I talk about the show, here’s some trivia. This time I was a privileged concert goer. The reason: as a creative professional handling the business of Deep Purple’s main sponsor (Royal Challenge Whisky), I was involved with the promotional activities leading up to the concert.

Our theme had been “Deep Purple and Royal Challenge – Forever Young”. There could not have been a more emphatic vindication of this theme than my 20-year-old niece, who plays bass in a local band. I discovered just a few days ago that she was a huge fan of Deep Purple, and that she knew almost as much about them as I did.

I managed to get her into the press conference, where she met the band, chatted with them and got her guitar strap signed. Then, at the concert itself, she was right up front – close enough for Morse and Glover to spot her and send out a gesture of recognition.

Now for the concert. This was my fourth time, and I thought the band had never played better. It’s amazing how big and impressive Gillan’s voice sounds at 60+. While the screams weren’t vintage Gillan, they were good enough for the crowd to go wild.

Morse was outstanding, and so was Airey. Paice and Glover had their solo spots, which drove the crowd wild. The power and precision in Paice’s drumming was amazing. As far as I am concerned, the best performances were Perfect Strangers, Lazy, Highway Star, Wrong Man and Blind Man.

The mistake of the evening: Things I Never Said, slotted in at #2, a pedestrian song that hardly anyone was familiar with (the Indian version of ROTD does not feature TINS). The sorely missed song of the evening: Speed King. It was otherwise a set list that could have been any die hard fan’s wish list.

For the first time, the flanking screens showed crisp, clear images of the band from several angles. The sound was excellent, too. All in all, a 4 on 5.

I went away fully satisfied – and a trifle sobered by the thought that I might have seen them live for the last time. I mean, who knows whether they’ll come here again while they’re still a touring band. It took them 6 years between the first time and the second, and 4 years between the third and the fourth.

Such thoughts aside… Long Live Deep Purple!

G S Shridhar

More Bangalore photos.

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