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Vanilla time travel in Pompano Beach

I saw all the reviews from Atlanta 7.12.7 and House of BluesOrlando 7.13.7 and Clearwater 7.15.7 but I saw Deep Purple Saturday night at the Pompano Beach Amphitheatre 07/14/2007. It was the first time I have seen DP since 1974 when I saw them with Jon Lord, Ian Paice, Tommy Bolin, Glen Hughes and David Coverdale. That was the eighth time I had seen them. The previous seven times was with the In Rock line-up from 1971 – 1974. This review may not be as articulate as these other wonderful reviews but I have a story to tell . . . .

If you are in South Florida and have a chance to see a show at the Pompano Beach Amphitheatre please treat yourself. Over the past ten years I have attended shows at the smallish 4000 seater and seen a couple of rock acts I had thought were long gone. Having seen DP at the Orange Bowl in the 70’s and at many other large venues back then, I rushed to get a ticket as soon as they were available. I got there hours early and heard the sound check. The Pompano Beach Amphitheatre is an open-air stadium set-up in the middle of a residential neighborhood with a baseball diamond and tennis courts near by. It looked like the storm clouds would pass and the crowd arrived as the sun set.

Edgar winter opened the show and the crowd settled in. I have seen EW many times but years ago. The crowd recognized every song. He with his band, showed-off a lot during Tobacco Road. The set ended with Frankenstein. His band was very young and sounded great. The volume level does not crank like the old days at Pompano Beach Amphitheatre because of the neighbors but there was no complaint that it was too low.

It has been 33 years since I saw them last and DP hit the stage. The set list posted in other reviews is what they did at Pompano Beach Amphitheatre 07/14/2007. Here is what I remember with two differences from the other shows. Strange Kind of Woman, Into the Fire, Lazy, Space Truckin’, Smoke on the Water, and Hush. Steve Morse did an original and his guitar sounded great. He also jammed a little Sweet Home Alabama and that works down here in South Florida. I am a Ritchie Blackmore fan but I have to say although Steve Morse has an American style he uses many of the original Blackmore melody’s in the solos. He also has a great sound on his guitar which is a 20th Anniversary Steve Morris Music Man model. He uses Engl amplifiers. Steve got what I call the Deep Purple guitar sound. Well he has been their guitarist for a long time now but he gets that Classical Gothic Strat through an old Marshall ‘sound’ on the In Rock album.

The keyboard player used a Hammond B3 and a synth or two. He also had to black Leslie speaker cabinets, probably to get the Deep Purple organ sound. Then during Smoke on the Water, a guest guitarist and Mark Stein of Vanilla Fudge and Tommy Bolin fame jammed out next to Airey on the B3.

Roger Glover was really into it and used a Rickenbacker bass during Smoke on the Water. Ian Paice sounds and looks young through a head of grey. Although Ian Gillan cannot belt out the four-bar banshee screams like he used to. Many years of singing with the loudest band can strain a voice but Mr. Gillan has faired better than most early rockers. He and the crowd bounded all night.

I ran up to the front during Smoke on the Water and Hush/Black Night encore. For a moment during Hush, Ian didn’t look so old, the music got louder and when I turned around the whole audience was throwing their fists forward to the beat of the music. And for that moment I was back where I belong, in the 70’s.

Jay Martin

Mark Stein kindly sent us these images – click to enlarge:
markstein-www.jpg mark-don-airey-deep-purp.jpg mark-don-airey-7-14-2007.jpg mark-deep-purple-7-14-2007.jpg edgar-winter-mark-7-14-20.jpg

For more check out Mark Stein’s website.

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