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Empty rapture Indiana

The House of Blues in Chicago does not let anyone under 21 in, so my twelve year old son and I drove the 120 miles to South Bend, Indiana to see our favorite group. This was his first indoor concert ever. We saw Deep Purple outdoors two years ago in Rockford, Illinois the day they played in the morning in Toronto.

My son was really jacked up for this show. The backup band was a local group and they played for only 30 minutes. So he figured that maybe DP would play longer than usual. When you are 12 years old you can dream like that.

We were in the 10th row on the middle isle. These were great seats. The Morris Performing Arts Center in South Bend is a beautiful venue. It looks a lot like the Chicago Theater where DP played on the Bananas Tour.

The lights went down and the background music started. Ian Paice opened up “Pictures of Home” with an explosion on drums. It was awesome.

Then it happened. Ian Gillan bounced out to the front and took one look at the empty seats behind us and to our right and I could tell something was wrong. I have never seen him look like this before. It was as if he had totally given up right there. You could tell that he was not into it.

DP blew through the first four songs and then took a breath. The crowd went nuts and really showed its appreciation. But it wasn’t enough. Gillan even made a comment that his mom was in the balcony and we should keep it down. He still appeared unimpressed.

Some notes on the band: Don was solid (bring back the Simpson’s Theme, yes kids do follow DP). Steve was great. He is truly a part of DP. I hope no one talks about RB anymore.
Roger worked his tail off and seemed to have a ball doing it. He even gave me a “thumbs up” at the end of Rapture because I was standing alone in my section during that great song. Ian Gillan’s voice sounded great and he is really getting thin.

Then there is Ian Paice. I hope the world sees this review for this reason. I have never seen Ian or any drummer play with such fury, fire and passion. This was his night and he was the true star of the show. I truly loved how he was highlighted in many songs.

The List:
Pictures of Home
Things I Never Said
Into The Fire
Strange Kind of Woman
Rapture of the Deep
Contact Lost
Well Dressed Guitar
Knocking at Your Back Door
Perfect Strangers
Space Truckin’
Highway Star
Smoke on the Water


One funny moment happened at the beginning of Lazy. It sounded like Don was doing the intro to Perfect Strangers. Ian Paice flipped a drum stick at Gillan. Gillan came from the back and had Don stop playing. Smiles everywhere as Don then went into “Lazy”.

Anyway, the band did Hush and left, no second encore song. The show was ninety minutes long and not a minute over. It was short but great.

On the way out most people echoed the same theme. Everyone felt that it seemed that the band wanted to get in and get it done then on the road again. After waiting two years and reading The Highway Star every day the whole thing left us a little empty. But my son and I can’t wait for them to come back.

Tom Uraski

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