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Wordy veteran wants more new stuff [long]

We saw them in Atlanta on the 12th (see review), and then made the trip to St. Louis and saw an entirely different show. Not necessarily the set list, but performance.

First let me say that the Pageant Theatre is by far, the best venue I have been to for the pure enjoyment of a Music Concert. Very informal. Not a huge place and the seating and standing areas are perfect for a Rock Experience, no matter where you are. There truly isn’t a bad seat in the house.

We arrived early enough to get some great seats in the lower level. Also, there was no problem walking right up to the stage and getting right in the face of things.

9:00 pm Sharp……DEEP PURPLE hits the stage with a vengeance!

I had a feeling that we would reap the benefit of the unfortunate cancellation of the House of Blues gig, the night before. When I saw that announcement, I said to myself…….”One man’s loss is another man’s gain”. I knew they would be well rested, pissed off and ready to rock. Boy was I right.

This was hand over foot, a different gig than the Atlanta show. They were fired up and ready to release some frustration and ROCK OUT! The sound was incredible. LOUD, yet clear (Ian’s vocals could have been up a little bit, but still very clear and audible). DEEP PURPLE…..the way it is intended.

I’m not going to do a ‘song by song’ as I did with Atlanta, but I will hit on the high and low points. First off it was PURPLE. That’s always good. They played the exact same amount of songs. 16. But they changed out 3 tunes. That was great for us. They swapped “Fireball” for “Woman from Tokyo”. “When a Blind Man Cries” for “Knockin’ at your Back Door”.

The encore was totally different, whereby in Atlanta they played “HUSH” first and then “Black Night”. They surprised everyone with……”The Battle Rages On”, and finished with “HUSH”. GREAT!!!

Thus we got “3” different tunes to enjoy in just 12 days time. Who says they don’t vary? Not to mention that those that were repeated, were definitely rearranged. Solos were different. Intro’s were different, and so were the endings.

Trust me, these guys play with precision and structure, but yet they still enjoy changing their own parts for the sake of staying fresh and on the edge. In a different way than when those other guys were in the band? Yes, but this is the way the present Purple do it and it is none the less impressive.

I’ve seen them countless times now, and I can definitely say that they still hold true to variations. Each time I see them, I hear something different. Not necessarily different songs, but different arrangements of them. That is undeniable to any critic that frequents their shows.

Now for the critical view. Sorry to keep harping on this issue, but here we go again. “Way too short”. As an outsider, I made many a friend at this show, prior to Purple coming on and I found that it is not uncommon for bands to play until Midnight. There apparently is no “Curfew” as is with many venues.

Yet, this iconic rock band whom has been around, off and on for 39 years, and with “18” studio albums, averaging 11 songs each, played a whopping “16” songs, and called it a night.

I’m sorry, but if anyone has a gripe, it’s the “Deep Purple Fan”. Forget the newbie’s whom really don’t get it and whom really only know the few mainstream hits that are shoved down their throat. It’s not their fault that the radio stations only push “SOTW”. And neither is it ours.

But I can say this for certain……”2 Hours or more, and More Present MK 7 and 8 Material” is a MUST. I’m stating this with all of the true conviction that I have, based on reading the Blogs and interacting with other concert goers and Purple Fans. It is truly deplorable, that a band of this stature, makes their appearance and plays such a short set of tunes. And even worst, overlooks the material that is keeping them present. Where is the stuff from “Perpendicular”, “Abandon”, “Bananas”.

Forget about each and every persons favorites (Mine being “Sun Goes Down” from Bananas) which somehow has never been played live. You can never address that, and I would hope most aren’t stupid enough or selfish enough to expect that. But, trust me…..play long enough and 20 or more songs will greatly improve your loyalty. That’s the trade off.
Forget song selectivity. Of course play the standard hits. “Smoke on the Water, Hush, Woman from Tokyo, Highway Star, Perfect Strangers”. These are for those whom only know you for the “HITs”.

The majority of your fans here in the states (and everywhere else), are true fans. We know your music, and we are the majority of your audience. Don’t immunize those whom are willing to help expand your followers. It’s hard to introduce newcomers to your new music, take them to a show, and then have you guys do exactly what it is that you bitch about. “Play only the old classics”.

It’s like you are your own worst enemy. It’s time to shove the new stuff down the throat of the masses. We are “Album rock Fans”. Don’t be so ready to give into the few whom only know the “Classic Rock Radio…Deep Purple”.

I think you will agree that it isn’t working and it’s time you change your approach. Yes, play those hits, yet overwhelm them, and the masses with your present material. Believe me, it’s great and much demanded. You guys have put out incredible albums since you revamped. Ignoring that is absolutely wrong.

Check the various Purple Sites. It’s hard to believe your conviction about wishing to not be a “Classic Rock Band”, and even more so, a “Blackmoreless Deep Purple”, when every show seems to be a tribute to the little “prim Dona”. This is the “Morse….Airey” era. Let it shine until “The Sun Goes Down”.

You guys are doing your job. You are writing new material and putting it out there for world to engulf. Somebody in your camp is definitely dropping the ball. I doubt that it is the band.

me-and-roger.jpgI’m sure I am not making any favorable points here with my favorite band’s promoters. Especially after I was treated to VIP Passes for the after show “Meet and Greet”. Though I was able to share some of these thoughts with the band. Roger mostly. But I will say that I kept it to a minimum, as I didn’t wish to insult my hosts, and there were many others there to share the moment with.

signed-drum-head.JPGBut from a fellow musician, long time fan (since ’69) and just plain casual observer’s standpoint, it is very clear that there needs to be a change in “Concert and Promotion” direction, if these greats wish to achieve what they are looking for. “Present status”.

Either Way…….Don’t miss them on this tour. They are without a doubt, without question, still, the “Greatest Rock Band on the planet”. Bar none!

The opening act was a local 3 piece Blues Rock band called “The Tony Campanella Band”. They covered some Stevie Ray Vaughn, Hendrix and did some originals. Very SRV influenced and I must say……..they were very good.

Totally enjoyable and even though I was there to see Purple, I’m thoroughly pleased with this opening band. Much better than Steppenwolf on the 12th, in Atlanta (whom by the way, it’s rumored that the Atlanta show with Purple was Steppenwolf’s last).

Tracy Heyder

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