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Casino – best place around

The Hampton Beach Casino is a great place to see bands, small, reserved seating and located in a kind of time warp, along the Hampton Beach scene of Skeeball, Pinball and Fried dough… the best of Americana.

I must admit that I was hesitant to go, having seen Deep Purple numerous times in their heyday (Glover, Blackmore, Lord, Paice and Gillan lineup) with the last time being in Boston with Hughes/Cloverdale lineup. Most concerning was the absence of both Blackmore and Lord.

The Gary Hoey band were the openers and quite good.

After a brief intermission, Deep Purple came on and Paice opened up with the drum bit of Pictures of Home. Set list was identical as previously listed.

Having always wanted to see Steve Morse on guitar, I was not disappointed. He is a great player, recreating Blackmore leads and in many cases, improving on them. Steve clearly was enjoying himself and this was great to see. In his guitar solo segment, he played bits of AC/DC’s Back in Black, Little Wing and Zep’s Heartbreaker…. great playing… wish he had continued this bit longer.

The sound was a bit of a problem… Keyboards were much too loud and Morse clearly could have used more volume.. he kept looking back to sound people so he was aware of this. Gillan hit some of his high notes…. but after perhaps 38 years of screaming, his voice no longer had the consistency and high range that it once had. Keyboard player was also very good… playing Lord’s parts and adding to them….

One other note, the lighting crew had a spotlight behind the stage, and they kept putting it into the audience… blinding anyone within the light’s reach.

As previously noted, Glover brought out his Rickenbacker for Smoke on the Water, and thus re-creating that sound… very nice.

All in all, a great evening. Will try to send some pictures later.

Gregory Gunter

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