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Unnerved by Airey

Boston: Once again I had the pleasure of seeing Deep Purple on tour. I’ve lost count of how many shows I’ve been to but each one has been amazing.

This time I brought my 17 year old daughter and four of her friends along. Setlist is the same as previous reviews so I’ll skip that.

I also should mention that BOC played a great set. Lots of guitar solos and they really got the crowd going. As for Purple, they were superb! I sometimes wonder when the years will catch up with them but so far it hasn’t happened.

This was the best Purple show I’ve seen since the Abandon tour. The whole band played their guts out. It was so cool to hear Into the Fire, one of my favorite Purple riffs. Steve Morse has brought so much to this band. He adds his own style but still the band is Deep Purple.

Same for Don. His keyboard solo was amazing. Ian introduced him as “the unnerving Don Airey” and that he was. The Hammond sound filled the air and it was so cool to hear the classic Moog synth. He played a mix of blues, classical and a little Star Wars thrown in too. I can’t say I love his intro to Hush but the rest of the song was great.

Roger Glover looked fit and well like Roger. It always makes me smile to see him do the head banging thing with Steve.

Ian Gillan, what can I say about Ian. He really sings his heart out. His voice still cuts through the mix and there is no mistaking that voice. I have to admit that each time I’ve seen them his voice loses a little of the power it had but it’s still better than during the House of Blue Light tour. I like his approach to it all. He doesn’t tread carefully around, he just charges ahead and gives all he has. He still can do the guitar, vocal duet although not quite as high or powerful as he used to.

Ian Paice surprised me. In the previous couple of tours he didn’t seem to do the really quick fills and other nice touches that set him apart. This time was different. He really seemed fired up!

Space Trucking, Highway Star and really most all of the set was the Ian that played on Machine Head and Burn. He even played a short solo during Hush which included the one handed roll. Steve’s solo spot was cool too. He played Contact Lost a little differently. There was a bit of an edge toward the end.

Then it was Well Dressed Guitar. It was fun to watch the teenagers jaws drop during that one! As a unit they were unmistakably Deep Purple. They actually seemed a bit looser and willing to take a few chances. I liked the change. It was also the first time I heard “Things I Never Said” It goes over very well live.

It really was a fantastic show from a fantastic band! Guess it’s obvious but I really have a great deal of respect for these guys. They still rock with attitude. If you get the chance, go see them. They are truly unique. You only have to listen to some of the many tribute bands to know there is only one Deep Purple. No one else sounds like them and no one ever will.

Frank Fitzgerald

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