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Still a vital band

Since reviews from fan sites and media alike have generally been favourable (if not glowing at times) I wasn’t too worried about this show, but still and all I hadn’t seen the band live since 1996 and like many others I have seen more than a few classic rock bands on summer (nostalgia) tours they probably shouldn’t have undertaken.

However, Deep Purple proved they are still a vital band. Oh sure they played the obligatory greatest hits, but the new material was strong as was the performance level and musicianship.

Highlights for me were the blues sensibility of Steve Morse which was showcased to great effect on the bluesy romp “Lazy”, an outstanding arrangement on “Woman from Tokyo” incorporating some really nice keyboard and guitar transitions, and Don Airey’s solo piece leading into “Perfect Strangers” (which always gives me chills live).

The sound and mix at the Verizon Wireless Theatre were good and I would say the place was about 80 percent full.

For those keeping score the setlist was:

Pictures of Home
Things I Never Said
Into The Fire
Strange Kind of Woman
Rapture of the Deep
Woman from Tokyo
Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye
Steve Morse solo -> Well Dressed Guitar
Knockin at Your Backdoor
Perfect Strangers
Space Truckin’
Highway Star
Smoke on The Water
The Battle Rages On

My only criticism was that at ~1:35 this was perhaps a shorter show than it could have been.

There was a non-announced opening act – Maneaters of Tsavo (a band from San Antonio) – who were fine but clearly knew their purpose on the night and played a tight and suitably short 25 minute opening set.

Jim Corning

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