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France: Tour(s) de force

After a glorious Pau show (see review), I decided to take a last-minute trip to Tours, for the next-to-last show of this fall tour. The Bordeaux and Pau experiences had been too overwhelming, just incredible, and so I decided to do a third gig.

The setlist didn’t contain any surprises; by the way – for those who don’t listen at the rear of the classroom, let me remind you of the now well-established fall 2010 setlist (since Highway Star, an occasional encore in early november, became the opener in Paris, early november; «Things I never said» was then dropped, whereas they still played it in Bordeaux when I first saw them this year, on nov 7th):

Highway Star
Hard Lovin Man
Maybe I’m a Leo
Strange Kind of Woman
Rapture of the Deep
Silver Tongue
Contact Lost/Guitar solo/When a blind Man cries/Well dressed Guitar
Almost Human
No one came
Keyboard solo/Perfect Strangers
Space Truckin
Smoke on the Water

Black Night

So, nothing new under the sun ? Bien sûr que si ! The gig of course wasn’t completely different, but quite unique: First of all, the band was in a great mood, cracking seemingly endless series of little jokes: Gillan messed around with the big gong introducing HLMan, changed words into some hilarious nonsense on the third verse, sang « Free to be MOI » on Black Night, Roger did an Angus-Young-style duckwalk, Steve was smiling and laughing most of the time, Paicey did his I-can-play-faster-than-anyone-with-a-beer-in-my-hand-trick, etcaetera, etcaetera.

But be sure this wasn’t a clown’s meeting ! The music was oh, oh, so good (to quote « Rapture … »). The sound was just incredible, Gillan unbelievable, even better than three days ago, the four no-transition opening numbers launched off the set into some legendary purple galaxy; this 2010 rendition of When a blind man cries is perhaps the best they ever done …

Lazy and No one came are numbers that turn the quietest spectators into applauding fans … Perfect Strangers, Space Truckin, Smoke … Among the best versions I’ve heard live (although Gillan got a bit tired at the end of Strangers, but nothing really bad).

The encores, usually « only » very nice, were just overwhelming, as the band launched into an orgy of jamming and soloing, making the simple pop tunes of Hush and Black Night sound like the climax of a complex progressive 15-minute-piece.

Even the not-so-impressive Silver Tongue and Almost Human were very good on that night !

So let me end with a short overview:
Bordeaux – I was in a sort of trance, overwhelmed by happiness. 5 stars.
Pau – Extatic. Great fun. 5 stars.
Tours – Emotional, funny, brilliant, a pure moment of perfect appreciation. 5 stars.
No doubt these three shows are among my all-time top 5 or 6 rock shows.

Merci, Deep Purple. Merci beaucoup.

9 Comments to “France: Tour(s) de force”:

  1. 1
    Made in England says:

    The only thing of note to me is the very sad return of HS as the opener. I’d like them to open with HLM followed by RotD, ST and AH. Then I could go home.

  2. 2
    Bo says:

    You will never get a bad sjhow from Purple, BUT on the other hand you also never get any surpises, and trhat I dont understand.

    With so many mosters of songs to pick from, why do they have to play 80% the same and the same year after year. This is TOO easy. In the old days (Mrk II and III) the songs was also more or less the same but ther was this magic between RB-JL which gave a concert this “wow” feeling. I fully understand that this is NOR Mrk II or III but then do something else to tease us. Have 40 songs and then deside from show to show what to play. 50% safe ones and 50% “new” for that show. Right now you know 95% how a show will be.
    They can do it MUCH MUCH better for us and for themself.

  3. 3
    purplepriest1965 says:

    I d call adding the following titles boring or ” more or less the same” :

    You Fool No One
    Might Just take your life
    Lay down stay down

    On the Stormbringer tour they added(I call it added because it was within 2 years!!!!) :

    Lady Double Dealer

    Yep, unfortunately Lay down stay down was ditches and they did not play Sail Away but still……

    During the Perfect Strangers Tour they did about 5 new tracks.

    During the HOBL tour the same.

    During TBRO tour ditto.They even included Hush and Anyones daughter.

    The S & M tour gave us many albumtracks and back : BUUUUUUUUUUUUUURRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!!!!!!!!!

    Most importantly :
    They sticked to those added songs for a long time unlike ……ahem……

  4. 4
    purplepriest1965 says:

    Ofcourse in the beginning I forgot about the word NOT.

    Perhaps my intention to act more positive for you tender souls rubbed off, now feeling a subconscious tendency to avoid cvertain words. : )

  5. 5
    Annemie says:

    I would like to ask Stéphanie who opened this blog, that she would listen once more, at home for ex. on the Youtube, to Highway Star.Then without the vibrations of audience and atmosphere…WHAT IS YOUR COMMENT THEN ON IAN’S VOICE??
    it is a demanding song, I know, and he is wiser to drop the high notes as in SKOW etc.
    I admit he does what he can.
    When I have something positif to say about Ian Gillan’s voice, then it was on one of the shows ‘Classic meets Rock’ where I was listening to yesterday.This was in March 2010 and especially in Linz Ian’s voice is beautiful and strong…and composed at all songs.HS is a graet song at high speed and he does a wonderful prestation.
    The orchestra is one of the most speedy I ever met 🙂
    I watch out for this year this happening tyo come once more.(if I’m not mistaken…)

    Another remark about this concert, and that for years now, is about Don Airey.
    I was a big fan of him, and he possess

  6. 6
    Annemie says:

    Continuing comment 5
    …my comment broke in two parts 😀

    I was a big fan of Don Airey, but for some years now, I don’t know why he doesn’t change one single tune in his solo in Highway Star. The most inpredictable Lord did every time again, is in big contrast with Don.
    His solo became stale and boaring 🙁
    He is able to play so amazing as in Hard Loving Man etc…So I hope one of these days, he uses his creativity also in this fantastic DP song!

    And firther on, all good wishes for fine concerts and new album!


  7. 7
    purplepriest1965 says:

    I think AnneMie is referring to Linz, this month.
    The link to I provided somewhere else.

    I also found this outing far more convincing than the latest DP gigs.

    Yeah, I know one should be at a gig themselves to have a real right to say something about it.

    Well, yes and no…….

    I think the difference between the Linz and the DP gig is very audible.

    There have been a few by now, Gillan with Orchestra.

    Who would have thought of him doing that so many times now?
    Gillan in the past certainly not.

  8. 8
    marcinn says:

    @ 7

    Taste in music evolves with time.

  9. 9
    purplepriest1965 says:

    “TASTE is an opion”.

    So Blackmore said in 1984.

    He answered thus when hailed as being the band that would reinforce that trait in music with their reunion.

    Tommy Vance on the FridayRockShow(almost unbearable to listen to overhere due to the bad radio reception, but still)on their return, suggested they would.

    I ll never forget MY first encounter with the lp Concerto for Group and Orchestra.

    It must have been in the first 2 years of being a fan.

    I was a very enthuisiact Zeppelin fan as well.
    I experienced Stairway To Heaven as wayyyyyyyyyyyy to soft compared to Black Dog and Whola Lotta Love.

    I felt the same when I put the needle on Lords baby in the recordshop.
    (My Gillan screams I tried to replicate were still a long way from perfection)

    So that that was not the baby that screamed.

    He returned on the Born Again cover and I still understand why it , well he said so, made Gillan vomit.
    A nice background history about the why and how of this “cover art” only became clear in DPAS magazine a few years ago.

    I skipped again and again and let the needle jump over the vinyl.
    WHERE IS THE ROCK???!!!!!

    It took me about 2 years to become enormously intersted in the backgrounds put in espescially by Lord and Blackmore.
    I fell in love with the works of Chopin at the tender age of 14, I think.

    I still LOVE The NOCTURNES.
    I wish Lord had played some of them live instead of the ever the same Fur Elise”.
    Ï read everything about F C in the library.

    In between I was harassed by my parents forcing me to cut my hair.
    “You are having the look of an Indian soon”!!!!”they cried.
    “I : ???????????????????
    Whats so bad about the looks of an Idian. Huh?”

    Communication Breakdown.
    Its always the same.
    If I would refuse my father would do so while I was sleepin.

    At school terrible fashions tried to intimidate and isolate me , the newbie rockfan, from the flock.
    Punk(YUCH!!!), Saturday Night Night Fever, Grease, RapMusic and ABBA seemed to impose such an attraction that people who sticked to the what happened “before” were ridiculised.

    Never forget the reaction of a girl of my year when I confronted her with the “Strangers In The Night”(another MONUMENTAL Live album) album by UFO.
    She said : Oh my God, still that old shit!!!(The album had been released around 1978 and it was now 1979).
    I just switched from Zeppelin to Punk in a week, she laughed.
    Me : (Gasping for breath :????????????????
    Unfortunately nice girls also jumped on the bandwagon of fashion where possible.

    Very soon, my wish for long hairs, was laughed at.
    “Are you a girl?”

    I sticked to my guns and also said “No, but thanx” to the stupid behaviour many adopted : Smoking.

    Many years later I understood Ritchie had done the same when he was young.

    I felt proud. : )

    Concerto 69 became one my favourites and my classical music collection reached enormous proportions.

    Not surprising JS Bach became my favourite.(…)

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