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Lucky In London (Ontario, that is)

Date: 2012-02-11

: John Labatt Centre

: London, Ontario

: Canada

Where to start? I live near Toronto and had hoped to see DP at Massey Hall. But all the decent tickets were gone in no time at all, so I was left accepting I\’d not see my favourite band. I had wanted to take my entire family so the kids (three 14 year olds) could see what a great rock band was all about. But it seems that is not to be.

But as it happens I did have to drive my 14 year old daughter to London, Ontario for a three day hockey tournament. Its cold and a snow storm is coming in. And on the radio we heard DP was playing in town that night. So I call and get a pair of tickets – seventh row floor, centre aisle. I’m amazed at my luck and worried about attendance. What happens if DP plays to a half empty hall? They’re pros, but who wants to play to a half empty hall?

Well, I needn’t have worried. Despite the snow and cold, the place was reasonably full (around 1,200). There was a lot of grey hair in the audience, but also a fair number of younger adults. There were very few kids.

The opening act was “Monster Truck”, taking the stage at 7:30. They were fun and enthusiastic, and the guitarist was effusive about opening for DP. My daughter and I agreed that they were good, exceptionally tight and entertaining.

Around 8:30, DP took the stage, opening with Highway Star. And from the opening it was clear they were ON. Recent posts have suggested Gillan has struggled at times but tonight, despite wearing a walking cast on his right foot, he was in great form. (Though late in the show his voice did exhibit some strain.) And the other members of the band repeatedly hit their marks. Their playing was amazing.

I didn’t memorize the set list order (sorry), but I was really pleased to hear old chestnuts like “When A Blind Man Cries”, “No One Came” and “Never Before”. They also played the stuff you’d expect – The Mule, Strange Kind of Woman, Lazy, Hard Lovin’ Man, Perfect Strangers, Smoke, Space Truckin’, Hush, Woman From Tokyo, Black Night, and Rapture of the Night. Each of them also took a solo.

And as to my daughter. She was amazed. It was the first time she’d seen a band where everyone is an exceptional talent. No better way than a DP show to have a real music experience.

One odd moment. After the first few songs, Gillan mentioned they would be working on a new album. I must admit the body language exhibited stage right suggested a lack of keenness. Perhaps it was the lighting. Or the cold Canadian winter.

What a great evening, and even better I could share it with my daughter.


7 Comments to “Lucky In London (Ontario, that is)”:

  1. 1
    Roberto says:

    1.2000 persons? outside tv appereances and private shows this could be one with less attendance…

  2. 2
    George Martin says:

    Did they really play Never Before?

  3. 3
    Peter Kearney says:

    With respect, I think Sterling is incorrect on the crowd size. This venue, in that night’s seating configuration, seats about 2800 patrons (see RBC seating on the JLC website). By the time DP took the stage, the arena was just about full. I’m pleased but surprised he was able to get such good floor seats so close to concert time. Glad he and his daughter enjoyed the show- come back to London any time, we have lots of good shows! And this was a good one!

  4. 4
    Scott W. says:

    I think it was probably ‘Maybe “I’m a Leo’ not ‘Never Before’.

  5. 5
    purplepriest1965 says:

    I read 1200, NOT 12000.
    Luckily he did not make THAT mistake.

  6. 6
    sterling says:

    Hmmm. I’m pretty good at counting.

    @3. We were on the floor (last row G), with forty seats/row (with some empty seats). That makes 280. Then there were sections 107 to 112, each holding around 300, but with empty seats. So that’s 1,000 ot 1,500. And the upper bowl was empty. So that’s how I arrived at 1,200. Might have been more, around 1,700, depending upon empty seats.

    And yep, I goofed on MIAL. (How could I after over 40 years of listening to this band?)

    But all of the above doesn’t detract from the most important thing the band was on fire and put on an amazing show. And my daughter got to see them play. She was just accepted into a performing arts school, where she’ll focus on instrumental music and drama. She’d be the first to tell you our night with DP was inspirational.

    And it sounds like the Band is putting on a great show for the rest of the tour as well.


  7. 7
    Drumguy1988 says:

    Why is there no revue of the Hamilton, Ontario show. I was there and it was fantastic. The high light for me was finally getting to see IAN PAICE perform THE MULE LIVE. That solo, especially the one from MIJ, really turned me on to PAICE’s playing and gave me a direction that I wanted to take my playing in. To finally get to see him perform it LIVE was nothing short of incredible.

    The rest of the show was incredible. IAN GILLAN was in good form, even though he did struggle on a few spots. His voice was powerful. He really shined during WABMC.

    Steve and Don never fail to amaze me. There playing was off the charts. Steve’s fingers dance across that fret board with such ease. Reminds me of a certain other Guitar player who once graced the stage with PURPLE back in the day. Don has really made is mark as Organist for Deep Purple. He’s Virtuoso behind the Key’s.

    Roger gets better everytime I see him play. Especially his solo’s. The man even kept his cool when his bass cut out during SKOW. I was told it was a bad wireless unit.

    Thanks for coming back to Ontario Canada guys. It was my 7th DP show. Hopefully there will be an 8th.

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