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Concert Review : Quebec City

Deep Purple at Festival d’été de Québec (Quebec City, Canada, 2015-07-19)

On a cold windy evening on the Plains of Abraham, Quebec – site of the historic battle between the French and British in 1759, Deep Purple came, saw and conquered the 60,000 or so faithful who braved the bitter temperature, high winds and the constant threat of thundershowers.

I was at the show and the weather was absolutely brutal…13c and winds of around 50km/30 miles per hour with threat of thunder and lightning all through the show. People were dressed in winter coats. Yours truly shows up in a t shirt and jeans, having left a balmy 36c in Montreal.

When I arrived in Quebec City two and a half hours later….I knew I was in trouble because the temperature had dropped to 19c. At the show the winds were so high the speakers were swinging on their cables like they were going to fly away. The Festival Été Québec is a huge outdoor music festival that lasts about 10 days. This was the last show of the festival. The boys didn’t give a damn about the bad weather. They played a blinder of a set. Ian Gillan’s voice sounded better than ever. Not sure if he changed something in his style but I aint questioning it. He looked refreshed and rejuvenated as did the whole band. After the show I got to chat with Roger Glover and Don Airey for a while. They were really pleased with the tour thus far and the crowd reception.

I have seen many a Purple show over the years and I believe this tour is not to be missed. If you can get out to see the band then please do. No one knows how many tours the boys have left in them and DP are bringing it stronger than ever on this one. Sorry to babble…now to the reviews.

Two reviews here from the show in Québec City; one from le Journal de Montréal and the other from La Presse, the two largest French language papers in the province. Apologies for the rough translation but I think everyone will get the gist of it….. Cheers !

LE SOLEIL

(Quebec) Neither the threatening sky or wind or chilly weather are able to scare away fans from the Quebec City Summer Festival (QEF) Sunday on the Plains of Abraham. The Deep Purple machine managed to warm up the crowd with a formidable performance, fueling the crowd with classic songs, new songs and neglected pearls of the past.

A point worth noting is that initially Nickelback was scheduled to headline the closing concert. However, following health problems of singer Chad Kroeger, Deep Purple were asked to take on the job. Good idea! At the opening, with the inevitable Highway Star, we knew we had the drive: Ian Gillan was in fine voice form and behind him, the group could not be more in sync. The band had an excellent sound system to play through.

Although they do the festival circuit this summer, the guys did not opt for the easy musical route. Also, no fewer than four titles of the recent Now What ?! album snuck into the evening, without necessarily undermining the pace of the show. Among them, Vincent Price was particularly good. It must be said that the musicians are top notch, as witnessed during the organ virtuosos, courtesy of Don Airey, and those of guitarist Steve Morse who took care to cover one of his hands with a glove, were enough to sustain attention from the crowd. The musicians rose to great feats without falling into the excesses or demonstration. They never lost the melodic dimension of sight.

As an aperitif to a Perfect Strangers meal, Don Airey has allowed a segment where he resumed Gens du Pays [unofficial national anthem of Quebec — THS] to the sheer delight of the crowd. Morse, meanwhile, served the impressive instrumental The Well Dressed Guitar, in addition to dialogue with the wider public, at the end of the show, during Black Night. Moreover, dialogues, we also had dialogue between Ian Gillan and between Steve Morse, with a friendly Strange Kind of Woman or between Morse and Airey, during Hush, first success of the British band.

In addition to highlighting Hard Lovin ‘Man, rarely performed play on stage, Deep Purple also unearthed The Mule, which allowed Ian Paice to call upon his expertise behind the drums – light wands included!

Besides the instrumental flights (solos) , we must emphasize the cohesion and the overall sound of the group in each song. It was also pleasing to see how Gillan, down from its 69 years, was able to make good use of his voice. Certainly, he no longer has exceptional flexibility of spring, but his singing was assured, just, and veteran could afford here and there his famous shrill cries, his usual signature.

No doubt the crowd was conquered. And when it came time to support Gillan during the chorus of the must Smoke On The Water, nobody held back. Even the rain had the foresight to spare us throughout the concert. A successful finale.

JOURNAL DU QUEBEC and JOURNAL DE MONTREAL (same newspaper owner)

A band that delivers…..big rock and pleasure. Deep Purple has offered a solid and furious performance on the Plains of Abraham to conclude the 2015 edition of the Quebec City Summer Festival.

The site was not full, but there were lots and lots of people, even in the hill, on a windy night that had absolutely nothing to do with the summer.

A gray sky, low clouds that pass quickly and hanging sound speakers that swayed with the wind. You had to love the rock. Those brave enough to agree to leave the cozy comfort of their homes were rewarded with a nice big rock evening with Deep Purple.

The five members of the celebration that approaches 50 years of career are all in their sixties. Guitarist Steve Morse, who wore a black glove on his right hand to keep out the cold, is the youngest at 60. Ian Gillan and Roger Glover are veterans at 69. You’d never give them that.

Sound, although excellent in front of the stage, was affected somewhat in the rear, because of the wind.

Danny N



11 Comments to “Concert Review : Quebec City”:

  1. 1
    Hårstad Roy A says:

    Yeah! Sounds like my band?

  2. 2
    Deeperpurps says:

    Great reviews there Danny! Ottawa and now Quebec City newspapers consistent in their praise of Purple and the high quality of their shows. Very happy to hear that Big Ian has a good strong voice on this tour. Salut!

  3. 3
    Heepfan says:

    I saw them in Toronto 2 days ago.

    It was a good gig, but not phenomenal. I think it’s pointless to say that we all miss Ritchie and Jon, so I won’t even compare the performance of the band with the line up of 43 years ago, because that would be unfair.

    What I can say is that from the 7 concerts I’ve been from the “Steve Morse Years” this was a good one but I have seen better (1997, 1999, 2008…). The concert was held at a 18,000 seats venue and it was only half full. I personally don’t like watching Deep Purple in big stadiums. I prefer the 5,000 seats venues.

    As a real fan it never really bothered me the fact that the band is getting old because so am I. I have always been thankful that they are still willing to play despite of their age (differently from other groups), but for the first time I noticed that almost 50 years on the road might be affecting the performance a little bit ….

    Still it was awesome to see my heroes on stage once again ! And the set was great too ! I can’t wait for the next one !

  4. 4
    Tom Koifman says:

    Some offical video?

  5. 5
    Mark Young says:

    The black glove Steve is wearing is for a wrist injury.

  6. 6
    The Highway Star says:

    Toronto video: http://in.reuters.com/video/2015/07/22/megadeth-and-deep-purple-close-out-quebe?videoId=365033222&channelName=Entertainment&videoChannel=102

  7. 7
    Danny N says:

    Thanks for the kind words. Here is the official mini video of DP at the festival. You can see the wind trying to blow the band off stage.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bW4sMpejgLM

    I spoke briefly to Steve Morse after the show. He was indeed wearing ‘ the glove ‘ but I didn’t ask him why. I was too burnt out from standing outside in freezing temps for over three hours lol. I read the comment about the Toronto show. I know it was their 3rd night in a row so maybe fatique was a factor. Still don’t know how these guys do it. Roger Glover told me he cherishes every day and is so grateful to still be doing what he loves especially since so many of musician friends are gone. Food for thought……..

  8. 8
    MrPthe DPfan says:

    The glove on Steve’s hand does concern me .He still seems to play fine . But I just hope it’s not something like arthritis or Carpel tunnel .

  9. 9
    Mark Young says:

    @MrPthefam, the glove is for a wrist issue, he has swelling problem, he’s had it for about year. He tried a brace then went to a compression glove according to his wife on the Facebook fan page.

    From what I can see it hasn’t changed his style very much, he still alternate picks moving primarily his wrist.

  10. 10
    Eric Eisenstein says:

    Steve told my wife and I after the show in Port Chester, NY that it was arthritis from the position he has played guitar all these years.

  11. 11
    Kirk Harmes says:

    Steve’s injury to his wrist is basically the result of playing so much for over 50 years. He said the cartilage in his wrist is worn and it is basically bone on bone. It has forced him to change his picking style. He use to anchor his picking hand on the guitar and use the wrist a lot. Compare the videos of his years with the Dregs, early SMB and when he first joined Purple and you can see the change from anchoring to moving his entire hand a lot more now (especially during solos). Besides playing, Steve practices 2 to 4 hours a day; even days when he has a concert. Besides touring with Purple, he schedules dates (when possible) with his own band.

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