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Sioux City Massacre

Deep Purple live at Hard Rock Casino (Sioux City, USA 2015-08-07)

Was all geared up to attend the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in nearby South Dakota when my biker buddy suffered a heart attack just three weeks prior to the event. Not being coordinated enough to risk riding a bike – I booked a flight to Sioux City and rented a car to meet him at Sturgis. Well, the “good” folks at the Buffalo Chip camp facility couldn’t find it in their hearts to either refund his tickets or transfer ownership of said tickets – they opted to grant him that very spot for next year. Lovely folks. Anyway, yours truly, being a Deep Purple fan, and unable to make the shows in California, purchased a ticket to the Hard Rock Cafe to see my heroes in Sioux City Iowa of all places. Granted, I, had a few days to kill and a rented car so I discovered a show by John Fogerty over in Bismarck, North Dakota and drove there to see him at the Bismarck Events Center. Lovely drive – lots and lots of corn. The Fogerty gig kicked ass – worth the trip just for that. Had two more days to kill so I drove to Minneapolis – lots and lots of corn.
Finally, Friday morning, drove to Sioux City, Iowa. You guessed it – lots and lots of corn. Checked into the Holiday Inn and found a pub that was serving all you can eat, fish and chips. A couple of beers and over to the gig. Coincidentally, John Fogerty’s gig, was a celebration of 1969 – the first time I saw Deep Purple was 1969. Worth celebrating, indeed! Black Oak Arkansas opened for Purple here in Sioux City – another coincidence, I saw Deep Purple at Winterland in 1972, and, yup, Black Oak Arkansas opened up that show, too. (For the purist- Bull Angus was also on that bill). Saw Deep Purple the year before and cringed my way through it as big Ian blew out his vocals in the first three songs. Glad to report that that wasn’t the case here. In fact, he sounded fantastic. Reminded me of the Bananas tour and those great gigs in San Francisco, LA and Las Vegas. A huge kudos to the sound guys – absolutely one of the best sounding gigs, ever! The stage setup, too, was fantastic and complimented the band, well. For those of us who have seen the band on multiple tours we can always debate the song selection – however, I totally get the need to play those “classic hits” for the US market. It is what it is. That being said, the lads played their hearts out and the audience in Sioux City responded in kind making for a magical evening. And, if this was Major League Baseball, they’d be testing Mr. Paice for steriods – kills on that kit like a guy thirty years younger. Whew!!!

review by Victor Martinez

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