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Fantastic show in Luxembourg

Deep Purple live at Rockhal (Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg 2017-05-27)

[Written one week ago, after getting home from the show]
Excellent show tonight in Luxembourg. Interestingly, almost 10 years to the day from when they played here on 20 May 2007 [still touring the amazing Rapture of the Deep album]. Tonight the band played an amazing set. The songs from In-Finite sounded great. Bedlam is a strong opener, and The Surprising and Birds of Prey were absolutely astounding. And, as many fans will know from reading previous set lists, they’ve happily kept Uncommon Man and Hell to Pay in the set as well. The mix of classics was fun and with some fantastic jamming, but I was mostly glad about the newer songs they played. The band totally rocked.
I’ve been a serious, steady fan since Perfect Strangers [I was 14 years old then], but have unfortunately seen them only six times: Prague in December 2000 [Group and Orchestra tour] and November 2003 [Bananas]; Brno, Czech Republic in Feb. 2006 [Rapture of the Deep] and Slavkov in August 2013 [Now What?!], and here in Lux in May 2007 [Rapture] and tonight [In-Finite], and each one seemed to me like the best DP show I’d ever seen. It was like that again tonight. An amazing rock concert.

review by John Norris



21 Comments to “Fantastic show in Luxembourg”:

  1. 1
    Blackwood Richmore says:

    Sounds like good fun!. Glad they are dropping some older stuff for Morse tunes. Excelsior!.

  2. 2
    Juraj says:

    Yes good fun and obviously good fan.My purple history is similar I visited almost the same gigs in Czechia.My first show was in cold January 1987 in Budapest and last one 2007 in Katowice.It`s good to be king and it`s good to keep with Purps life shows for 30 Years.

  3. 3
    Adel says:

    Spread the positivity and quash the negativity but I have to say that more people are accepting the realty of the bands age on stage rather than moan and groan.

  4. 4
    nupsi59 says:

    Can’t wait to hold a proper blu-ray/dvd from this tour in my hand.

    (A high-end product like the “Total Abandon” thing)

    Have a nice Day!

  5. 5
    Denis says:

    Ich habe in Genevé das gleiche erlebt. Die neuen Songs sind Live der Hammer! Die Bestätigung das Deep Purple DIE LIVE BAND sind.
    In den vielen Jahren mit unzähligen Konzert besuchen habe ich es einmal erlebt das Publikum unzufrieden war. 1974 in Bern. Ansonsten gehen die Menschen mit grosser Zufriedenheit, Glücklich und voller Eindrücke nach Hause.

  6. 6
    Thorsun says:

    Let me check if there’s a slight censorship in the THS HQ… Looks like the enthusiastic but underwhelming in reading reviews are going through, and more insight and critical ones do not. Be it policy of “powers that be” (bloodsuckeeeerrzzz) or not, I want to have my say and provoke discussion!

    DEEP PURPLE
    SPODEK HALL, KATOWICE, POLAND
    24TH OF MAY, 2017.

    Deep Purple delivered a fine, enjoyable show last Wednesday in Katowice. From the long-time fan point of view (or even type of “hardcore” as Ian Paice puts it) the show might be judged from two angles: professional, musical and emotional – heart-dangling (or not).

    Looking more technically at the concert, not much can be thrown against the band. They are truly great, well oiled machine, with their performing ability still “putting the rest in the shade”, which is indeed amazing, in the wake of the fact that age of the band members – the “old core” of Paice, Glover and Gillan – is at the average of 71! Not note-for-note perfect playing – it was easy to spot the moments where Gillan or Morse got their train-wreck tumble moments, with voice or fingers slipping off. Still, however, they have the sound, the energy. That magic rip-through that will put the youngsters half as old as them bleak and bland in the picture. Yes, I am punning at the support act that played prior to Purple (The Monster Truck from Canada – no offense to those of you who like them, please!). They were good, but completely nothing sticking out in their act and doing no ‘wow’ effect on me whatsoever. And that is, actually, what differs the descending rock giants from aspiring wanna-bees aiming at carrying the classic rock torch on. Purple members are as excellent as efficient skill-wise as a best class rocker can be, with Paice and Glover absolutely astounding as the rhythm section, seeming to lose almost nothing with age. And Airey and Morse, both are widely recognized and praised for their technical abilities and instrumental effortlessness. Well, tad too much of that at times. Both guys had the moments where they bent dangerously into losing their integrity and going too much ‘Yngwee Malmsteen’ in showing-off. Don playing all the reminiscent bits of his solo spots well known and repeated since his days in Rainbow circa 1979 before “Lazy” or Steve in the ending of solo in “Smoke on the Water”: with 3/4’s of it being played with extreme equisity and classic feel, only to be ruined at the end with the usual Morse-ish fingers trashing and smashing at the end. Those who follow only the “current” incarnation of the band may surely love it in and out, but for those of us who remember the levels of sound distinction displayed by Jon Lord and Ritchie Blackmore, who were often playing in the mode “less notes sound so far much deeper and more” – this is rather a let down, than lift up. This is not anymore THE JAZZ ART of playing rock that Purple was once renowned for, it’s more efficient craftsmanship, calculated and directed with a watch in the hand. Number of bars per track precisely counted and nothing more off-head beyond that. It’s still extraordinary when compared to other rock acts, but in Purple history context of their musical fame, they are now stiffly set up in the mode of their own comfort and being totally predictable, night after night. And it doesn’t change much for last 17 years or so, as for now. Yes, they have a fair right to do that if they like playing the same set night after night. No, it doesn’t carry the spirit of the vintage Purple anymore. The battle of fractions arguing whether it’s righteous or not, may carry on. I, myself (opinion is valid as anyone’s, mind you), may like and enjoy that for some part, but to love that with all my might? – no, I can’t; sorry Dudes. I go to see Deep Purple every 2-3 years in hopes that they retain more of their vintage spirit AND appreciate more of their own excellent Morse-era catalog. Every next time to no avail for that. Does it mean that I did not like the show? Sure not, the hot moments were there, plenty of ’em. The new tracks worked wonderfully in live setting even though they all were (BLOODY AGAIN!) played with almost math accuracy to the studio versions. What is there so hurtful to let loose a bit here and there, boys? Still “The Surprising” and “Birds Of Prey” are already classic staples, they sound as amazing live as they did in the studio. “Time For Bedlam” is a fabulous opener to the gig despite Gillan’s inability to sound vile and melodic at the same time. And “Johnny’s Band” really swings, especially with Don playing the organ solo with wonderfully vintage tone of keys. “Now What!?” choice of cuts is pure comedy though, if that’s what’s representative of this record’s power – please, don’t make me laugh. Only the amazing playing of the band is leaving some style in (amazing improvisations by Don Airey inside of both cuts, even in something as bad as “Uncommon Man”, more ELP-Yes tribute than Purple), but the choices are appalling. With “Simple Song” and “Weirdistan” never even touched live and “Aprez Vous” or “Above And Beyond” being left off (not to mention zero track selection from Purpendicular at least!) – it’s poorly built setlist from current line-up promotion point of viev. A relatively minor quibble, this, anyway. You can’t sit still with “Bloodsucker” being belted out the way they did it on stage. Don Airey playing a fair selection of Chopin masterpieces in the solo (as the bow to enjoying being in Poland again) and the organ growl of the monumental motif announcing “Perfect Strangers” inevitably sent me into chills on the body and burst of tears, as it always does. Part of me probably then cried after Jon Lord – retaining the feeling of having Him lost, but the rest of me was celebrating the most excellent rock music there is. One that shines, regardless of who actually is playing these tunes – unless done with that enough of class as Airey/Gillan/Glover/Morse/Paice still do.

    That’s what the concert was in summary: celebration the Purple glory of almost 50 years with the participation of music and musicians that now officially carry the torch burning on. The best craftsmen available, with strong connection to the yore of the classic glory days, with all the highs and lows of being a craftsmen at work. Still, applauded to do their task by the masses… Rather projecting the picture of Purple power and approach to soaring live appearance that we got used to over decades, than actually being living, breathing spirit of this amazing band on stage. It’s so much more than having none of that at all in year 2017, but… that is just that. With too much scheme in and overall predictability longing in stage show for years now, that’s what you are dead sure to get. A pleasing projection, a hologram of something fabulous and unique that we came across in our lives some decades ago.

    (C) (R) Thorsun

    Setlist:
    Time For Bedlam; Fireball; Bloodsucker; Strange Kind Of Woman; Johnny’s Band; Uncommon Man; The Surprising; Lazy (w long organ intro); Birds Of Prey; Hell To Pay; Don’s Keyboard Solo (including Chopin and traditional folk song); Perfect Strangers (key dropped down RIGHT after keyboard intro – awful! but necessary to save Gillan’s voice); Space Truckin’; Smoke On The Water

    Encores (the same for last 9 years of touring now!!!):
    Green Onions intro; Hush (w/ long call-response between Don and Steve, brilliant technically but musically soulless a bit); Roger’s Bass solo; Black Night. Total time – 105′ – dead precise every night!

  7. 7
    John says:

    @6 I can’t wait!!! Seen them with the “banjo player” who kept his back to the crowd the entire show, showed no emotion.. Could care less about the fans, oh and did I mention leaving the band hanging in the middle of TBRO tour? No, we don’t miss him a bit!! Long live the Morse Era!!

  8. 8
    Blackwood Richmore says:

    @6 Thorsun, maybe you prefer Child In Time?:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQS2p-d3Uh4
    What do you think?… I like it!. Be happy…

  9. 9
    Thorsun says:

    @ 7
    Oh and did I mention that TOBP (spell correctly: The Other Banjo Player) was well estabilished and known for having bad nights and good nights, not only on TBRO Tour. You may slam him for the bad ones (if you like slamming your heroes) but when it was Essen, Stuttgart, Paris, London #2, Stockholm or Oslo in 1993 – each of those nights contained something most extraordinary that nor happened in entire Purple career before, but neither after that. Last time current era band did THAT type of jazz was – I’d say – Sofia in November 1998 (to mention few highs of this amazing night only: wall-crushing “Bloodsucker” or Steve’s introduction to “Fingers To The Bone” with snippet of “Greensleeves” that is still chilling me the spine, everytime) or Osaka in March 2000 (THAT version of ” ’69” or “Fools”). And that’s what I’m longing for. It’s not about missing TOBP. It’s about missing this spirit of something unique, that the “Purpendicular” crew had in wealth of quantity up to the end of the century, more less. “Then the seasons changed, but no things returned” (to paraphrase the purple anthem with a female name tied to it).

    @8 Dear Blackwood. Each genre can find it’s style, as long as it’s musical – it wll be joyful. If you’re punning at TOBP with a decent eyeblink, that’s great – having a laugh – it will keep us all smiling in living state a bit longer, just to enjoy everything extraordinary about this band, past, present and (hopefully) future. Great things will get their deserved share of praise and bad things will be scrutinously noted. That’s the way devoted fans are: we care for those old, more talented than most of us, buggers, don’t we? I hope that my review clearly states that. I care.

  10. 10
    Jet Auto Jerry says:

    @6 Thorsun: Nice critical review that brings up some good points that I certainly cannot disagree with, especially after the last 2 US tour shows in L.A.(Costa Mesa) in my eyes (last one was a great structured performance with a little horseplay but the year before seemed strictly by the book with BOC opening with a more spirited performance) . It can seem like they are going through the motions but what tight motions they are. Some new encores would definitely be nice, kinda bored with them at this point. A little more Jam Stew that is spontaneous so to speak also. Maybe they will change the list up a little for the US leg. Minor complaints all and you don’t tell the masters how to do their art – “Hey Ludwig, how about changing that Ode to Joy into a Polka?”

    All in all it is like paraphrasing what they say about fishing. The worst day @ a Deep Purple show is better than the best day at a (enter show here)!

  11. 11
    mike says:

    @#7. Really? If I was a betting man at the time you caught the “banjo player” as you call him, with DP, you were raving about the shows. Even the Slaves & Masters Deep Rainbow shows I’m sure. The Morse era has produced one great album and a bunch of “alright” releases with the same guitar solos over and over. And a bunch of tours with the same boring set list. And I like the Morse era. But sorry, no comparison with DP and Ritchie in his prime. By the way, it is not a banjo.

  12. 12
    Mark Sheehan says:

    2 questions. Is Perfect Strangers that tough now for Gillan to sing in proper key? And they seem to be dropping the last phrase of Birds of Prey down as well, which I can understand, that is tough to replicate what was done on CD.

  13. 13
    Rock Voorne says:

    The other banjoplayer has become the new short for TMIB?!

    Go away.

    I m not going to comment further because its getting tedious.

  14. 14
    John says:

    @ 10 Thumbs up!! They do change the set list for USA shows.. Going to NJ.. Can’t wait. “banjo player took a hike, what’s that song I used to like Vavoom” @ 7 , these guys (some) are in their 70’s.. Next time stay home!!

  15. 15
    Blackwood Richmore says:

    Love to hear what I.G. could do with an auto tuner live!.. Lol.

  16. 16
    Moreblack says:

    Come back Blackmore!!!!!!!

  17. 17
    CHIP says:

    Saw clips from a more recent show and big Ian sounds much better. The new songs are great in the set. I don’t disagree they should shake up the encore a bit…

  18. 18
    Thorsun says:

    @ 13, 14
    Looks like both Blackmorists and Morsists can sometimes be as durable in spitting anger as many other H8s in the Internet, instead of voicing opinions. Your chioce, lads.

    https://youtu.be/DNIUiNTaM20

    16:57 “Bloodsucker” – Steve Morse is SMASHING on the solos, best rip-thru I’ve ever seen.
    21:35 “Pictures Of Home” – Steve again shines; in improvisation at the end (version is ticking at 9 minutes 30), he takes the band into three different tunes for a trip, before they come back to the root track. Mesmerising. As much as the looks on the faces of Jon and Roger – just checking if they follow Morse tight right. Awesome. Should be officially released.

    Let the music do the talking, cause that’s what was and what could always be. We praise them, so we know. Yes, they are older, but no less capable. Anyone daring to say they aren’t? That’s no mission impossible, really. It’s Deep Purple, for rocks’ sake.

  19. 19
    Ivica says:

    6 @
    On Fire !!!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJDh9q9AEHk

  20. 20
    Albertz says:

    Travelled from Scotland to Berlin to see the band on Tuesday night with all the same reservations discussed above about the unchanging nature of large chunks of the set. Was I wrong. Quite possibly the best DP show I’ve seen since TMIBs days, certainly since DA hooked up. A good balance of the new & the family favourites.

    They really looked & sounded hungry again, even more than on Now What tour. IG in good voice, IP & RG turned in usual masterclass allowing Steve & Don to really lead from front. Their Hush trade brought new life to the song & was a nod to similar duelling between Jon & both RB & latterly Steve on Speed King.. Crossed my mind that it would It be great to hear them introduce a bit of something from Don’s Colosseum II days.

    And the sound? Absolutely fantastic, every note crystal clear & LOUD (makes me wonder if UK shows have volume limits).

    If this is Goodbye, it’s gonna be a memorable one. Can’t wait for UK leg of tour.

  21. 21
    Tommy H. says:

    @ 19:

    Thanks for the link. That’s by far the best version of Time for Bedlam I’ve seen/heard so far.

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