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An Odd Couple

Deep Purple live at Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan (Las Vegas, USA 2017-08-12)

Upon the announcement of the Deep Purple / Alice Cooper co-headlining tour (w/Edgar Winter in support), I was ecstatic! My favorite band and two rock legends in support! I ponied up to get great 8th row seats and counted the days, until the show finally came. Edgar Winter came on with a bunch of guys half his age and played a quick set of hits (Highlighted by Free Ride, Rock n Roll Hoochie Coo and Frankenstein.) Exactly what one would expect.

Fast forward to the end of Alice’s set and it hit me just how ironic this co-Headlining tour was and what exactly Purple had gotten themselves into. On one hand you have Alice Cooper who is master of hard rock showmanship and theatrics and, yes, has some great tunes too. On the other hand Deep Purple who clearly have much, much better songs, but whose greatest foray into showmanship was Ian Paices’ lighted drumsticks on the last tour. Needless to say in this day and age, particularly in Vegas perhaps, Cooper won the night with three guitarists, a guillotine and props galore. And yes, his songs were tight and sounded great. Confetti, bubbles, rock poses to work the crowed, guitar picks flying out in every direction.

Enter Purple with 70 minutes and an impossible act to follow. Purple competently delivered their set which included the surprise of Uncommon Man and two songs from the excellent Infinite (Time for Bedlam and The Surprising), but a mere 70 minute set left me wanting much, much more (particularly if this is a farewell tour). I was also disappointed in the lack of One Night in Vegas which, if they’re ever going to play it, it would have been the night in Vegas. Despite the anti-climactic nature of the set (which witnessed a thinning crowd, song by song) Purple managed to deliver, perhaps the greatest version of Perfect Strangers I’ve had the pleasure to hear in my 25+ Purple shows. Morse absolutely worked the feedback and hung all those wonderful notes as if he owned them and his life depended on it and THAT is what encapsulates the magic of Purple. The fact that one could show up at any given show and witness the greatest live band in history (IMHO!) deliver a mindblowing rendition of one of their hits on a farewell tour, is a testament to this band which will always exist In Rock.

review by Mark Bojanowski



4 Comments to “An Odd Couple”:

  1. 1
    Blackwood Richmore says:

    Or so the story goes….

  2. 2
    Twinkling Ray says:

    I thought that it was a shame Deep Purple chose to share this (final?) tour with Alice Cooper. They’ve not exactly delighted with set-lists of late, and the shortened set time just limits even further. Not the best way for fans to see their last show, and always a risk that the Alice Cooper fans in the crowd dissipate early. I agree with your point on One Night In Vegas would have been a nice touch. And pleased you enjoyed Perfect Strangers so much.

  3. 3
    Bill Steiner says:

    Phoenix Az…..Gillian is done when you have to sing through your nose. Not the Deep Purple I saw in the 70’s and 80’s and even the late 90’s and early 2000″S. SAD TO SAY….AT LEAST I KNOW IT IS OVER….WISH THEY DID. You need to know when to quit. Very unfair to the high prices of tickets fans now have to buy. God Bless Alice Cooper for saving the show…a real PRO !!!!

  4. 4
    Mark Bojanowski says:

    FOLLOW-UP/UPDATE

    I caught the tour again last night in Chicago. My review for the first two acts was affirmed (except this time Alice had some fireworks/sparks. Same set-list, same show. However, Purple had certainly shaken off early tour rust to put together a stronger show and even changed the set list up by swapping out The Surprising for Knocking at Your Back Door and Pictures of home. They also flipped Smoke and Hush. What was wonderful for me as a long time fan and veteran of 25 shows was that in addition to their set list flexibility was the little differences I noticed in the songs. Paicey changed up the snare on the Highway Star and then the big surprise, a completely different treatment of Hush with a very nice jam in the middle. That really spoke to what has made this band through the years, that live, you are going to get a unique show every night. Thanks again Purple.

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