[ d e e p P u r . p l e ) The Highway Star

Dancing around barefoot

It's been two years since Purples last gig in Brisbane and clutching 3rd row tickets the pre-show excitement was high. The Entertainment Centre is notorious for 'Storm-trouper' security and in '99 they never let us leave our seats. (Ian Gillan actually commented at the time about the excessive security presence.) Everytime you tried to stand some steroid bozo would tell you to get your ass back down. Thank God that didn't happen this time, as soon as the band came out we were on our feet and stayed that way for the whole show, and what a SHOW!!

The sound was superb with an excellent mix from where we were standing. Roger Glover played a Vigier bass through an Ampeg stack that looked as though the cabinets were loaded with 10" speakers. His sound was brilliant and he was obviously having a great time, smiling and throwing picks to the crowd.

Steve Morse was playing a selection of guitars (Musicman axis? I think). I saw two big Peavey 5150 heads in his rack and he had big peavey cabinets for his backline. This guy is awesome. I have seen him with the Steve Morse band (in '93?) and on the '99 Purple tour and he is just magnificent. Althrough his blazing solo's he was changing pick-up configurations and tweaking every knob on his axe. His guitar tech must have a hell of a job keeping those guitars in shape!

Ian Paice was playing a retro-sparkle looking Pearl kit with Paiste cymbals. He seems to have stripped his kit back with just two crashes, ride, splash and china. I love Ian Paices playing, he always nails the groove and plays with taste. Part of his solo featured a one-handing roll on the snare and it was faster than most drummers can play with two hands. A legend of a man!!

Jon Lords Hammond sounded fantastic and he had his big Leslie cabinet behind him. He was playing a beautiful piano solo and Gillan came up midway and said something in his ear causing him to hit a note a bit out of key. He then immediately followed it with another couple of strange notes that turned it around from sounding like a mistake to sounding like he was playing some outrageous scale. That is a professional!

Ian Gillan is the man! He was dancing around the stage barefoot and still has a smile for anything in a skirt (including my wife!). He didn't seem to knock back as many beers as he did in '99 but we loved watching him slip back-stage to his esky full of ales. He commented that he had a bit of a frog in his throat but his voice was superb and he let out a few screams that were reminded me of his short Black Sabbath era.

The addition of a horn section and three very sexy back-up singers was a move of pure genius and really swelled out the sound.

The show was brilliant with the addition of such rare gems as "Fools", "No One came" and "When A Blind Man Cries".

I am 35 years old and my band is playing our first ever gig next Saturday, and all I can say is you could not find better inspiration than Deep Purple. From musical dynamics to stage presence, these guys have it all. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and I'll certainly use a few tricks learnt from my heroes Deep Purple. Fucking Legends!! Rock on!

Jody Cunningham

[ reviews | the highway star ]