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

The Gods of Rock!!!!!

Deep Purple's performance in Bangalore, India, on the 1st of April was simply mind-blowing!!!!!!! It was a tremendous feeling, actually getting to see Gillan, Glover, Paice, Lord, and Morse in person... These are guys I've worshipped since God knows when... Having been a die-hard Purple fan all my life, I made sure that I wasn't going to miss out on any of the action by standing right upfront during Purple’s first ever performance in Bangalore, and second in India. And what a performance it was...

Local band Thermal and a Quarter opened for Purple, playing a few nice numbers, but when Purple arrived on stage, the 15,000 (sell out!!!) audience was transformed into a mob of animated, screaming Purplephiles.

Starting with "Woman From Tokyo", with an extended intro riff a la Morse, the audience was enthralled with the fabulous solos on keyboard and guitar. "Ted The Mechanic" was to follow, with some superb reverb on the bass from Glover. Gillan’s amazing vocal prowess was clearly showcased in these songs.

"Pictures Of Home" was characterized by an ingenious build up from Morse. Gillan then went on to explain the origins of "Mary Long", which was just as entertaining. Gillan was barefoot, and even had to change his shirt soon after the second number, as Bangalore was incredibly sultry and humid on that day.

"No One Came", and "Black Night" followed, with Glover freaking out on the bass. For the intro to "Smoke On The Water", Morse played a variety of riffs, with Gillan even accompanying him on "It’s Now Or Never" (Calling Elvis???). Gillan persuaded the screaming audience to even sing the chorus “softly”, eventually making them (and me!!!) build up the decibel level to ear-shattering limits.

Purple seemed to have so much fun performing, it was hard to believe that this was actually a band that had been plagued by so many ego-clashes in the past. Morse vs. Lord was fascinating, so was Morse vs. Gillan.

"Fools" was as enlightening(ha!!!) as ever (the lyrics are quite clever, really). "Perfect Strangers" had an all new powerful sound, which was well appreciated by the audience. "When A Blind Man Cries" was a nice transition to a blues-oriented song, which again allowed the audience to marvel over Gillan’s voice. "Speed King" had some really interesting solos, with Ian Paice taking the limelight after Glover had finished his piece. Lord even snatched a stick away from Paice, feigning an attempt to make this uncontrollable drummer stop. However Paice continued to play on, with a single stick… Quite a solo that was!

The band went offstage temporarily to come back for the encores, as the audience chanted "Highway Star". The audience were obliged, but not before a fabulous version of "Hush" which the audience sang along to.

Purple played for close to three hours, and never at any stage was the audience made to feel that these guys were low on energy. I was especially lucky to latch on to a pick autographed by Morse. A few even managed to get hold of a couple of sticks that Paice hurled at the audience during the encores. The show was simply incredible, and I wouldn't have missed it for anything in the world... All in all it was a tremendous concert.

Indeed, Deep Purple are the Gods of Rock!!!!

Purple Rulez!!! Forever...

Jayawant Tewari

[ reviews | the highway star ]