[% META title = 'Tour Reviews' %]

Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, USA

4. March 1995

From: bgervais@aol.com (BGervais)

Newsgroups: alt.music.deep-purple
Subject: Ft.L & "Steve Purple"
Date: 6 Mar 1995 23:12:54 -0500
Organization: America Online, Inc. (1-800-827-6364)
Hello everyone! I'm glad many of you enjoyed the Ft.Laud show. I'm a die hard Blackmore freak and if there are more of you out there I thought perhaps you'd enjoy a different perspective of the Ft.Laud show and Dp without TMIB. This is my opinion and I welcome responses.

By Bobby Gervais

Thanks to all who came out to Hooters. I've got your addresses and will contact y'all soon. If anyone can get Nikki, our waitress's number let me know...

Opening band:
A Fishbone wanna be act who played out of tune and had no place being there. They got booed. Yea, not everyone likes that funk/punk/grunge crap.. I felt like I was among "my people"!!!

The Show:
I must admit my skepticism of a DP without Ritchie. I have followed TMIB for 15 years, can play his solos about as good as anyone, and would give my first child to meet him. With that in mind please understand my bias. Perhaps there are a few of you like me still out there. I'd heard very little of Morse and while, as a guitarist, I could appreciate his talents, I never really liked his stuff. Well here is my run down of the set:

What a great opener. There was not much of Steve on this. He was keeping to the background and playing it simple. His sound was a lot muddier due to his humbucker pickups. He didn't cut through the mix too well. When he switches to his bass pickup (a single coil) he cut through a lot better. Gillan sounds good. Did anyone else besides me catch a bit of Into the Fire in there???

Basic stuff, Steve plays simple solo. I get the impression Steve is not out to make any waves. He ventures a bit near the end and plays in a legato Pentatonic style not far off from the man in black. This sounds like a really good cover band.

Steve doesn't quite have the feel of the opening riff like Ritchie does. Jon Lord sounds good but then, OH NO: STEVE USES TAPPING ON THE SOLO!! Oh god tell me it ain't true... Van Halen finger tapping in the song.. I don't believe it. It's not supposed to be like this.

The first true test of the night. Two thumbs down on this one (my friends say so too, so it's not just me). The song is as plodding as its title. It sounds like one of Gillans solo album rejects. Come back Ritchie, all is forgiven..

Another plodder with almost a hook in the chorus but it gets lost in mediocrity. The boys will have to do a lot better if they want keep fropm the "where are they now file".

Just when I've given up hope and am resigned to enjoying this show like I would a cover band that plays DP material, they play this gem. They really re-did this song and it blossomed into a touching epic. The highlight of the night.

Pretty basic stuff. Steve seems nervous and has to keep looking at the rest of the band members for cues.

Somewhere around here was WOMAN FROM TOKYO:
They played the longest version I've heard live. Steve or someone fucks it up during the quiet part in the middle. The band sounded rough on this one. Probably the worst executed track they did the whole night.

I love this song but not this way. A brilliant addition to the set but average rendition.

Lord finally gets his spotlight and plays the best ever (apart from the Texas Jam perhaps). Steve still hasn't really strutted his stuff. He's still nervous.

I'm glad they've added this one to the set but Steve's little guitar ramblings did nowhere compare to Ritchie's on the last tour.

Gillan sounds good but not as good as the '85 tour. Steve doubles the vocals on the guitar to help Gillan for the "ah,ah,ah" sceaming stuff but at least it's better than that shitty digital delay. The screams are down in the mix and the guitar solo was the shortest on record and a hodge podge of licks that resembled guitar exercises. Ther was no continuity or direction that Ritchie always gave this song. It's one of my faves and was disappointing. They need to do this song right or not at all.

Not even close.

Aptly titled. It starts out in a middle eastern mode a la Ritchie but plods on into boredom. At least Steve is beginning to strut his stuff a little more.

This runs into the drum solo. I'm glad they didn't try to take on too much cause it wasn't working. You can tell the songs that are Ritchies and will always be Ritchies. No one, in my opinion could do it the same. Its cool to hear the rest of the band do it but equally sacreligious to hear Steve do it.

I've only heard the tape thus far on play back so the rest is critiqued from memory.

(last song of the regular set)- Steve finally smiles- he is over the worst and can now relax and play.. There is no doubt he is a good guitarist. He really tries to play with some feeling which I appreciate. Not enough guitarists do these days, myself included.


basic track, disjointed solo SMOKE ON THE WATER:
Steve plays the riff with full power chords instead of position power chords. It sounds more like the Armenia Aid version. He plays most of the solo like the record version. A good "warm fuzzie" to close the show. Basic.


Well folks this ain't Deep Purple. Ritchie is Deep Purple as much as Tony Iommi is Black Sabbath. DP without Ritchie is just that: DP without Ritchie. I saw 4/5 of Deep Purple but the 1/5 that mattered most to me wasn't there. The set list is enough to bring tears to your eyes (it's nice when there's no albun to promote and you can play whatever the hell you want, isn't it) but it didn't have the magic.

Steve Morse is an excellent guitarist and fits better that Satriani. Sat was a hired hand and played the songs to a T. SM played mostly his own stuff and improvised. I enjoy and respect that more. I enjoyed the concert like I would watching a cover band play their material but more so since Gillan Lord Paice and Glover were playing their hearts out.

This is now Gillan's band. He dominated the stage, walking to all four corners while the rest of the band stayed almost rooted to the spot. Playing the old favorites was safe because the rest of the band was there and you had a competent guitarist there who was giving it a lot of effort. The new stuff should be the determining factor. The best way to describe the new stuff is PLODDING. They are mediocre at best and I say that after listening to a few replays of the tape. In my opinion, the best stuff Gillan has done is with Purple and Ritchie. Say what you will, the Gillan band stuff and solo stuff is second rate to what he written in Purple. Without Ritchie to guide (dominate) the sound and direction of Purple, the new stuff sounds like Gillan band b-sides. "Ted the Mechanic"???? Come on guys... Unless Steve can really kick in and contribute and they come out with another Perfect Strangers, I think all is lost. It's all a crying shame. I would rather see DP all back together happy and going for it. Oh well.

Post show:

Morse comes out driving himself in a car from the backstage area. He stops, gets out and mingles. Nice guy. The rest of the band sans Gillan drives out and stops, rolls down windows and signs autographs. We're told the new album should be out by January and a North American/Canadian tour to follow (I've heard that before...). They are off to Korea for the time being. Gillan snuck out and did not mingle but instead got into a Mitsubishi GT 3000 with a babe and took off. I thought he was supposed to be pro-fan. I told the group I came from Texas to see them and the gig was all over the net. They seemed shocked and remarked "this was supposed to be a secret gig". Let's hear it for technology!

ROIO Info:

Yes there are at least two recordings of the Ft. Laud show and one of the Orlando show. In Ft. Laud a DAT was seen as was a video cam. Check your grapevines. The show in Jacksonville was cancelled.

Yngwie and Nicko McBrain were also in attendance.

Well this is my obviously slanted review. I hope it peaks your interest. If you liked the Satriani shows and didn't miss Ritchie, then you will like this stuff too. If you had reservations and still feel it wasn't quite Purple, then this will similarly affect you. The upshot of it is is that I guess I amm more a Blackmore fan than the rest of Purple. If I had my choice of seeing this 4 out or 5 members playing their best or a show with Ritchie playing his best, I'd go for the Ritchie show without a doubt.

Regards to all.

Bobby. BGervais@aol.com

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