[% META title = 'Tour Reviews' %]
RADIO CITY MUSIC HALL
NEW YORK CITY
JANUARY 23, 1976
BY DAVID McGEE (THE ROLLING STONE, March 11, 1976)
One reasonably expects to have his spirits lifted by a band which has in its time been responsible for some good rock music. Barring this, one hopes for an honest effort in falling short. Deep Purple not only cheated its audience but the musicians cheated themselves by refusing to use their heads onstage. Instead, they erected a painfully loud, impenetrable wall of sound, threw craft aside, forsook pleasure entirely and attacked the viscera of their audience with malice. An Ian Paice drum solo, a Jon Lord keyboard solo, a Glenn Hughes bass solo and, saddest of all, several Tommy Bolin Guitar solos were strictly nowhere, beaten paths trod once too often.
Bolin, a gifted guitarist just beginning to tap his potential, was content to offer his most rudimentary licks and fills. Instead of anything exciting. Lord was held in check for most of the evening but commanded the spotlight during "Lazy"; he used the time for one of his neoclassical/baroque solos which makes great composers spin in their graves.
Early in the evening, Hughes convinced the audience that he could shatter glass with his voice; there was no need for him to belabor the point. "This Time Around," from the group's impressive Come Taste the Band, is a song with a decent lyric lending itself to a sensitive reading, but Hughes ruined it with his silly, pointless vocal histrionics.
Actually, the concert didn't begin so disastrously. The band plowed straight ahead and to great effect on "Lady Luck," and not even Bolin's and Hughes's off-key vocals could blunt the impact of Smoke on the Water." But soon it was clear that the audience had two choices: to step outside and have its senses numbed by New York City's 12-degree temperature or to stay inside and have its senses numbed by Deep Purple's music.
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