My last Deep Purple concert was back in 1993, same location. Whenever I see the guys on stage it feels like time stands, still so was this time. The setlist wasn't really surprising since I knew from the internet what to expect. Although I had mixed feelings about it the show was great.
Molly Hatchet opened the evening with a straight set mostly of classics. They have been in the business for more than 25 years and did a great job. The sound was loud and powerful, but you could hear every instrument. 'Flirting with Disaster' on stage is still kick ass (played as encore, unusual for an opening act).
Deep Purple started with Highway Star. A good performance although it was a bit slow. It was followed by a slightly changed version of Strange Kind of Woman. They did a bunch of new songs which went down well with the audience. I have to say that for me the new songs are the highlights of the current setlist. It sounds like they are fed up with the old classics. Contact Lost was lovely, and Haunted amazing. Straight, very poplike but a great sound. Even Bananas was great although it's a bit risky to play that song live since it's 7/8. The most powerful newcomer was Silver Tongue. I don't like the song on CD but it's great live. House of Pain was ok, though I don't like the way Morse plays it live. For me the best song of the night for me was without doubt I Got Your Number.
Looking at the performances: Roger Glover: perfect as usual. Ian Gillan: wow - the best performance I have seen since 1985, if not voice-wise then certainly as an entertainer. He really enjoyed it!! Don Airey: brilliant. I don't miss the Maestro (sorry John). Ian Paice: A bit weird, he played straight but it felt like he was miles away during the gig. Don't know what's going on, no drum solo, just a few smiles.... Steve Morse: I was somehow disappointed. I've seen him performing only on DVD so it was the first time seeing him live on stage. Lousy timing. He played good solos but he was really out of sync in places. I love his work (especially from Kansas days) but this wasn't his day!!
All in all a good gig, great songs, Ian Gillan still one of the greatest...and though it wasn't the best overall performance I've seen it's still DEEP PURPLE!!
review: Jan Thielking
deep purple 2003 reviews