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Deep Purple

2012 tour noticeboard

..... St Johns ..... Halifax ..... Kingston ..... Toronto ..... Hamilton .... Prince George ..... Vancouver .....

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2nd February 2012.   Mile One Centre, St Johns, Canada

The first show of Deep Purple's 2012 Canadian tour.

It was covered by local newspaper The Telegram, who reported on non-shocking aspects of the evening such as the facts that not everyone in town was interested in attending the show or was aware of the band's output beyond "Smoke On The Water". Also, that the arena was only half-full while the support act were on stage.

"So there was one question left for the real fans: will Deep Purple in 2012 measure up to our cherished memories of Deep Purple in 1973? In a word: yeah. Actually, I'll take two words: hell yeah. OK, so Gillan, 66, kind of lost the high notes in the upper-register keyboard-guitar cacophony of the better known howlers, and Don Airey may not have had the precision of the Young Lord, but these guys still know how to rock an arena. From the opening "Highway Star" right through to the "Hush" encore, the place rumbled with energy. And volume. Serious volume. Here's a band that remembers the value of decibels. The crowd was left with banging heads and ringing ears. That's rock and roll, baby."

The (with thanks to Nigel Young)

Steve Morse, Meet, greet, read on...

Steve Morse has a number of guitar clincs and meet & greets lined up during Purple's 2012 Canadian tour. These are:

8 February, 3pm Steve's Music Store, Ottawa Guitar clinic
11 February, 3.30pm Long & McQuade, London Guitar clinic
12 February, 4-5pm Steve's Music Store, Toronto meet and greet
21 February, 3pm Avenue Guitars, Edmonton Guitar clinic
23 February, 3pm Electron Sound, St George Guitar clinic
26 February, 3:30-4:30pm Tom Lee Music, Vancouver meet and greet

Nigel Young

5th February 2012.   Metro Centre, Halfax, Canada   

"I'm sure the roughly 4,500 who turned out on Sunday were simply happy to see the band with three-fifths of its most successful lineup still clicking and the remaining spots being handled by players that are not only more than capable, but bring something extra of their own to this veritable Matterhorn of classic rock.

From the old guard it's Ian Paice's top gear drumbeat and bassist Roger Glover's chugging undercurrent that kicks off Highway Star, before Ian Gillan enters from stage left to let out a leathery wail. His vocal range seems a tad diminished, but no less authoritative as he declaims his need for speed.

It's Deep Purple's keyboards that have always given the band an edge over its fellow hard rock pioneers, and current organ man Don Airey had a tough act to follow with predecessor Jon Lord, who defined the band's sound from its inception. But Airey brings a manic enthusiasm to his parts and solos, hammering the keys with mad glee during Hard Lovin' Man and conjuring up both Dr. Phibes and Fats Waller in his solo in The Mule, his burst of boogie woogie bringing out cheers and whistles from the crowd, while a later solo incorporates snatches of Farewell to Nova Scotia and O Canada which generate the expected wild response.

Gillan seems like a guy who's aging gracefully, and even having a plastic cast on his right foot doesn't hinder him much as he struts to the macho swagger of Strange Kind of Woman. The current chemistry between original and recent members is probably best displayed by Gillan's and Morse's vocal/guitar call-and-response with the latter imitating the former with unerring accuracy. In fact, Gillan seems to build up steam as the night goes on, gruff and playful on the blues boogie of Lazy, and commanding the full warp engine drive of Space Trucking, which has the audience pumping its fists and bracing itself for the inevitable finish line of Smoke on the Water." the aisles." (with thanks to Nigel Young)

9th February 2012.   K-Rock Centre, KIngston, Canada

"The K Rock Center in Kingston was not sold out , roughly 2000 attended. Personally i have been looking foward to this despite my moaning about the lack of Morse era tracks in the setlist for years now it seems .

I decided to adopt a different atitude towards their gigs and focus on the music and ignore [ still working on it ] everything thing else like the setlist expectations, the annoying couple beside you and even personal baggage. It was strange sitting down to opener Highway Star but the crowd mostly chose to sit. .I think the band was a little suprised at that but knuckled down to deliver this slow burn of a show. Hard Lovin Man really set the tone, one of the many hilights to an enormously satisfying night. Personal faves also included a brilliant The Mule , Raptures and the Perfect Strangers. The band were as one heavy organism , chances were taken musically and Steve and Don trading solos with gusto all night . I heard many comments of " awesome show " from the many younger stoners that ventured up front for a closer look."

review : Vince Chong

(One of Vince's photos from the show can be seen on the Darker Than Blue blog)

12th February 2012.   Massey Hall, Toronto, Canada   

"On this wintry Sunday night, Deep Purple showed the sold-out crowd that, while last tour’s orchestral backdrop was a pleasant enough venture, the innate power of the band is more than enough to shake off February’s chill.

The setlist was largely the same as last summer, with one noticeable change. The Mule took the place of Knocking at Your Back Door. This gave Ian Paice a spot for a proper drum solo which the fans really enjoyed. Ian Gillan was in good voice, despite a torn Achille’s tendon which had him hobbling about the stage with a walking cast on his right foot.

Airey, Glover & Morse were firing on all cylinders throught the show. Stellar musicianship as always. The following afternoon, I went to the meet and greet with Ian Paice at Just Drums. Ian was generous with his time, gracious and patient. He signed multiple items for fans, posed for pictures and answered questions. He even tapped out the intro to Pictures Of Home on the table because a fan asked him how it is done.

Other questions and answers revealed that Purple is taking about 3 months off after this tour before heading into the studio to work on a new album. Ian told me that he will write a book on Deep Purple “… when it’s all over”. Here’s hoping that day doesn’t come for a while yet.

review: Mike Whiteley, Toronto, Canada

13th February 2012.   Hamilton Place Theatre, Hamilton, Canada  

"I just saw Purple at Hamilton place in Hamilton, Ontario Canada. It was a very enjoyable evening and, it is simply amazing how much energy these guys still have considering their years and exhausting schedule!

It was a great show in a fantastic venue which supports great audio, which Purple certainly presented with great strength. It was great to hear the In rock numbers(especially Hard loving man! super hot version) and all the other classics. Gillan still struggles in a few places, and I noticed a few tracks were tuned down, obviously to aid Ian in those higher notes. great night!"

review: Dave Binnie, Carlisle, Ontario Canada

23rd February 2012.   CN Centre, Prince George, Canada   new, 2 March    Deep Purple delivers concert for the ages

"On a night when shades of gray tinted most of the audience, Deep Purple discovered a fountain of youth on the CN Centre stage. They got down to the business they started 44 years ago and took Prince George on a Space Truckin' trip back through time.

No doubt, the years have taken their toll on one of the longest-surviving cavemen tribes of rock, but Deep Purple can still belt out fine renditions of the songs that made them famous, and their nearly two-hour show Thursday -- the 15th of their 17-date Smoke on the Nation tour -- was a treat to behold.

Touring parts of Canada they've never seen in what the boys are calling their "heaviest winter on record," the night got off to snappy start with Highway Star, one of five gems they dug out of Machine Head, an all-time classic album that no doubt started many a baby-boomer's record collection.

Sporting a walking cast on his right foot, lead singer Ian Gillan's torn Achilles tendon is still on the mend, but there's nothing wrong with his vocal chords. While he might struggle to hit some of the high notes, ruling out such classics as Child In Time from the set list, Gillan got the fans out of their seats with a power-packed Strange Kind of Woman, where he stepped into an echo chamber trading licks with the lead guitar of Steve Morse. Gillan's vocal caravan led the band into the Kashmirian tones of Rapture of the Deep and he then stopped to pick up his Woman From Tokyo, a real crowd-pleaser.

Morse, the sole American in a band of Brits, whose fame grew out of his work with Dixie Dregs and Kansas, strummed a few bars of spot-on AC/DC Back In Black early in the set, then showcased his slow blues precision to spark a light show of audience Bic lighters during When a Blind Man Cries, a song former Purple lead guitarist Ritchie Blackmore refused to play in public. Morse had a tough act to follow when he took over the job in 1994, but showed P.G. audience why fans in Guitar Player magazine picked him best overall in his profession five years running.

The Mule kicked the rest of the band backstage for a break, giving drummer Ian Paice a chance to mount a solo attack on the skins, at one point using only one hand to tap out a dazzling drum roll. Paice has been in the band since 1968 and behind those dark shades was showing no signs he's ready for the retirement.

Don Airey took over from Jon Lord in 2001, having played keyboards for a who's who of rock -- everybody from Ozzie Osbourne and Blackmore's Rainbow to Jethro Tull and ELO. He was fun to watch, especially when he started banging on his Hammond organ, conjuring up images of a diabolical Phantom of the Opera to lead into a funk-laden Lazy. The slick playing of Morse made that one of the musical highlights of the night.

Perfect Stranger was another zenith, and the Purple's colossal hit Smoke On the Water prompted hundreds of cell phone users to switch to video to record the moment, no doubt already posted several times on YouTube. Thankfully, the bootleg police were non-existent.

The encore started with Hush, one of their first big hits, and just like the song title suggests, Gillan's 66-year-old voice was turned down a couple decibels. But the band was there to pick up him and headed for the homestretch with a Roger Glover bass solo that gave him his rightful place at centre stage. Black Night, a single from 1970 that ended up on the 25th anniversary of the In Rock album, ended a great concert that will no doubt leave 1,700 Deep Purple fans feeling fortunate they witnessed some of the genuine gods of rock bringing down the house.

Local band Highball Riot, a collection of College Heights-area locals that includes lead singer/rhythm guitarist Kenny Pyne, Andrew Dorish on lead guitar, Sam Wright on bass, Fraser Blues on drums and keyboardist Aaron Hornak, found out a week before the gig they were opening for Deep Purple and won over the audience with their peppy ska/speed reggae covers and original tunes.

At one point, Pyne thanked his lucky stars for the chance to share the same stage with music legends: "You're watching people's dreams come true," he said. "I could die after this."

Following the show, the guys in Deep Purple applauded Riot's set and asked if they'd be playing with them this weekend in Victoria and Vancouver, but they hadn't been booked. If they keep playing like they did Thursday, they'd be wise to start lining up their own crew of Highball roadies."

review: Ted CLARKE, Prince George Citizen staff,

26th February 2012.   Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Vancouver, Canada   new, 2 March

"Received these tickets the day before my 53 rd birthday as a gift from my wife. I am the biggest Deep Purple fan in Vancouver. Have all the "records " and now, of course CD's.

I was stoked for the concert and boys delivered an excellent show. Brilliant musicians. The fellas looked like they were having a fun time doing what they love ... rocking.

Poor Ian, though, struggling with his leg brace, but he too, performed well. Steve Morse was brilliant and looked please as punch to be there. I sure was.

Thanks for coming to Vancouver once again. God bless !!!

yours truly,

Cameron McDonald"

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