The band played last night under a full moon (I think!) at the Dubai Aviation Club, Tennis Stadium. Around 3000 to 4000 people were attending, it wasn’t sold out but the audience participation and enthusiasm for the gig prompted Ian Gillan to comment on the “good vibes flowing from the audience”.
The standing crowd in front of the stage were really up for it and wholeheartedly got into the whole event. (myself included!- who wants to sit down?) The audience must have been the most diverse the band has ever played to, in this most cosmopolitan and multi-cultural city of Dubai. The weather was hot and humid, the temperature was in the mid 30’s centigrade.
The set list was exactly the same as all the gigs in September so I knew what to expect. This was my first ever Deep Purple gig, so the set list was in my view perfect; mostly the oldies which the crowd wanted to hear. However the crowd still went wild for Steve Morse and his showcase Well Dressed Guitar even though nobody had heard it before. Highlights for me were When A Blind Man Cries, which I was playing in the car on the way to the gig and which brought out a great vocal from Ian as well as another superb Steve Morse contribution. Space Truckin got the whole audience singing along!
For the encores, the crowd went crazy for the classic trio of Hush, Black Night and Highway Star. Smoke On the Water was another highlight, with mass audience participation, preceded by Steve's guitar riff crowd pleaser. By the end of the gig the band and the crowd were drenched in sweat and Gillan looked pretty knackered as he left the stage after Highway Star. I guess consecutive gigs in Switzerland and Dubai must be exhausting!
The band were in their usual great form, although the sound system was a little bit weak in my opinion, and Ian Paice’s drums were mixed a bit low down for my tastes! So overall, a fantastic gig, it was great to re-live some of those great rock classics from the 70’s. I'm so glad to have had the chance to see Deep Purple on a hot and sticky night in Dubai!
review: Geoff Stout
deep purple reviews