ON STAGE: 2:46 p.m.- 3:06 p.m. CROWD-O-METER: 4 out
of 5 "
"Today in Barrie, Ontario, Canada - about a 1 hour drive north of Toronto, Deep Purple took the stage at 3pm EST, and played 3 numbers. Opening with Highway Star, followed by Smoke on the Water, then Hush - to conclude the 20 minute set. The crowd wanted more, but the stage hands had already begun to dismantle the gear. Blackmore's wand was clearly missing on the first 2 numbers, but Morse placed a real fine personal signature on Hush to conclude the set.
Interviewed live "Across Canada" following their brief set, an out-of-breath Ian Gillan stated; "Were not going to do an encore because it's not about us - it's about the message". Gillan, drinking a local Molson Canadian beer - plugged the upcoming "retro-Deep Purple cd", and promised another tour to support it's release, which will follow their recent 38 country tour marathon extravaganza. "We're a road band - we play live music, that's what Deep Purple is all about". Gillan concluded by thanking RDA airlines for arranging a charter jet flight to Barrie - to attend the exclusive gig. The band was quickly whisked away to the airport where they still have an evening gig scheduled in Illinois, USA, - normally a 12 hour motor drive from Toronto. Cheers, Robert Kirk, Manitoba, Canada."
"The crowd came alive again when Deep Purple stormed the stage. Thousands pumped their fists in the air to hits like Highway Star. Later when frontman Ian Gillan sang the familiar: "No matter what we get out of this, I know we'll never forget, Smoke on the water, fire in the sky," the crowd yelped and hollered in recognition." The Toronto National Post
"Deep Purple, the first of four non-Canadian acts on the bill, probably didn’t need Dan Aykroyd and Tom Green to steal its thunder with a mouth-guitar run at the signature chords from the band’s most recognizable hit, “Smoke on the Water.” Not that that the introduction - or the long-time absence of original guitarist Ritchie Blackmore - was about to dissuade the Brit prog/metal vets from building its three-song set around the track. To their credit, singer Ian Gillan and company ably represented the sonic diversity of the group’s repertoire by opening with ’70s time capsule, “Highway Star,” and then closing with the more ’60s-styled “Hush.” ." The Toronto Star
"DEEP PURPLE were the first big international act of the day and they certainly didn't disappoint. Led by singer Ian Gillan, the legendary Brit hard-rock band opened up with the rousing good-time Highway Star. Wearing a loose-fitting white shirt and black pants, Gillan waved, paced the stage in his bare feet and seemed quite happy to be in Barrie. Although he has shoulder-length grey locks, Gillan has a strong set of pipes, and he showed them off on the classic Smoke on the Water. Lead guitarist Steve Morse played the opening notes, some of the most familiar in rock, and the crowd was onside, including a head-bobbing Jack Layton and Olivia Chow. "Unbelievable!" Gillan said. "I'm usually not at a loss for words, but I don't know what to say." The band peaked with a rousing Hush, accented by Roger Glover's bass and the fast fingers of keyboardist Don Airey. The band left to one of the loudest ovations of the day." The Toronto Sun
"Heard the Deep Purple set on XM Satellite Radio on the Toronto feed channel. Before the set, the commentators were joking about why DP was playing in Toronto instead of London. They surmised that it must be because Richie Blackmore lives in Connecticut! It was obvious that they had no idea that Blackmore was no longer with the band, or that Deep Purple might be on a North American tour. I think they thought this was a one time reunion appearance, like Pink Floyd in London.
After the set, the XM Radio commentators went on to say how shocked they were at how well Deep Purple played and how well received they were by the crowd. They said DP was the hit of the day to that point. Also, someone must have told them that Steve Morse was now the guitarist, as they later acknowledged his presence in the band. Anyway, congrats to DP for contributing their presence to a worthwhile cause and putting on a great show!" review: Phil Petroska, Harrison, Maine
"There's a short interview with the guys at www.ctv.ca just after they came off stage at Live 8. Arthur Smith"
"On BBC Interactive on the day itself, the BBC showed live coverage of Deep Purple playing Highway Star - albeit only around 9 seconds worth from Canada and a short discussion saying how good they were!" Meurig Thomas
"Much happened, but in the end, it was a battle of the colonies. London's Hyde Park show and Canada's Molson Park gig outside Barrie offered the most stunning display of music with a cause. Pink Floyd took it, hands down, though there were performances "to die for" littered throughout the mostly bogus array of dime-store pop stars. Deep Purple laid it down in Barrie, reminding everyone in attendance that the term "classic rock" needn't be confused with "old dude stuff." They kicked it, and kicked it hard." Jeff Miers, www.buffalonews.com