Deep Purple • USA May / June 2011

Deep Purple missed the Northwestern United States again this tour. Living in Seattle, WA, means if you want to see a show, you will have to travel. After learning what lucky cities were chosen, my wife and I decided to hit the last 3 shows (only ones west of the Mississippi River). Show # 1 for us, Las Vegas, NV, Palms Casino. Temp outside 108 degrees, very hot. Doors opened at 7:00pm, My wife and I, the first ones in line and first in, rushing towards the souvenir stand first to buy one of every tour T-shirt and a ball cap. Several autographed drum heads at a very reasonable price of $75.00, passed on those because I (already) had several items autographed by the band back on the 2004 Bananas Tour.

Deep Purple billboard US tour 2011 Palms

Tonight at The Palms

We were center stage, 13 rows back and the sound was perfect. Venue was about 2,500. Pacey and Don were not elevated, stage cramped with orchestra behind. Ernie And The Automatics were the opening act which lasted about 40 minutes. Lights dim, Orchestra starts (including Smoke On The Water riff), Pacey, Don, Roger, and Steve come out on stage and begin Highway Star and Big Ian comes out on stage on cue, “Nobody’s gonna take my car….”.
Set List: Orchestra Intro, Highway Star, Hard Lovin’ Man, Maybe I’m A Leo, Strange Kind Of A Woman, Rapture Of The Deep, Woman From Tokyo, Contact Lost, Steve Morse Solo, When A Blind Man Cries, The Well Dressed Guitar, Knocking At Your Back Door, Lazy (with Conductor Steve Violin solo), No One Came, Don Airey Solo, Perfect Strangers, Space Truckin’, Smoke On The Water, encore: Hush (with Going Down intro), Black Night. Roger and Pacey had brief solos during the encore.
Sound was great, show lasted a total of 111 minutes.

Still in awe from last night’s Las Vegas, NV show, the 4 hour plus drive to Los Angeles (2 Soundboard Series shows worth!) went by in no time. The venue, the famous Greek Theatre in the Hollywood Hills area of Los Angeles. This was an outside venue (first time outside since we saw Deep Purple at Arrowhead Stadium on the Burn Tour 1974). The weather was perfect, mild 70’s and cooled off at sunset. This was also a special night because my wife and I were meeting up with fellow DPAS Member, Michael Wolfe, wife Jennifer and daughter Destiny from Great Falls, MT.
Set list: Orchestra Intro, Highway Star, Hard Lovin’ Man, Maybe I’m A Leo, Strange Kind Of Woman, Rapture Of The Deep, Woman From Tokyo, Happy Birthday To You (for Steve the Conductor), Contact Lost, Steve Morse Solo, When A Blind Man Cries, The Well-Dressed Guitar, Knocking At Your Back Door, Lazy (including Conductor Steve violin solo), No One Came, Don Airey Solo, Perfect Strangers, Space Truckin’, Smoke On The Water, encore: Hush, Black Night with short Pacey and Roger Solo.
Venue was larger than Las Vegas and the crowd seemed to be more into it. Ian’s vocals again right on two nights in a row. Sound and mix was great. This was to be the last show on “The Song’s That Built Rock” Tour using the Orchestra. The mixture of the band with the orchestra was right on. Show lasted 112 minutes. Two nights in a row, we were living the dream, with one more to go!

Deep Purple billboard US tour 2011 Concord

Tonight in Concord

Tired from the 6 plus hour drive from Los Angeles to Concord, CA and no sleep from the night before. Reality hitting today, our last show. Will it be Deep Purple’s last US show? Tour? Only bad thing, the new camera purchased for just taking pictures of these shows, quit working. We arrived early, as usual. Weather was perfect as this was another outside venue, The Concord Sleep Train Pavilion which was just a little smaller than the Greek Theatre. Joe Satriani was the middle act by the way, got the people awake and on their feet the entire time. This was a prelude for things to come. We were 7 rows back in front of Steve and Ian.
Again, after sunset, Deep Purple arrive on stage. What is different between this show and last nights show was there was no orchestra. The crowd were on their feet from the start. This was a Deep Purple show, Hard Rock! They played a lot harder than with the orchestra.
Set list: Highway Star, Hard Lovin’ Man, Maybe I’m A Leo, Strange Kind Of Woman, Rapture Of The Deep, Woman From Tokyo, Contact Lost, Steve Morse Solo, When A Blind Man Cries, The Well-Dressed Guitar, Knocking At Your Back Door, Lazy, No One Came, Don Airey Solo, Perfect Strangers, Space Truckin’, Smoke On The Water w/ Joe Satriani, encore: Hush, Black Night with brief Roger and Paicey Solos.
What a special treat with Joe on stage with Steve on Smoke. I’ve seen Joe several times but to see him play with Deep Purple was the icing on the cake! Once again, Ian’s vocals were on fire, hitting all the high notes and so was the mix. The band, once again, 3 nights in a row from this reviewer, sounded great.

Reviews : Harry Heathman III
Photos by: Rita Heathman

(I captioned both photos ‘Tonite’ and then noticed they’d gone all posh on us!)

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