Deep Purple – New Zealand/ Australia Feb 2013
Vector Arena, Auckland, New Zealand, Feb 24, 2013
Although this band has been rockin’ in one form or another since 1968 (with a brief hiatus) they still sound like they love to play together. That was evident from the first number, Fireball. They remained in their golden era of the early 70s with Into The Fire and Hard Lovin’ Man. Gillan added a bit of humour at the end of Hard Lovin’ Man with his tiny gong and much larger mallet. The band also did some of their finest jamming at the end of that tune.
After Maybe I’m A Leo, they launched into one of their best-known tunes, Strange Kind Of Woman. Although Gillan’s voice isn’t quite what it used to be, he gamely traded licks with guitarist Morse.
They then played the most recent song of the set, 1993’s The Battle Rages On. Morse followed it with a killer solo. His playing throughout the night was a joy to listen to. After Wasted Sunsets, Morse let loose with another impressive solo. The band closed their set with a couple from Machine Head… Space Truckin’ and the inevitable Smoke On The Water which still sounded fresh after all these years.
They returned for an encore that started with a brief rendition of Green Onions before launching into a killer version of Hush. They closed the night with Black Night, of course.
Thanks also to Jamie Woodward. Check out the full review (with Journey too) and some links to photographs from the show on the 13th Floor website:
Brisbane Entertainment Centre, Australia February 26, 2013.
We were subjected to a fantastic double bill, Journey’s first performance in Australia, and Deep Purple’s first gig in Australia in 2013.
Deep Purple came on around 9.00pm for just under two hours, and were fantastic as usual, they are absolute professionals with what they do. Kicked off with Fireball then straight into Into The Fire. In fact, they played five numbers straight before taking a break. It was a tour de force of the Mark 2 albums (No One Came plus very cool strobe effects!) and Perfect Strangers (a rousing rendition of Knocking At Your Backdoor – the song Ian finds “painful to sing”). Steve played Contact Lost and Well Dressed Guitar from later albums as part of his solo.
Ian Gillan looked like he was struggling to get his breath at times, frequently disappearing behind the stage and reappearing seemingly refreshed, possibly getting some bottled O2 behind the scenes. Still, he can belt out the numbers and screeches out the high notes at the appropriate times. The main highlight for me at least was Ian Paice’s solo during The Mule a shortened version of what appeared on Made in Japan. Now that was something, and 41 years later sounded great! Well done Ian. Don Airey kept up his part of the Purple sound with his hammond organ contributing that heavy grunting sound to those great songs, as well as quiet scintillating piano work in his solo.
Encores were Hush, a wonderful Roger Glover solo then Black Night. I was really hoping for a “world exclusive” witnessing a song or two from the much anticipated new album, but alas, ’twas not to happen. Having said that, I found I was experiencing a bit of deja vu. There was nothing new, definitely no new songs, some of the things they were doing on Tuesday night they did ten or more years ago. It felt more like a nostalgic trip with an old friend down memory lane. On previous tours they pulled songs from the archives that they hadn’t done before live, so it was quite innovating and , golly gosh!, surprising! Tuesday night was more of a “best of” tour. I found it hard to understand that the only Steve Morse era songs were in his solo performances, yet they have produced some remarkable music during this period. The sound was awesome, the band are awesome, but there was just something missing. Perhaps it’s me, I’m trying to see Deep Purple in those heady days of the seventies and it just wasn’t there. Maybe this is the live Deep Purple of 2013 like it or leave it. However, I know deep in my heart that Deep Purple are and will remain to be my favourite rock band ever, and I look forward to their new album . So….Now What?!
Greg Tarlinton, Ipswich, QLD. Australia.
Melbourne March 1. 2013
Rod Laver Arena in the shadow of the ‘G’ was the venue for Journey (support) and Deep Purple. Arrival timed to perfection, sit down, put the ear plugs in as Journey walk on stage. Journey were credible, I thought I recognised one of their songs. Lively lead singer (Arnel Pineda) and a powerhouse drummer (Dean Castronovo). Lead guitarist (Neal Schon) reminded me of a cross between Bruce Springsteen and Mike Whitney (Australian cricketer).
But this review is about Deep Purple.
Coming off a two day break the band seemed fresh and energetic. I thought they were very, very good, really LOVED the first three songs and there were a couple of treats.
I have always said that the segue from Fireball to Into the Fire was magic and so it was tonight. Gillan was on fire for the vocals for Into the Fire and then straight into Hard Lovin’ Man. 2/7 of In Rock in the first 3 songs.
I could have left at this point and been very happy. 3/7 from Fireball*, 4/7 from Machine Head and 3/7 from Perfect Strangers. The only Morse songs were instrumentals and tonight’s version of Contact Lost was very delicate (compare this to the Adelaide 2010 version). Graeme Milton
Setlist : Fireball – Into the Fire – Hard Lovin’ Man – Maybe I’m a Leo – Strange Kind of Woman – Knockin at Your Back Door – Contact Lost – Wasted Sunsets – Well Dressed Guitar – The Mule (drum solo) – Lazy – No One Came – keyboard solo into Perfect Strangers – Space Truckin – Smoke on the Water – Green Onions – Hush – bass solo into Black Night.
Sydney Entertainment Centre March 2. 2013
Same set-list as Melbourne with one minor exception, Goin’ Down as the intro to Hush.
Subdued crowd (maybe all the lively ones were at the Mardi Gras). I thought the band with a little rougher, no maybe I mean heavier. Sound was great. Fireball into Into the Fire was sublime. Hard Lovin’ Man, the grinding organ sound was a stand-out.
Contact Lost was a less intricate than Melbourne but a joy nevertheless. Other highlights were the drum solo and a great version of Lazy. Graeme Milton, Sydney Australia