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Deep Purple in Singapore

By A Headbanger, Do You Bang Head?
Thursday, May 20, 2010 @ 9:49 AM


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Reviewed by Thomas

I spent most of the day in the emergency room for a foot problem. 6 hours later I was released with a batch of meds and told to keep my foot propped up. Sure thing except there was no way I was letting my $111.00 Deep Purple ticket go to waste on Wednesday night so I hobbled my way on to a train and into the arena for a grand night of rock n roll with a band that put the “hard” in hard rock. What song did they open with? The remarkable, always impressive “Highway Star.” I was really excited about this gig partly because of where it was booked. Almost every gig in Singapore gets put in Ft Canning Park which is basically just a grassy field and a tiny stage held together by Lincoln logs. Deep Purple were booked into the Indoor Sports Stadium. Other acts that have been at this venue since my arrival include The Police, Kelly Clarkson, Rod Stewart, Air Supply, Muse & Kayne West. This would be my 1st real arena rock show since leaving the States. I didn’t know what to expect really. One noticeable difference is getting into shows is a lot easier. In America we practically get strip searched at the door with all that concert security, too much security in my opinion. This is not the case in Singapore, there’s no pat down and lines that move slow. They tear your ticket and get you in quick.

I don’t own every Deep Purple album, I am not totally familiar with their whole catalog of work, especially anything released in the 90’s and beyond when guitarist Steve Morse came on board. There were quite a few tunes I did not recognize but one newer song that really stood out was pretty early in the set, maybe about 5 songs in and that was “Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming.” With it’s piano arrangement and haunting guitar melody it fits perfect. I don’t know the names of some of their newer material but there was something I think called “Tell The Truth” (??) that caught my attention & held it as well. I was really there to see “the hits.” They sprinkled in enough new material to drive home the fact that Deep Purple is not going to just ride on it’s legacy, it will forge ahead regardless of whether or not the media will embrace it. I think the band should take a tip from me and sell it’s new album at the merch booth. They had t-shirts and a $60 jacket which they were clearly in the wrong climate to be expecting to sell a jacket and they had albums for sale from their organ player Don Airey, but not their own albums.

“Strange Kind of Woman” was about 3 songs into the set and I just love that groove, such a big beat on that one. I must mention Steve Morse’s guitar solo which reminded me of that scene from a forgotten 70’s movie, “Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind,” that scene where the humans are trying to communicate with the aliens. I haven’t seen this movie since I was a kid but something about the strange, alien sounds he was creating during that solo brought it back to me. After an incredible organ solo from Don Airey concluded with a 1-2-3 rock out knock out punch, “Perfect Strangers’ followed by my favorite Deep Purple song, heavens, one of my favorite songs period. I can’t tell you how many times the chorus of “Space Trucking” plays in my head at random. I could be sitting at my desk working and it’ll just creep in there, “come on come on, let’s go space trucking, come on…” I could be on the bus, I could be on a really bad date in my past, trying to pay attention to what this girl is saying but inside my head, I am singing “Come on, come on, let’s go Space Trucking” and keeping the eye contact so she doesn’t know.

THEN CAME THE RIFF.

Never underestimate the power of “Smoke on the Water.” When Roger Glover belted out the first bass licks of this song, the energy level in that arena increased ten fold. The audience was sitting, except those who had floor seats, but when “Smoke..” erupted out of those speakers, the people rose, clapping all around, cheering. Ahhh yes, “Smoke on the Water” still gets them going 40 years later. Then it was good night and thank you.

No not totally done yet. The band returns for 2 more killer selections, “Hush” and “Black Night” and then it’s the final thank you and good night.



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