Deep Purple Rocked Vancouver With Tour Finale

Deep Purple at Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Vancouver  BC
Queen Elizabeth Theatre
Vancouver, BC
February 26, 2012
Deep Purple returned to Vancouver, after a long hiatus, with three original members from 1972’s iconic Machine Head Album. Singer Ian Gillan, drummer Ian Paice (an original from their 1968 conception) and bass player Roger Glover, joined with guitar veteran Steve Morse and phenomenal keyboardist Don Airey. They rocked the rafters at the Q.E. to a very appreciative crowd.
Ian Gillan was boasting that this was the last show of a six-year, 50 country tour. His voice was amazing as he hit those highs on such songs as Woman From Tokayo ( as spelled on my ‘Who Do We Think We Are’ album) , Lazy and Space Truckin, to name a few of the hits performed this night. It took a few bars of Highway Star for Ian to warm up his chords when they hit the stage at 8:30. He sported a black ankle brace, but that didn’t stop him from roaming the stage. So personable, he gave away his sunglasses and stopped to shake hands too.
Ian Paice’s drum work was stellar, even after 45 years of hammering out great rock music. His solo during The Mule was flawless. He belted out those classics from the 60’s and 70’s like yesterday. Steve Morse has been Deep Purple’s guitarist since 1994 and plays with passion and a style I had never experienced before . He makes his guitar sing. The way he manipulated the tone dials on the guitar at the same time he picks was nothing I had seen before. People who had attended the clinic at Tom Lee’s that Steve had put on that afternoon said he demonstrated his unique style to them. That is the WOW factor.
Don Airey has joined Deep Purple to replace the retired Jon Lord. Jon’s genius keyboard solos on Lazy and Highway Star identify them as Deep Purple hits, but Airey performed all the songs as if they were his own. He is a master of the organ and keyboards. As is Roger Glover with the bass. You don’t see a bass player very often who picks as amazingly as Roger. I was mesmerized by his playing. I love great bass players and Roger is great, to say the least. That bass just reverbs through your soul. I was an honored recipient of one of his autographed picks. Thanks Roger.
Two hours of hit after hit, they were still having a ball by the end. Is this their last tour to Canada? I hope not. I have to experience Deep Purple again. Wow , what a show!
The opening act was Stars Of Boulevard, from Vancouver, B.C. This hometown band was the 2010 CFOX SEEDS winners. Fresh from touring with Buckcherry, these guys played some fantastic hard rock for us with an eight song set of great original tunes. I enjoyed ‘Feel Alright’ and ‘You Can Take The Money‘, the title song of their new CD. These guys are not a pop act. This quartet rocked!
Set List:
Highway Star
Hard Lovin’ Man
Maybe I’m a Leo
Strange Kind of Woman
Rapture of the Deep
Woman From Tokayo
Contact Lost
Steve Morse’s guitar solo (included riff’s from Cliffs of Dover)
The Well Dressed Guitar
When a Blind Man Cries
The Mule (Ian Paice’s solo)
Don Airey’s solo
Perfect Strangers
Space Truckin
Smoke on The Water
Peter Gunn Theme ( Henry Mancini Cover)
Hush ( Joe South cover off of Purple Passages)
Roger Glover solo
Black Night
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