Who Do They Think They Are – Deep Purple in concert

Deep Purple in Brazil, March 6, 2009

Image via Wikipedia

And there we were again with the silver brigade at Casino Rama – (see “Here comes the Feeling”  post re “Asia” in the same venue – under gigs)
the 2011 “Songs that Built Rock” tour has come almost full-circle with a classic line up of Glover; Paice, Airey, Gillan and Morse and for the North American leg only will –  for the first time since the commercially unsuccessful orchestral collaboration of the 1970`s  and the re-created “Concerto for Group and Orchestra” performed at the Royal Albert Hall in September 1999 with the London Symphony Orchestra –  perform with a local orchestra from each city led by conductor Steven Bentley who rehearses with each orchestra before Deep Purple swings into town.
A little background on the group that won a spot in the Guinness book of world records as the globe’s loudest band. The very definition of Prog rock , the band launched in Hertford UK in 1968 as a session band for ex-Searchers drummer Chris Curtis, its inaugural line-up consisted of Ritchie Blackmore, vocalist Rod Evans, bassist Nick Simper, keyboardist Jon Lord, and drummer Ian Paice. After touring Scandinavia and producing their first album “Shades of Deep Purple”.  their American label Tetragrammaton folded. Evans and Simpler were “fired” and the revamped band moved forward with singer Ian Gillan and bassist Roger Glover fresh from the pop group “Episode Six”. The new band’s first album, 1970’s “Concerto for Group and Orchestra” was a fusion of rock and classical music and further sought to fuse rock and classical music recording the album with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
After the failure of this project Blackmore took creative control of the band, and it joined the ranks of the British heavy metal/ hard rock institution. Their self-titled third LP, propelled the band into the commercial stratosphere and was followed by the non-LP single “Black Night” which just missed the top of the U.K. pop charts. The  “Fireball” album in 1971 which included “Strange Kind of Woman” was followed by the 1973 studio album “Who do We Think We Are”  and the hit “Woman From Tokyo”  which further consolidated the group`s iconic status.
However the simmering creative differences between Blackmore and Gillan led to the latter leaving the group to be replaced by David Coverdale. Glen Hughes was recruited to replace Roger Glover who exited the band shortly after Ian Gillan. keeping up……….
SO now the band had another had another metamorphosis and after completing “Stormbringer” in 1974, Ritchie Blackmore left Deep Purple to form Rainbow with vocalist Ronnie James Dio. The continuous changes that plagued Deep Purple took their toll and the group dissolved in 1976 with Coverdale going on to form “White Snake”. Bolin died of a drug overdose later that same year.  Blackmore, Gillan, Lord, Glover, and Paice reunited Deep Purple in 1984 and produced “Perfect Strangers” which went platinum. More “now you see me, now you don`t”  line-up changes ensued with Gillan leaving and rejoining and Blackmore once again exiting (this time for good) in the middle of “The Battle Rages On” tour.   In 1994, Steve Morse took over the guitar slot, fresh from a stint in Kansas and in 2002, when founding member Lord (who, along with Paice, was the only member to be in all incarnations of the band) announced his amicable retirement from the band  he left his Hammond organ to his replacement, Rock keyboard veteran Airey (Rainbow, Ozzy Osbourne, Black Sabbath, Whitesnake) And on the subject of the  Hammond Organ – there is nothing as evocative of good times past as the iconic sound of this AMAZING piece of musical technology. Certainly made the hairs on my arms prickle anyway…
Take a look at the remainder of their already in-progress schedule……………This is after all the hardest working rock band of its era; since 1968 until today (with the exception of their 1976–1984 split) they continue to tour around the world. Outstanding especially as Ian Gillan the vocalist is 3 years shy of 70 and the youngest – Steve Morse is the baby at 54!!!
Remaining tour dates
06/23/11 Las Vegas, NV Palms United  States
06/24/11  Los Angeles, CA  Greek  Theatre United States
06/25/11 Concord, CA   United States
07/15/11 Mainz  Nordmole Germany
07/16/11  Montreux  Jazz Festival,Stravinsky Hall Switzerland
07/18/11 Verona  Arena Italy
07/20/11  Gelsenkirchen  Amphitheatre (Open Air) Germany
07/22/11  Kunzelsau  Schlosspark (Open Air) Germany
07/23/11 Dresden  Elbufer (Open Air) Germany
07/24/11  Slupsk  Dolina Charlotty Poland
07/27/11  Vienne  Theatre Antique France
07/29/11   Tienen  Suikerock Festival Belgium
11/26/11 Glasgow  SECC United Kingdom
11/27/11  Birmingham  LG Arena United Kingdom
11/29/11  Manchester  MEN Arena United Kingdom
11/30/11   London  O2 Arena United Kingdom
12/03/11 Halle  Gerry Weber Stadion Germany
12/04/11  Schwerin  Sport & Kongresshalle Germany
12/07/11  DeHelsinki  Hartwell Arena Finland
12/15/11 Horsens  Forum Denmark
Current line-up
  • Ian Gillan – vocals, harmonica, congas (1969–1973, 1984–1989, 1992–present)
  • Steve Morse – guitar (1994–present)
  • Rogers Glover – bass (1969–1973, 1984–present)
  • Ian Paice – drums, percussion (1968–1976, 1984–present)
  • Don Airey – keyboards, organ (2001–present)
Over and Out

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