Concert Review - Deep Purple

Ian Paice is the only member of British rockers Deep Purple who can claim to have been in the band since day one, but vocalist Ian Gillan and bassist Roger Glover have been there for most of a rather tumultuous ride as well.  Glover and Gillen signed on beginning with "In Rock" and comprising the best studio albums of the Hertford, UK group.  In 1994, former Dixie Dregs founder Steve Morse signed on.  In 2002, founding member and keyboard player Jon Lord retired from the group and Don Airey stepped in to complete the current lineup.

Saturday night marked Deep Purple's first ever performance at Ravinia Festival.  They put on a nearly two-hour rocking and jamming show, with sounds augmented by the Ravinia Festival orchestra. 

They played songs from a number of their studio albums, with the majority if the songs from the popular "Machine Head."  The various members also took turns with blistering solos, including orchestra conductor Stephen Bentley-Klein, who ripped it up on violin.

It took the house sound mixers a few songs to get the sound right, although it was probably more suited to the indoor venues they have been playing, such as New York's Beacon Theatre. 

Through good fortune and timing (and my mother-in-law's connections,) I
ended up with front row seats, as the pictures below will attest.  The
best part of that was being so close I could see every string pluck and
chord played.  The bad news (however slight) was being directly in front
of Glover's bass amps, and getting bombarded by low frequency waves all

The crowd was very enthusiastic, and when the band launched into "Smoke on the Water," the place went nuts.  Despite the cool and chilly temps, with a possible threat of rain, the lawn was only about two thirds filled.

The opening act was Ernie and the Automatics, who played an electric
blues that came sounding like a  mix of Bob Seger and Sammy Haggar. 
This group included Barry Gourdeau and Sib Hashian, who played on the
first two Boston albums, and ended their abbreviated set with a medley
of Boston songs. 

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
When A Blind Man Cries
Well Dressed Guitar
Knocking at Your Back Door
No One Came
Keyboard solo (including snippets of Chopin and "Chicago")
Perfect Strangers
Space Truckin'

Encore: Hush
Bass solo
Black Night


Filed under: Deep Purple


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