Venue: The Star Theatre @ The Star Performing Arts Centre, Singapore
Date: 12th March 2013
Promoter: Lushington Entertainments
Review by: Maisha G.
Special Thanks: The Lushington Entertainments team
Photos by Kenneth L.
The first thing that probably comes to everyone’s mind when one speaks of Deep Purple; their famous number “Smoke On The Water”. The must-have song in almost every avid guitarists’ playlist on their iPod, and one of the most common songs to be learned to the guitar. It’s is no doubt that this English hard rock band is one of the influential bands back in those glory days of the 1970s, to which their stardom is still celebrated by many artistes and fans worldwide up to this very day.
With the utmost minimal stage set up with amps towering over their heads, the drum set set up and of course, the magical wonders of organs in their songs, five stunning men emerged from opposite ends of the stage and took their spots, clad in only their jeans and cut off sleeves shirts – Deep Purple is set to rock our night.
Though pushing 70 years of age, they are a living prove that age is just mere digits. Ian Paice was charging like a bull ready to fight, as he hit the snares and the floor toms as Steve Morse bellowed his signature guitar licks. It was as good as it gets, just as how Ritchie Blackmore had done it, but in his own unique way. While Don Airey showed off his organ playing skills accompanied by Roger Glover on the bass hammers and slaps, the music was as energetic as I can recall watching them in videos. More so than the earlier days, I reckon. The man who carried on from where Rod Evans left off, bringing the ultimate glory to the band till this very day, is the voice behind the band’s dynamism; Ian Gillian.
“The golden light above / You show me where you’re from” screeched across the theatre as Gillian belt out the note. Any true fan of Deep Purple would close their eyes as he let out the first few notes, and nod in agreement on how this was what made Deep Purple, Deep Purple. The ever familiar high baritone in the voice, also known to reach the C note in most of the songs. I felt like I was stuck in my dad’s body as I grooved and subtly stomped my feet to the beat of the debut song of the night, “Fireball”.
The theatre was literally filled with veteran music goers wearing their Deep Purple t-shirts, proud to be fans as they crowd right in front of the stage. They had both of their hands raised up and were showing the worldwide sign used by almost all concert goers – the ‘I love you’ sign – as the band jammed their hearts out to the songs that were well celebrated in those days where my parents were still in that period of romancing and dating one another. I remember vividly how my dad always told me that “Perfect Strangers” was his jam back in the day when he won my mum’s heart and eventually, her hand in marriage.
As they played “Perfect Strangers” initiated by Don Airey’s impeccable introduction, the set was well on fire. Gillian danced as he worked his boots, showing off a step or two to the audience. Rob Glover gave off a stunning bass solo and of course, Steve Morse, with his signature pedal licks, played chords in tandem to that of Don Airey’s keys on his organ. Paice’s hits and fill-ins on his drum set stole the spotlight solo for the night. As every single one of them showed off their prowess on their instrument, Gillian sets the mood as Steve Morse entered those chords that got the crowd roaring. Mind you, these are veteran music goers who I must admit, seemed to have more energy than I ever had. Looks as though they can easily do two rounds of a one click run!
Gillian screamed into the microphone, accompanied with his peculiar yet well-liked vocal gymnastics to the song “Smoke On The Water”. The setlist of the night was close to perfection; they just left out the one song I was looking forward to all night, “Burn” from the album of the same title. I was anticipating Don Airey’s madness on the organs but it was a tad disappointing that they didn’t perform the song.
Even so, I felt as though I represented my dad at the concert as they sealed the deal with what I can confidently say is his Deep Purple anthem, the song “Space Truckin’”. My old man would have jumped like an overjoyed boy who just had his first video game presented to him. I felt like my dad that night, and I felt that I understood him better after the show because music is such a huge part of his life and now, it is becoming mine.
At the end of the night, I was telling myself “Man, these men still got it. Brilliant as they can ever be”. In all honesty, I enjoy concerts as such because they emit more energy than gigs I’ve been to that are performed by young musicians. These men have definitely played a big role in making 2013 an amazing year yet. Thank you Lushington for turning our music dreams into reality.