Venue: TAB, Singapore
Date: 11th December 2015
Promoter: LAMC Productions
Review by: Maisha G.
Special Thanks: Andre, and the LAMC Productions team
Growing up, I was not foreign to bands that celebrated the very essence of hard blues and rock and roll. What more having a father who’s an avid fan of both said genres, I was introduced to rock at a very young age, possibly before I even knew how to walk or even uttered my first words. I must admit that being 25, I feel like a true blue oldie at heart, adding 20 years more to said age but there’s something about listening to the warm tone and snarky riffs played the musicians who are well known for their niche aspects. And my dad would from time to time, exclaim as he listens to Stormbringe, turn to me and say “No one plays a strat like Blackmore.” Then, I couldn’t quite wrap my head around what he said but as the years go by and being exposed to varied genres, I soon became a believer of my father’s random exclamations.
Learning the news about Glenn’s voyage to Singapore and the venue, I was rather surprised as I thought we would be expecting quite a crowd but I was mistaken. Seems so that Deep Purple was seen as a band in it’s entirety other than the individuals, shining in their own prowess with their instrument of choice, Glenn played a huge role in the Stormbringer and Burn albums collectively. It was not only Glenn that would be giving us a show we would never forget, Doug Aldrich from Whitesnake joined his entourage and they form their own super trio. I must admit I had no clue who the drummer was but I guess it was the element of surprise for me that night. And so it was.
The venue, I’m quite familiar with the intimate setting and was greeted with a considerable number of fans and me being me, I placed myself comfortably right in front, in the middle part of the stage, anticipating face to face intensity while Glenn and Doug work their magic. True enough, never would I thought I’d come this close to standing infront of my father’s idols just a mere three metres apart. Glenn’s old age did not stop him from rocking out and the night started with none other than “Stormbringer”. The song echoed through the crowd as you see the constant head bangs from all around, singing “Stormbringer comingggg, time to dieeeee”. The audience went thoroughly wild as the night started with the crowd’s main favourite. We were in store for a night of songs from varied bands, ranging from Deep Purple all the way to Trapeze, with Whitesnake not to be missed out as well.
I had my eyes affixed on the drummer, Pontus Engborg. Hailing all the way from Sweden, Pontus gelled well with the band like it was as good as the main big bands they were celebrating that night by playing their music. Pontus’s tenacity on the drums as the hard hits on the toms and clean hits on the crash makes his sound an encapsulation of a well married tempo that harmonizes well with Glenn’s bass strums and Doug’s whammy screams. It was something almost sentient, I couldn’t put them into words on how I felt, having the guitar heroes take on each other, playing to the rhythm of these well celebrated songs – it felt surreal and almost unreal.
Glenn’s few words of wisdom got the crowd nodding in constant agreement as he shared his concern about the worldly issues that’s affecting the world in various aspects and given such circumstances, we can seek solace. In his own words ‘”When you go home, you draw the curtains and sit on your bed. Plug in your headphones and listen to music. Because music is the healer.” I couldn’t have said it better; coming from a well respected and reputable musician, and given his conscientious thoughts and takes on worldly affairs, he knows what could get us by and that was the help of music.
They gifted the crowd with a cover of “Good To Be Bad”. It only seemed fitting as we have Doug Aldrich on guitars and also giving the fans a taste of the good old Whitesnake as we live through the feels of the band’s performance vicariously through Doug’s guitar antics as they were blown away. I heard someone saying “Coverdale should take a break” as we were charmed by Glenn’s amazing vocal range as he continuously hits the high note, transposing the song into a more soul setting, a very deepset and moving vocal gymnastics by the man himself. It left the crowd in major awe as we were trying to wrap our heads around the power of Glenn’s voice. Age is indeed not a deterrence for Glenn to give his best performance for the last leg of the tour before returning home.
The night progresses as each musician took the limelight for the few minutes, playing the instruments of choice to their hearts’ content with all their might and passion transposed into their performance. What can I say, having a great spot right in front of the stage meant that I was absorbing all the greatness in one sitting. “Mistreated” came on and I could soon hear the familiar cheer ringing as the veteran crowd bobbed their heads, punching their fists in the air, celebrating the anthem of the album – none other than the song “Burn”. I have to be honest, all night, I was just looking forward to seeing them perform this track because the band themselves didn’t include the song in their setlist when they last played here about two years ago. I was pretty bummed out it then but I was full on sure that there were going to play the song this time round.
And so, the night closed beautifully with the tune I’d find myself singing whenever I’m caught in a rather stressful situation. I grew up listening to this song and have always been intrigued with the organ’s part in it, a part which is hard to emulate, even by doing covers or simply transposing that part to be played on guitars. I had my reservations about Doug playing the part but I thought the night was wild and nothing could go wrong. I could’ve have been more spot on than I want to be on most days. Doug executed it beautifully and Blackmore’s parts sang by Glenn was nothing short of amazing. Glenn executed the vocals so well that I almost forgot that I was not watching the band itself. But having to listen to the song “Burn” played live, was more than what I could’ve asked for and I’ve always imagined the day would come and so it came.
I left the venue smiling knowing that I’ve had my bucketlist crossed and it satiated the oldie inside of me and celebrated life in ways I could never imagine. Thank you so much LAMC for the amazing night. Music is indeed the healer to many things and there’s nothing that music can’t help.