It had been just over two years that Deep Purple performed in the Netherlands.
That gig was in the famous Heineken Music Hall in amsterdam, renowned for its superb acoustics.
The last few years, since the last studio album by Deep Purple, Rapture Of The Deep (2005) the line up didn't change: Ian Gillan (vocals), Ian Paice (drums), Roger Glover (bass),
Steve Morse (guitar) and Don Airey (keyboards).
On the dvd Live in Montreux (also with orchestra) there are just a few differences in the set lists:
Knocking On Your Back Door was performed in Montreux and instead The Mule was performed in Arnhem.
The extra encore in The Netherlands was the cover song Going Down.
Comparing this set list with the one from the concert in Essen (Grugahalle) last year,
on 28 November, the setlist in the Gelredome with orchestra wasn't quite that different:
Fireball, Silver Tongue and Almost Human were left out and had been replaced by Woman From Tokyo, more guitar solo stuff and Going Down.
Since there weren't that many press passes issued, I hadn't been fortunate enough to be appointed to have one so I had to make a choice:
listen to just three songs of both support act and main act and go home, or pay 75 euro's (about 65 GBP) to watch the rest of the show.
To me the set list didn't seem that attractive because I was really hoping for some special songs or at least a song selection that would show some respect for the orchestra,
like some classical pieces or different arrangements of the songs.
From what I heard the band could have played without orchestra just as well.
So I chose not to buy a ticket so I can only inform you about those first three songs......
In the Heineken Music Hall (October 2010) it had been Triggerfinger to support Deep Purple, now another trio but not from Belgium but from the south part of the Netherlands: Black-Bone.
People in the audience who had been anticipating that for a concert with group and orchestra a more classically trained ensemble would have been invited were proven wrong:
pure and simple hard rock/rock 'n' roll in the vein of Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath to warm up the crowd.
Personally I thought it was cute to see these youngsters playing music I grew up with, rock by bands who invented the genre and who were world-famous in the seventies.
Though not highly original the music of Black-Bone was delivered with lots of energy by front man and guitarist Steef.
But -as usual with trio's except if you happen to be Rush- I always miss the extra guitar or the keyboards.
Anyway the band is working hard on their first album that will be produced by Oscar Holleman (Krezip, Within Temptation).
It must have been awesome for these young dudes to perform before a crowd of thousands instead of gigging in their own backyard!
Next station is on January 17 in Tilburg, where they will open for Chickenfoot, not too bad indeed!
Then Deep Purple: a majestic opening by the orchestra, divided in a left and right wing, started the show by playing the Deep Purple Overture and equally 'as usual'
Deep Purple opened with Highway Star which seems to be a bit less powerful than earlier on.
As in previous concerts I have seen these last years, Ian Gillan seems to have a bit of trouble to sing in tune for the first few minutes but after that everything was okay again.
Surely he was not able to deliver the same power and reach that made the band famous some forty years ago, but that's age related and completely normal.
No longer barefooted he still sings very well in the ordinary range but if you saw the band live before there's really nothing new.
If they had hoped to sell out the Gelredome like Roger Waters did (or Coldplay),
they had been too optimistic: curtains concealed nearly half of the stadium but I've heard rumors there were still close to 10.000 people
attending and that would certainly be far more than the number of people that would have come out to see an ordinary Deep Purple show in the Netherlands.
Obviously there were a lot of people who hadn't seen Deep Purple for a very long time if at all and for them every note they recognized may have sounded like a glorious trip down memory lane.
The quality of the sound was excellent, lightshow (in the first three songs) was quite okay but nothing special.
As I didn't see the rest of the show it struck me that Steve Morse didn't seem quite 'into it' as I've seen him before.
Maybe his mind was drifting away from this routine job to his new project with among others Neal Morse and Mike Portnoy?
It has been confirmed the band has been booked for a show in the Ziggodome in Amsterdam (yet to be opened!) on December 4 this year
(2012) and hopefully they will come up with some new material or at least with some special surprises....
Deep Purple Overture
Hard Lovin' Man
Maybe I'm a Leo
Strange Kind of Woman
Rapture of the Deep
Woman From Tokyo
When a Blind Man Cries
The Well Dressed Guitar
The Mule (with Drum Solo)
No One Came
(Für Elise snippet)
Smoke on the Water
Going Down (Don Nix cover) (impromptu)
Hush (Billy Joe Royal cover)