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Deep Purple

Live in Las Vegas, Nevada, August 2017

Review by Larry Toering

Maybe it was overkill, but I haven’t found any evidence in my recall of this concert to back that. I found after seeing much video of them weeks prior in Europe and how magnificent the whole show was, I figured the band would bring me the standard issue at all cost, like they had each-and every other time I’d seen them since 1985. This is being called “The Long Goodbye Tour” after the release of what they’re saying is likely their final album. (Ian Gillan reported recently that there are plans for another one, so say what you will at that) The album, inFinite which is also reviewed here at MSJ, is easily one of their finest albums in the history of the band.
So, naturally I was expecting them to give the US region a high note to go out on. Well, this set did not deliver on that at all, and it went more like a non-album support tour which has resulted in dropping one of the two new numbers that made this tour feature nothing much but an oldies fest. Not that their stuff can be classified as oldies, but the term sticks wherever you toss it.

Bonnie Toering
 
Bonnie Toering
   

Am I writing a negative review? The answer is "no," but I am taking a stand on promoters/venues and all that is wrong with rock in America. As-long as promoters sell tickets based on the old, there will never be enough new to shake a stick at to keep the music world thriving. This has become more and more evident since the 80s. They first started calling these reunions “revivals," but Deep Purple made a pact to return to stay through thick and thin until the oil runs out and/or someone can no longer do it. And when a tour designed like this goes the opposite direction, you can point fingers in many directions.


Bonnie Toering
 
Bonnie Toering
 
Bonnie Toering

So, was the show worth seeing for a major longtime fan is the question, and "yes" is the answer. However, with only 70 minutes to play following a spectacular performance by Alice Cooper, seeing Purple like this was quite a comedown. I was prepared for the same level of fireworks they were bringing Europe. I don’t even see how they can agree to go from hot to warm like this, but once again US promoters think they know it all. And the venue was far from cordial in their hospitality, even though one of the nicest in Vegas. The show itself being a Deep Purple performance would dazzle any average concert goer, but those of us who put more into it are a harder sell.

The whole ticket for me was the new track “The Surprising,” which plays over the heads of the masses like a symphony they cannot even fathom. And, I believe that dropping the other new tracks and only playing one more as an encore of all moves made it hard to take very seriously. I didn’t even like seeing them put it on for the classic rock zombies. However, the band brought all of the same firing chops to play as usual, but I will gripe by saying it’s better spent on the new material.

It all depends on what you’re after, an oldies fest or something new. I have been after the latter since 1985, and this is honestly the first time I questioned a Deep Purple concert I’ve attended. But lo and behold there was still not one flaw to be found in their performance of this.


Bonnie Toering
 
Bonnie Toering
   
leave it up to show biz, but let’s just hope that the “Long Goodbye Tour” gets an opportunity to come back around to the US before it’s over, and show them why the rest of the world loves this legacy so much. It’s all in the sets they give them, and not us (this time unfortunately). Top marks to them and what they’ve brought to the world all these years, but my head goes down to a waning industry and this is the band I will miss the most. Read some reviews from across the pond, and you’ll see much to back up what I’m pointing out. But it’s back to business for Deep Purple in November, and back to bringing abroad what the fans are truly after - more of something new to properly balance with their colossal past.

Bonnie Toering
       
This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2017  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.
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