Wednesday, April 27, 2005

A Deep Purple Concert Review, 2001

I recently rediscovered a review I had done of a Deep Purple Concert in Bangalore, India, in 2001 - this was for a local newspaper. I had no copy of it, but on a Google Search, found that the fine folks at The Highway Star had archived a copy online. To claim it back, and archive the post, I reproduce it below.
Bangalore Palace

Some notes on the location/concert: This was at the Palace Grounds in Bangalore on April 1, 2001. The Palace Grounds are the site of the Bangalore Palace, erstwhile home to the rulers of the princely state of Mysore, pre-independence. It is a scenic building, built in the Tudor style, inspired by Windsor Castle, in 1887. The property is now managed by the government, although the ex-royal family still occupies a wing. The royal family, the Wodeyars, comprised a peace with the British, and thus were able to preserve their exquisite properties, and foster much development across the state at a time when much of North India was in the flames of rebellion and discord. The state was highly industrialized, with its capital at Mysore, about 100 miles from the British Cantonment, or military town of Bangalore.

Bangalore, today, is termed the Silicon Capital of India, with a preponderance of high-tech industries, scores of fine colleges, and perhaps the most cosmopolitan and booming economy in India. The long British influence has made it a predominantly English-speaking area, and a love for beer and music has meant it an obligatory stopping point for every major concert tour in India. Deep Purple has played a number of times in India, and this concert was fabulous, as I can attest.

On to the Deep Purple concert review, somewhat dated, perhaps.

Steve Morse keeps the warhorses rocking!

Deep Purple admitted that they did not expect the kind of response they received at Bangalore. A crowd of over 40.000 rocked through the two-and-a-half hour extravaganza that included all the regular favorites and some surprises.

The opening band was Bangalore-based Thermal & A Quarter - a good rocking band with all the regular influences, they played for 40 minutes and got the crowd in the mood. As they played, a brief shower helped cool the rising rockers' heat.

Then the rock heroes from Deep Purple were on stage. A mammoth flat-screen television projected their finger-lickin' good music across the Bangalore Palace grounds.

They opened with "Woman From Tokyo" - and although most regular fans had heard these songs on LPs, CDs and bootlegged cassettes, the grounds resounded with a roar of obvious pleasure. The song list included all the usual standards - four numbers from "Purpendicular" including my favorite, "Hey Cisco".

The band kept complimenting the crowd on its passion and enthusiasm. Steve Morse could tell the crowd loved his solos, because of the loud applause that greeted each one, so he began to extend them and introduce guitar frenzies into songs that one would expect to be more subdued. The other players also contributed, with a long solo by Lord and Paice. One would never guess Gillan's age from his rendering of 30+ year old songs.

One interesting bit was a medley of guitar pieces that included the Beatles, Black Sabbath and more, and then effortlessly segued into "Smoke On The Water", driving the crowd wild. The boys did a 15 minute version of "Speed King", with a rock'n'roll interlude built in.

They signed off before we knew it, but came back for an encore with "Hush" and finally "Highway Star". A wall of flame during "Smoke On The Water" spelt out the most perfect words in rock - DEEP PURPLE!

This concert should do a lot for the revitalization of rock. Long live Deep Purple.

Deep Purple is currently on tour around the world, and will be playing in the United States in June - the tour dates are on the Highway Star - best of all, they will be headlining at the Summerfest in Milwaukee, June 30, 2005 - See you there!

The Very Best of Deep Purple [Rhino]/Deep Purple Burn [Bonus Tracks]/Deep Purple Lonely Planet South India (Lonely Planet South India)/Paul Harding The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century/Thomas L. Friedman The Red Carpet : Bangalore Stories/LAVANYA SANKARAN Network City: Planning The Information Society In Bangalore/James Heitzman Deep Purple: Bombay Calling

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