Monday, June 20, 2011

Initial Deep Purple Concert Thoughts

Deep Purple with Symphony Orchestra and Ernie And The Automatics
Sunday, June 19, 2011
Minneapolis, MN, Orpheum Theatre

Deep Purple is one of my all-time favorite bands, and their show at the Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis last night did not disappoint. I know I'm behind on getting a lot of things posted, but I thought I'd share my initial thoughts on Deep Purple's show before getting a full review posted.

Ernie and the Automatics opened the show, and like everyone else, I was wondering who they were and how they landed this tour. Turns out that Ernie features two of the original members of Boston, guitarist Barry Goudreau and drummer Sib Hashian, and three members of Boston off-shoot RTZ (Goudreau, vocalist/keyboardist Brian Maes, and bassist Tim Archibald) alongside a couple other Boston-area musicians. They played a friendly, R&B/rock set that was greeted warmly by the crowd. The house was brought down as they stunned the audience with a lengthy, well-done medley of tunes from the first Boston album.

Deep Purple didn't take long to appear, and the band sounded fantastic but maybe a bit looser than other times I've seen them. The first three songs suffered from poor sound, but the mix got quickly fixed and the rest of the show sounded great. This was Purple's first North American tour with an orchestra, and last night featured a 25-piece symphony featuring local musicians. In two words: it worked. The orchestra was seamlessly integrated into Purple's bombastic sound, and it made for certainly their most interesting tour. One thing I love about seeing Deep Purple is their willingness to omit some standards from their set to play obscure album cuts. Sure, it's a little disappointing to not hear "Child In Time" or "Speed King", but instead we were treated to "No One Came", "Hard Lovin' Man", and "Maybe I'm A Leo". Of course, some things have to be played such as "Smoke On The Water", "Highway Star", and "Perfect Strangers". Every member of the band sounded great, and it looked like they were having a lot of fun on stage with the orchestra.

I'll get a full report posted soon, as well as audio and video downloads of the entire show. Until then, here's video of the encore, which featured "Hush" and "Black Night".

Deep Purple performs "Hush", which features an Ian Paice drum solo.

Deep Purple performs "Black Night", which features a Roger Glover bass solo.