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There was a hard choice to make tonight. On the same evening, Deep Purple played at the Zénith, Europe at the Bataclan, Moonspell and Pain at the Trabendo, and Pulp at the Olympia.
I finally went to see Deep Purple and I sure made the right choice!
Ian Gillan played earlier this year here at the Rock Meets Classic event, but Deep Purple last show in Paris was two years ago. The Zénith wasn’t sold-out tonight, even if the stands were full, we had a lot of room in the pit. That’s rather curious, because in 2009 and 2010 Deep Purple toured throughout France and every gig was sold-out.
The opening band was Jimix. They’re good musicians and the singer Jimmy has a really good voice, but they’re not really the band you would expect to play with Deep Purple. In fact, this one was the only show they played together. Jimix '90s pop with a drum machine didn’t manage to wake up the crowd, despite their efforts to make us sing Girls are Crazy.
Shortly before 9pm, Deep Purple started the show. The stage set was very nice, with four columns to the rear, under a stunning light show. The sound too was excellent.
It didn’t take long for Ian Gillan to warm his voice, and he did a very good performance throughout the show, even if he didn’t move much around the stage. But that’s understandable, he had a problem with his leg earlier this year (Those who attended the Rock Meets Classic Tour noticed.
Despite being the youngest member of the band, Steve Morse stood by his side for most of the show. But his fast and melodic riffs and solos did impress everyone, equally combining technical virtuosity and melody to create his unique style.
Roger Glover is, on the contrary, the one that runs around the stage. He’s the most dynamic guy in the band, almost taking the frontman role.
The biggest surprise on the setlist was the return of The Mule, a song that’s become rare, to which Ian Paice adds his drum solo.
It wasn’t a “best-of” set, but there were several all-time classics. Oddly, Highway Star wasn’t included.
I totally understand that bands want to change those songs that have been played for decades.
Even Iron Maiden is dropping the hymn Hallowed Be Thy Name on the current Maiden England Tour!
A few months ago we learned the sad news of the death of Jon Lord. I was expecting a tribute from the band to his former keyboardist, for examples a few excerpts of the Concerto for Group and Orchestra, or perhaps a speech.
This did not happen, but we cannot blame them. It is up to the band to decide how they wish to honor the memory of Jon Lord and, and what’s relevant to say or do.
Keyboardist Don Airey played an all-time classics solo, mixing rock standards with classical music melodies. A few notes from Ozzy Osbourne’s Mr Crowley were played at the beginning.
Some fans recognized it, but it seems that most of the audience preferred his version Mozart’s Rondo Alla Turca.
And about the audience, well there wasn’t much people in the pit and there wasn’t a festive atmosphere. It was the kind of gig when someone starts to dance and the people around wonder why they’re being pushed. Fortunately, those who wanted to dance only had to go a few metes backwards to find themselves some space.
But in the people in the stands, they clapped their hands, they sang the chorus of Hush, and ... that's it. Only a handful of people who stood up for Smoke On The Water!
But anyway, given the comments I heard at the end of the concert, everyone seems to have enjoyed the show.
I definitely did! When seeing Deep Purple live you can be sure to have a good time. There were four concerts that night, and I do not regret my choice!
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Setlist Deep Purple – The Zénith – Paris, – November 13 2012
02. Into The Fire
03. Hard Lovin' Man
04. Maybe I'm A Leo
05. Strange Kind Of Woman
06. The Battle Rages On
07. Contact Lost
–––– Guitar Solo ––––
08. When A Blind Man Cries
09. Wasted Sunsets
10. The Well-Dressed Guitar
11. The Mule (+ Drum Solo)
12. No One Came
–––– Keyboard Solo ––––
13. Perfect Strangers
14. Space Trucking
15. Smoke On The Water
16. Hush + Bass solo Roger Glover with Ian Paice
17. Black Night
Deep Purple Links:
Deep Purple Website
Deep Purple CDs at Amazon.com
Deep Purple iTunes downloads
Deep Purple on Flickr
Deep Purple band Line-up:
Ian Gillan – Vocals
Steve Morse – Guitars
Don Airey – Keyboards
Roger Glover – Bass
Ian Paice – Drums