Deep Purple and Journey

Perth Arena, Western Australia
7th March 2013
Second only to Zeppelin at their peak, Deep Purple once bestrode the world of heavy rock like a colossus. These days they exist to provide a Proustian rush for the baby boomer generation. Nothing wrong with that, of course, this is still great music, expertly played. Ian Gillan may have lost some of his high register but five decades in, he fronts Purple with a mixture of authority and self-deprecation. Like Ritchie Blackmore before him, Steve Morse is now the heart and soul of the band. Unlike Ritchie, however, Morse seems perfectly happy in his work, despite being hugely over-qualified for the job at hand. Together with Don Airey on keyboards the new boys (just 30 years service between them) provide a richly powerful musical backdrop for veterans Gillan, Glover and Paice to work with. All the classic songs were wheeled out including Hush from the first album, but the biggest cheers of the night were, unsurprisingly, reserved for the rifftastic Smoke On The Water and Black Night.
The audience: 
Oldies, baldies, bikers and aging metal fans. The remaining hair gets greyer and the waistbands get a little tighter with every tour. Well done to the Perth Arena for taking a relaxed approach to photography/video.
Food & drink: 
The usual over-priced stadium fare. In plastic glasses. Drinks were allowed inside the arena, however, which was good to see.
It made me think: 
Interesting fact:support band Journey found current frontman Arnel Pineda on YouTube singing with a Journey tribute band in the Philippines. These guys virtually invented stadium rock, so what a pity half the crowd stayed in the bar during their set.


He lit up Santana III. I always reckoned Journey to be a little on the dull side, though?

but live Journey were great. And Schon really is a fabulous guitarist.

AOR is a world unto itself, I find.

were not at all AOR - more jazz rock than anything else - and worth a try if you've not listened before. Their first album is a long time favourite of mine and Schon really stands out.

I've got a couple of their LPs (Frontiers and Journey), so must give them another spin. At the concert I only knew 2 or 3 songs (Don't Stop Believin' natch).

I was struck by how much Neal Schon looks like Springsteen these days.

Have a look at this, Oprah meets Journey - it's the story of how they found their replacement singer in a tribute band in the Philippines - gotta love schmaltzy American TV:

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