Tonight we have some fantastic classic rock entering our newest concert venue, “Deep Purple” live at Casino New Brunswick’s “The Center” for the first of two shows. Oddly, this was actually the second show added in Moncton, with the first coming two days later but because of demand and a sold out show on Monday the promoter added a second show on the previous Saturday.
We started the night off with an opening act of “Gloryhound” a rock band from Nova Scotia who comprised of Evan Meisner (lead vocal/rhythm guitar), David Casey (lead guitar/bg vocal), Shaun Hanlon (drums) and Jeremy MacPherson (bass), are a tight well rounded rock band that had my brain searching for 80′s similarities that were just out of reach. Influenced by Alice Cooper and Iggy Pop, I can see why my mind went there, and their sound backs that up. With solid tunes like “Electric Dusk”, which I really enjoyed, smooth vocals and musicianship these four high school band mates from Fall River have something good going here. Graciously accepted by the crowd of Deep Purple fans Gloryhound is a band to watch out for as I’m sure we’ll hear from them again.
After a half our set by the opener and a thrity minute break it was time for our headliner to take the stage. Ian Paice is the only member of British rockers Deep Purple who can claim to have been in the band since day one, but vocalist Ian Gillan and bassist Roger Glover have been there for most of the bands incarnations as well. Glover and Gillan signed on beginning with “In Rock” and in 1994, former Dixie Dregs founder Steve Morse became a member of the band. In 2002, founding member and keyboard player Jon Lord retired from the group and Don Airey stepped in to complete the current lineup.
The band blasted onto the stage playing “Highway Star” from 1972′s ‘Machine Head’ album, which was their most successful album, and the band highlighted this album with songs like “Lazy”, and “Space Truckin’”. The band’s various members also took turns with blistering solos on this Saturday night, the crowd most appreciative of a lengthy Steve Morse guitar solo. As I’ve mentioned in the past, the sound in the Center at Casino NB is top notch, and tonight was no exception, with the bands music transporting us back a few decades to the seventies and eighties where heavy rock and heavy metal were essentially born. They effortlessly flew through songs like “Strange Kind of Woman” and “Rapture of The Deep”.
An appreciative crowd greeted the band tonight, not surprisingly it was mostly male which I fully expected, with a smattering of ladies throughout. The crowd knew the music, were fans of the music, ‘got’ the music, and they showed it with multiple standing ovations throughout the night. I had a wonderful seat on the center aisle that afforded me a great view of the performance, it allowed me to see the appreciative crowd as they absorbed the sounds.
Rolling Through multiple albums like “Machine Head”, “In Rock”, and “Deepest Purple” the guys of Deep Purple did not leave the crowd wanting. When they launched into “Smoke on the Water” from back in 1972, every person who has picked up a guitar and plucked out those first few notes felt that connection that that song brings…’duh, duh, duh’…the small and vocal crowd was ecstatic.
The sold out show from Monday is in for a treat as the show is a great time machine trip back to those days when heavy metal rock was in it’s prime, when melodic vocals and wailing guitars joined in a cacophony of sound that blasts you to a different place. If Deep Purple is rolling into your town I highly recommend the show for fans of the era, fans of Deep Purple, and rock music fans.
Once again I want to thank Gloryhound, Deep Purple, Casino NB and Paul Mercs concerts for a great night of music…until next time!