Live Photos and Gig Review Credit: © Robert Cavuoto
Deep Purple Smokes the Mayo Center for the Performing Arts in Morristown NJ!
After an extensive tour of Europe and Asia earlier in 2014, Deep Purple is currently touring North America in support of their 19th studio CD, Now What!?. On one of their last shows on this US trek, the band stopped the Mayo Center in Morristown NJ on August 24, 2014.
Deep Purple are the forefathers of heavy metal and wrote the book on steel belted screams and driving soulful riffs. Though they have had many member changes and band iterations over the years, the focus has always been about the music! This iteration of the band has three fifths of the original members, with Ian Gillian on vocals, Roger Glover on bass, and Ian Paice drums. On guitar they have enlisted Steve Morse and Don Airey of Ozzy Osburne fame on keyboards.
The band put on a masterful 90 minute show despite any video screen, pyro, or spectacle lighting. They launched into “Highway Star” and never looked back, performing 18 of the classic rock songs that made them famous, like “Space Truckin,” “Lazy,” “Hard Lovin Man,” and “Hush.” They included a few new ones off of Now What?! “Hell to Pay” and “Vincent Price.”
It was awe inspiring to witness Steve Morse’s masterful and complex guitar techniques coupled with pure emotion on all the song but in particular the instrumental; “Lost Contact.” His style stretches the boundaries of rock, jazz, progressive, and blues …sometimes achieved all in the same song.
Roger Glover and Ian Paice are cleary the backbone of the band allowing the guitar to drive the songs that Richie Blackmore created some five decades ago.
Ian Gillian proves he still has his legendary chops and gave the fans a more mature look at the world through them.
No Deep Purple show would be complete without playing “Smoke of the Water,” the song that launched millions of guitar players with those simple yet melodic chords. The song was performed prior to the encores and played with the same velvety smooth fluidity of when it was written.
The band is clearly on a mission to preserve the sanctity of classic rock to its purest form by using elements of rock, prog, and blues. Hopefully they extend their tour longer than the month of August, so more fans can hear and enjoy their lush legacy.