Deep Purple @ Valbyhallen, Copenhagen (DK)

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DEEP PURPLE / ELECTRIC GUITARS

Date: 12th October, 2017
Venue: Valbyhallen
Tickets: 480DKK (€64/$75)
Promoter: LiveNation.dk
Photos: Erika Wallberg


I was surprised to see the massive line outside Valbyhallen in Copenhagen that gloomy Monday evening at the time the doors opened. This seems to be a standard in Denmark though, as compared to Sweden, with people showing up for the opening act as well. The interest also had to do with the nature of the opening acts with the top of the music elite of Denmark with ELECTRIC GUITARS. With two fantastic players, Søren Andersen and Mika Vandborg, it was bound to be good. This was the first time I saw them live and it struck me that much focus was on having fun and entertain.

Opening “Rock n' Roll Radio”, title track from most recent release which is a very good and radio-friendly track. And the message is a good one, there should be more Rock'n'Roll on the radio, that's for sure. Mika Vandborg sung the first one and then it was over to Søren Andersen. It's amazing to see musicians of this caliber entertain. It all sounded fantastic. One of my favorite songs from the set was “Lucy Glow”, I really enjoyed the smooth flow in the song. For “Headless Chicken”, which is sung by Jesper Binzer on record here featured Michael Bastholm Dahl from ARTILLERY. Damn he can sing! He shows it partly in ARTILLERY but he surely has a greater range than he makes use of there. The references to D.A.D stood out on stage also. I don't know if it was something used by D.A.D. earlier or that ELECTRIC GUITARS is on to the same track but the amplifiers behind the guitarists were massively oversized, one Marshall and one Vox.

When Michael left stage Mika took over the microphone and complained a bit that it wasn't too much fun to sing directly after Michael. It was of course no problems as “Break It Up” sounded fantastic too. It was a very good warm-up performance by ELECTRIC GUITARS, very impressive musicianship and catchy and fun songs with a lot of fines without being complex and people were definitely ready for DEEP PURPLE after this band.

ELECTRIC GUITARS setlist:

01. “Rock N' Roll Radio”
02. “False Flag Operation”
03. “Lucy Glow”
04. “White Flag”
05. “Headless Chicken”
06. “Break It Up”
07. “Running Out Of Time”

ELECTRIC GUITARS

Electric Guitars @ Valbyhallen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Electric Guitars @ Valbyhallen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Electric Guitars @ Valbyhallen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Electric Guitars @ Valbyhallen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Electric Guitars @ Valbyhallen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
Electric Guitars @ Valbyhallen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Electric Guitars @ Valbyhallen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Electric Guitars @ Valbyhallen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Electric Guitars @ Valbyhallen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Electric Guitars @ Valbyhallen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg)

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The lights went out and I could see Ian Gillan moving slowly over the stage in the dark. He became more and more visible for the crowd too as he was moving forward, at least by the judge of the screams increasing in strength for every step. On with a purple light straight in his face as the tonal intro to “Time For Bedlam” took off. I was rather surprised that this was the opener for the show. I love the new “Infinite” record and was very happy that DEEP PURPLE were picking tracks for that one. But since they almost always open with “Highway Star” it definitely became different from last time I saw them. DEEP PURPLE is one of the best acts though when it comes to pick up new songs to the live-set. And it all sounded amazing from start. The new record is rather laid back and mellow and so was the music here too but the groove and nerve the band has, and especially in the new ones is fantastic. It's definitely unique for DEEP PURPLE and when they get it going nothing can match it really. Following “Fireball” got a big cheer from the crowd and that too sounded great. But both for this one and the first out it felt like it was slower than on record. It absolutely didn't matter, especially the latter got a very nice groove to it.

I've seen DEEP PURPLE several times over the years which makes the new material the most interesting part of the set. “All I Got Is You” is one favorite from “Infinite” and I was delighted when Ian introduced it. The song had a slightly jazzy feel to it here and it sounded absolutely amazing. Afterwards, Ian claimed that “The Sound Of Music” was the influence for the song but took it back and mumbled something more while the others were laughing. This was the first rant and almost the only one by Gillan during the show. Even if I only understand fragments of what he's chattering about I still missed this now. His interaction with the crowd was rather limited and he left stage when the instrumental passages came which made the show lose in intensity and presence.

But his voice, damn he's good. What he lacks in stage, presence is the wrong word, but time spent on stage, he certainly makes up for with his vocal capacity. There are few that can deliver emotion like Ian Gillan, his nerve is incredible and it seems to come across better live than on record even. This song really gave me goose-bumps but not even close to the extent as “The Surprising”. These soft and mellow tracks really suites the band. It's tough to say it, but in comparison these new songs, the delivery of them really crushed the classics. That the pace was taken down a notch didn't matter at all in jammy “Lazy”, like “Fireball” it benefitted from it and got very heavy. The same goes for “Space Truckin'” while both “Knocking At Your Back Door” and “Perfect Strangers” felt very tired.

Valbyhallen was sold out for this show, packed to the last spot. If it was because this was potentially the last chance to see DEEP PURPLE people got tickets or if the Danish crowd has followed the band over the years is 50/50 really. There were a lot of people who were very enthusiastic about the new material, who recognized the phenomenal performances of these songs and greeted them with massive cheers. While others looked rather bored and shouted for classics... Which apparently meant “Smoke On The Water” as neither “Lazy” nor “Knocking at Your Back Door” appeased these gentlemen.

As last time at Liseberg, Sweden I think that DEEP PURPLE threw away the encores. Both “Hush” and “Black Night” are fantastic tracks and should be perfect. But to have extensive guitar solos and a bass-solo in the encore. Plus the crowd-teaser in “Black Night” and have the crowd sing along became too much. I don't mind it at all in the main set. That's really what makes DEEP PURPLE shows special and I expect them to do extensive versions of all songs. But I think they could have benefitted from not doing so in the encores, just run over people completely with these two fantastic tracks.

It was with mixed emotions I left Valbyhallen. On one hand this was a great show, instrumental and vocal performances was spot on. On the other, it wasn't what it used to be. The absence of Gillan at the front takes away the interaction with the crowd, a spot that either Roger Glover or Steve Morse fills when Ian is away. I'm really glad I got to see DEEP PURPLE once more though because the things that were good were extraordinary.

DEEP PURPLE setlist:

01. “Time For Bedlam”
02. “Fireball”
03. “Bloodsucker”
04. “Strange Kind Of Woman”
05. “All I Got Is You”
06. “Uncommon Man”
07. “The Surprising”
08. “Lazy”
09. “Birds Of Prey”
10. “Knocking At Your Back Door”
11. Keyboards Solo
12. “Perfect Strangers”
13. “Space Truckin'“
14. “Smoke On The Water”
15. “Hush” (Joe South cover)
16. Bass Solo
17. “Black Night”

DEEP PURPLE

Deep Purple @ Valbyhallen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Deep Purple @ Valbyhallen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Deep Purple @ Valbyhallen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Deep Purple @ Valbyhallen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Deep Purple @ Valbyhallen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
Deep Purple @ Valbyhallen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Deep Purple @ Valbyhallen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Deep Purple @ Valbyhallen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Deep Purple @ Valbyhallen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Deep Purple @ Valbyhallen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
Deep Purple @ Valbyhallen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Deep Purple @ Valbyhallen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Deep Purple @ Valbyhallen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Deep Purple @ Valbyhallen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Deep Purple @ Valbyhallen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
Deep Purple @ Valbyhallen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Deep Purple @ Valbyhallen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Deep Purple @ Valbyhallen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Deep Purple @ Valbyhallen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Deep Purple @ Valbyhallen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg)

(click to enlarge)