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Deep PurpleRockhal, Esch sur Alzette, Luxembourg
9th October 2022
Deep Purple - “The Whoosh!” Tour

As part of their “Whoosh!” tour, the Hard Rock legend DEEP PURPLE from England performed at the Rockhal on Sunday. Quite a few fans of all generations found their way to Esch to witness this legend. The DEEP PURPLE performance was one of the concerts that had to be postponed several times because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Originally scheduled to take place in October 2020, the concert was then postponed to 2021, and was finally able to take place on the 9th of October 2022. The audience was really looking forward to it after waiting for so long!

DEEP PURPLE is an English rock band formed in April 1968. With their style characterized by the sound of the Hammond organ, striking guitar riffs, improvisation, driving rhythm work and distinctive vocals, they are among the first and most influential representatives of hard rock and the burgeoning heavy metal. In 1975, the Guinness Book of Records listed DEEP PURPLE as the “loudest pop group in the world” thanks to their 10,000-watt Marshall PA system, which reached up to 117 db. DEEP PURPLE is one of the world’s most commercially successful Rock bands of our time, with over 130 million albums sold.

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Music & Performance
A minute before the start, a picture of DEEP PURPLE appeared on the screen with their portraits like on Mount Rushmore National Memorial, reminiscent of the cover of the iconic album ‘Deep Purple in Rock’. In the background, ‘Mars, the Bringer of War’, a piece by the English composer Gustav Holst, was played. Then the lights went down and the members of DEEP PURPLE entered the stage one by one. They started with ‘Highway Star’ and ‘Pictures of Home’, both songs from the 1972 album ‘Machine Head’. This was followed by ‘No Need to Shout’ and ‘Nothing at All’, both from the album ‘Whoosh!’, which gives away the name of the current tour. However, with six songs on the setlist, it was rather the album ‘Machine Head’ that was in the focus of the concert that night. No wonder, it is one of the most important records for the hard rock genre. The reason why this album is in the spotlight could be that ‘Machine Head’ is celebrating 50 years this year and the pandemic has put a spanner in DEEP PUPRLE’s tour plans.

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But despite all this, the Brits are not tired of touring. It is true that the gentlemen, whose age ranges from 43 to 76 with the temporary addition of guitarist Simon McBride, are no longer among the youngest in the music business. However, no one on stage at the Rockhal let this be noticed. Drummer Ian Paice, with over 50 years, has the longest experience in the band, but is still bursting with energy. Singer Ian Gillan moves a bit stiffly on stage at the age of 77, but his vocal cords still work excellently. Moreover, the frontman radiates a joy that immediately infected the audience. Roger Glover also grinned with pleasure and smiled in the same direction. Guitarist Simon McBride is the youngest in the band with his 43 years; he has only been playing with DEEP PURPLE for a short time, but fits in perfectly with the experienced group.

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No one in the band came up short that night: everyone lined up one solo after the other, one of DEEP PURPLE’s trademarks. No one was left out, and everyone shone in what they did. The audience, which was largely made up of people with grey hair, though there was still a younger face to be caught occasionally, reacted especially to hits like ‘Lazy’ or the touching ‘When a blind man cries’. Even the audience, who tended to stand at the back of the hall, had the opportunity to follow the concert closely. Behind the Brits was a large screen on which the concert was projected. For fans of the Hammond organ and lovers of other keyboard instruments, the evening was a treat! Easy to follow because the GoPro camera was clearly visible on Don Airey’s handiwork.

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In the middle of the set, he played a medley ranging from Mozart’s ‘Alla Turca’ to - yes, really - ‘De Wilhelmus’ (the Luxembourg anthem for the Grand Duke)! Virtuosic and effortless, the Englishman makes his way over them. This is followed by a huge round of applause. The title ‘Uncommon man’, a tribute to keyboardist Jon Lord, who died in 2012, also resonated with the Luxembourg audience. Of course, the long-awaited ‘Smoke on the water’ at the end of the show thrilled everyone, and the audience sang along loudly. As a reward, there was a cover of Joe South’s ‘Hush’ and ‘Black Night’ as an encore before the crowd was left to go home.

01. Highway Star
02. Pictures of Home
03. No Need to Shout
04. Nothing at All
05. Uncommon Man
06. Lazy
07. When a Blind Man Cries
08. Anya
09. Keyboard Solo
10. Perfect Strangers
11. Space Truckin’
12. Smoke on the Water
13. Hush (Joe South cover)
14. Bass Solo
15. Black Night

Music: 9
Performance: 9
Sound: 9
Light: 9
Total: 9 / 10

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All Pictures by Elena Arens

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