Saturday, August 29 , 2015, 9:15 am | Fair 79.0º

  • Follow Noozhawk on LinkedIn
  • Follow Noozhawk on Pinterest
  • RSS


Arts & Entertainment Presented by Santa Barbara Center for the Performing Arts

Arts

Jeff Moehlis: Deep Purple Night at the Ventura County Fair Keeps Up the Hard Rock Beat

Roger Glover, Ian Gillan and Ian Paice provided the classic core of Deep Purple at the Ventura County Fair on Tuesday night.

Roger Glover, Ian Gillan and Ian Paice provided the classic core of Deep Purple at the Ventura County Fair on Tuesday night.  (L. Paul Mann photo)

By Jeff Moehlis, Noozhawk Contributing Writer |

In the world of hard rock, the first three chords of the Deep Purple song “Smoke on the Water” are sometimes called “The Holy Trinity,” and not coincidentally they are often one of the first things that a fledgling guitarist learns how to play.

But don’t let the apparent simplicity of the opening to this song fool you, because in addition to some of the best riffs in the business, Deep Purple also gives you mind-blowing guitar and organ solos, a super-heavy rhythm section and soul-piercing vocals.

On Tuesday night, Deep Purple rocked the Ventura County Fair with classic Mark II lineup members Ian Gillan on vocals, Roger Glover on bass and Ian Paice on drums, along with guitar hero Steve Morse and keyboard wiz Don Airey. I think almost everyone who saw the show would agree that Morse and Airey are great substitutes for original guitarist Ritchie Blackmore and the late organist Jon Lord.



The show kicked off with “Highway Star,” which set the tone for the evening: loud, powerful, and amazing. Here Morse and Airey immediately won over the skeptics with solos that stayed mostly faithful to the original recordings, but also had their own flair.

They continued with the classic Deep Purple tracks “Into the Fire,” “Hard Lovin’ Man” and “Strange Kind of Woman,” and these showed that Gillan’s voice has held up surprisingly well, with the songs performed in the same key as they were more than 40 years ago. OK, they didn’t play “Child in Time,” which would even stretch the voice of a twenty-something, but Gillan can still belt it out.

The band then did some of their newer material, including several tracks off their 2013 album Now What?! While these weren’t familiar to the crowd, they show that the band has more creative energy than most of the legacy bands that are still out there.

The main set closed strong with “Space Truckin’” and the aforementioned “Smoke on the Water,” both off the landmark Machine Head that arguably laid the groundwork for heavy metal. And during their encore, the band played two early favorites: their organ-heavy cover of “Hush” and “Black Night.”

Deep Purple first rocked the world more than 40 years ago, but their music still resonates today, loud and clear.

Setlist

Highway Star
Into the Fire
Hard Lovin’ Man
Strange Kind of Woman
Vincent Price
Contact Lost
Uncommon Man
The Well-Dressed Guitar
Lazy
Hell to Pay
Perfect Strangers
Space Truckin’
Smoke on the Water

Encore

Green Onions
Hush
Black Night

— Jeff Moehlis is a Noozhawk contributing writer and a professor of mechanical engineering at UC Santa Barbara. Upcoming show recommendations, advice from musicians, interviews and more are available on his web site, music-illuminati.com. The opinions expressed are his own.




comments powered by Disqus

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

 

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.