Concert Review: Deep Purple, The Temperance Movement, July 20, Molson Amphitheatre

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Being the opening act for a big name classic rock band must be a pretty thankless task. That was the thought going through my head as I watched London’s The Temperance Movement play a set opening for Deep Purple to a polite yet largely indifferent crowd. “Thanks for pushing us so hard,” said singer Phil Campbell and I’m not sure whether he was being sarcastic or whether he meant it sincerely in the sense that the band were pushing themselves to try and impress the audience, who he later referred to (possibly also sarcastically) as “you magnificent rock and roll fans.” He also noted how he had seen a few folks out there covering their ears during their set. “Listen, what do you think is gonna happen when Deep Purple gets out here? With that organ? We’re here to warm up your ears.” Despite the subdued audience reaction, the band did their best to put on a show. Campbell dances like no one is watching, or rather like he wants everyone to watch. As he led the band through a set of retro blues rock (think Black Crowes meets Paul Rodgers), Campbell moved about the stage in his best approximation of Mick Jagger though at times he came across a bit more like the guy down at the pub who’s had a few too many. But hey, dancing like a madman did wonders for Future Islands’ profile so I say keep dancing, Phil.

By the time Deep Purple came on stage, the crowd got a little more energized, but not by too much. Still, the band put on a hard rocking set and the fans were happy to hear it. Starting off strong with “Highway Star,” they played a few more before Ian Gillan addressed the crowd. “That’s the end of the jazz section. We’re going to play a set of morbid folk music for a half hour or so now,” he said before the band launched into “Vincent Price,” the horror movie referencing single off of their latest, Now What?!.

Throughout their set, the band displayed their instrumental prowess, proving that while they may be getting older (everyone in the band is in their 60s) they are by no means slowing down in their old age. Everyone got their moment to shine, with lots of solos on display, though the most impressive of those came from Ian Paice during his drum solo on “The Mule” – just when you thought it was over, out came the glow in the dark drumsticks. Special mention to keyboardist Don Airey, who incorporated a snippet of “O Canada” into his solo. And yes, a few people did stand at attention for that one. The band finished off with the classics “Space Truckin'” and “Smoke On The Water,” finally getting the bulk of the crowd on their feet before returning for an encore of “Hush” and “Black Night.”

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Posted on by Paul in Concerts

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