Deep Purple was at the Armory Saturday night as the last stop in their Long Goodbye Tour and the crowd didn’t want to say goodbye. They have been playing together for over 50 years and sounded as great as they ever have.
I started listening to Deep Purple in the mid 70’s. Their “Made in Japan” album was the first live album I heard and started my live concert addiction. That album purchase was followed by “Machine Head”, “Fireball”, “In Rock”, “Who Do We Think We Are” and “Burn”. Those albums were a staple on my turntable and listened to constantly. Other albums and bands came and went, but Deep Purple was always there and I still listen to them now. “Smoke On The Water” was my cell phone ringtone for several years. I still have most of their vinyl albums in my basement, purchased newer media as it was released and have several of their albums on my cell phone. To say I was excited to see and shoot them at the Armory is a major understatement.
The Armory was set up with chairs on the main floor – something I had not seen at previous concerts at the Armory. There was a large gap between the front row of chairs and the barrier and security was busy keeping people in their seats. The crowd was mostly older fans, but there were a number of teens and twenty somethings. Before the opener took the stage there was one older member of the audience that was walking up and down the front row singing a few different Deep Purple classics. Asked to take his seat several times by security, he would last a few minutes seated, then needed to get up and start singing again. He didn’t look like he was going to cause trouble and being a huge Purple fan myself, I semi understood his need to share his favorite songs with the crowd.
Joyous Wolf opened for Deep Purple and anyone looking at them as merely a filler and hoping their set was short and quick was in for a surprise. The band took the stage and lead singer Nick Reese greeted the audience, then walked to the far end of the left stage, as the band started playing. Shortly after, Reese ran to the center of the stage and did a cartwheel. This was just the beginning of a series of additional cartwheels, jumps and leaps by Reese. He was constantly moving and mugging. And their music was fantastic! Mostly loud, heavy metal, but they also played one of the better versions of Mountain’s Mississippi Queen I have heard in years. I was blown away by Joyous Wolf. After their short, quick set, I wanted to hear more and see more. I hope to see them in town again soon and if they are, they are a must see.