Deep Purple and Judas Priest performed on this day in 2018 at the Centre Videotron in Quebec City, Canada.
Deep Purple were at this time on their Long Goodbye Tour, supporting their album Infinite. For quite a while, Infinite was treated as quite likely their last album ever, with the Long Goodbye Tour explicitly marketed as the last major tour to go along with it. The release of Whoosh! scuttled the first of those suppositions, though the COVID-19 worldwide pandemic means the jury is still out on whether Deep Purple will ever again tour like they did with the Long Goodbye Tour. To date, this is the last time Deep Purple performed in Canada.
For this particular leg of the tour, Purple partnered with Judas Priest. Both were supported by The Temperance Movement. One of the members of that group, Nick Ffyfe, actually filled in for Roger Glover at one point while he went on paternity leave.
The setlist on this night favored the band’s earlier works almost exclusively. In fact, they didn’t play a single song from Infinite, ostensibly the album which they were touring to support! The only two songs from the Morse Era were “Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming” from Purpendicular and “Uncommon Man” from Now What?! Two songs from the 80s, “Knockin’ at Your Back Door” and “Perfect Strangers”, were also on the list. Every other song was from the late 60s/early 70s and included mostly their big hits. Of these songs, “Bloodsucker” from In Rock counts as the least common onstage. However, nothing in particular would count as a deep cut, in my opinion.
Part of this fairly conservative setlist has to do with the fact that Purple was a co-headliner with Judas Priest rather than the sole big act. This inevitably left them with less stage time. It also relates to their more conservative practices in North America as compared to Europe, where they tend to stick to more of the old hits rather than bring in new stuff.
Portions of the Long Goodbye Tour were plagued by issues with Ian Gillan’s voice or Steve Morse’s hand, especially early on. By the time this concert rolled around, however, both issues were mostly things of the past. The band was electric on this night, playing with incredible energy and synergy and interacting with the audience with great ease.
How do I know this? Simple. I was in the front row, in front of Don Airey and Steve Morse, that night, and was on the receiving end of some of that interaction. I even got Steve Morse’s setlist at the end of the night courtesy of his lovely guitar technician. Sir, thank you very much for probably the most valuable sheet and a half of printer paper in my house!
There’s no known public recording of this particular concert, though various songs have surfaced on YouTube.
The Actual Experience of A Purple Meet and Greet
As well as seeing the group, I got a chance to meet them prior to the show at the meet and greet. I almost missed it as I struggled to find the directions to the place, but a kind waitress pointed me the right way. To the lovely waitress who works the small pub-ish place on the first floor of Centre Videotron, I am in your debt.
It after I got there that night that I learned something very important about the band: they’re nice. Very, very nice. Ian Paice was the first I met, so thus bore the brunt of my most starstruck, awkward ramblings; these included an apology for having brought the Time for Bedlam EP and a comment about how much I loved the song “Paradise Bar”. His response was “oh, bless you!”
Don Airey, meanwhile, got me telling him I was learning a piece of music he’d written “by hand!” I meant by ear. Sorry, Mr. Airey. I’m still learning that piece, by the way; it’s Colosseum II’s “Star Maiden/Mysterioso/Quasar”. Airey in general, incidentally, is surprisingly imposing in real life even though he’s very friendly and generally comes off in interviews as one of the more approachable ones. Perhaps, based on his long history of taking no shit (see: various incidents from his Rainbow tenure), this is to be expected.
Steve Morse came over next. He greeted everyone the same way: “Hi, I’m Steve!” and holding out his hand. The hand which currently has a lot of arthritic issues, if I’m correct. I was sure to shake it gently! I have a bit of a connection to Morse and his music, as I’ve detailed before; he went to the same University where I spent a great deal of musical time while growing up. When I told him, he was actually very excited, and even brought Roger Glover over to me to tell him that “hey, she went to U.M.!” He even asked if I’d performed at the venue there–“the one with the great acoustics”, as he called it. I actually did with my youth orchestra while growing up. Truly, it was an honor to talk with him about that!
Roger Glover, too, was very pleasant. He also had a bit of an imposing aura, especially compared to Steve Morse. He said a bit less, as it was time for full-band photographs, but was nonetheless similarly warm and friendly. I got a chance to speak to him a bit less at the time, sadly, but wrote to him on his website not long after about a few things, to which he responded.
Given what an embarrassing mess I was, hopefully the band doesn’t remember me too well! I remember them, though, and am incredibly grateful that I got a chance to meet these four gents. Perhaps I’ll get to interview them on this site one day…
- Personal experience, August 30, 2018