In my “tour guide” series, I’ll be setting up guides to certain tours by certain bands. This is an aspect of a project I have been undertaking in some form or other since the summer of 2017, with some collaboration. I hope it’s useful to fellow music historians and aficionados!
Deep Purple have had a small handful of tours that have been really, truly consequential to their history, permanently altering the band for better or worse. This tour was one of those truly consequential tours.
At the beginning of the tour, the group was celebrating twenty-five years as a band. Their most famous lineup, the Blackmore-Gillan-Glover-Lord-Paice arrangement which had created Machine Head, Perfect Strangers, and years’ worth of magic in-studio and out, had recently reformed again when Ian Gillan was brought back in to replace Joe Lynn Turner. They had recently released an album, The Battle Rages On, which this tour was undertaken to support.
By the end of the tour, the Mark II lineup had permanently fractured. They would never play together again, not even for a one-off. The band’s sixth lineup, a touring quintet with Joe Satriani, had sprung together in its place, though that was a temporary arrangement. It took Steve Morse’s presence to stabilize the group for good after his coming on board four months after this tour came to an end.
Thus, the aptly-named Battle Rages On Tour can be understood to be the culmination of Deep Purple’s infamously tense atmosphere for the first half of its existence. This tour was thankfully quite well-documented, with many recordings surfacing over the years. At least one book has also been written about this challenging time for the group as well.
As this tour had two distinctive portions, I am splitting the dates up below. I will also include the many cancelled dates that littered the tour, including a full leg of cancelled dates through North America which originally would have begun the tour.
In total the band performed 68 confirmed dates, had two rehearsal dates, and cancelled 33 dates. Of these, 67 (66 concerts and one rehearsal) were recorded. A set of demo tapes for The Battle Rages On are also extant.
The group had a leg of the tour planned for North America which would originally have kicked off the tour which was cancelled. This tour leg would have had a total of twenty-four dates.
|1993-07-27||Broom County, Binghamton, New York, USA|
|1993-07-28||Performance Arts Center, Saratoga, New York, USA|
|1993-07-30||Darien Lake Center, Darien Lake, New York, USA|
|1993-07-31||Star Lake Amphitheater, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA|
|1993-08-01||Kingswood, Toronto, Ontario, CAN|
|1993-08-03||Le Colisee, Quebec City, Quebec, CAN|
|1993-08-04||Forum, Montreal, Quebec, CAN|
|1993-08-07||Jones Beach, Long Island, New York, USA|
|1993-08-08||Thames River Music Center, Groton, Connecticut, USA|
|1993-08-10||Great Woods, Mansfield, Massachusetts, USA|
|1993-08-11||Allentown Fairgrounds, Allentown, Pennsylvania, USA|
|1993-08-13||Garden State, Holmdel, New Jersey, USA|
|1993-08-14||Mann Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA|
|1993-08-15||Marriweather, Washington D.C., USA (could mean Merriweather Post Pavilion?)|
|1993-08-17||Walnut Creek, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA|
|1993-08-18||Carowinds, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA|
|1993-08-20||Riverbend, Cincinatti Ohio, USA|
|1993-08-21||Alpine Valley, Troy, Michigan, USA|
|1993-08-22||Poplar Creek, Hoffman Estates, Illinois, USA|
|1993-08-24||Blossom Music Center, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, USA|
|1993-08-25||Pine Knob Music Theater, Clarkston, Michigan, USA|
|1993-08-27||Deer Creek, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA|
|1993-08-28||Riverport, St. Louis, Missouri, USA|
|1993-08-29||Sandstone, Bonner Springs, Kansas, USA|
Part 1: Blackmore
Deep Purple’s final tour with Ritchie Blackmore took place entirely in Europe, including some dates in their native England.
The gigs on this tour were generally remembered as a fiery bunch, sometimes marred by onstage expressions of the mounting tension and anger behind the scenes. During one gig, Blackmore attacked a cameraman with water for getting too close to him. He apparently proceeded to drench Ian Gillan’s wife, Bron, with water backstage immediately following while aiming for another cameraman.
This tour also featured at least two known instances of a guest performer, Candice Night, on backing vocals. She was apparently brought in at the behest of Ritchie Blackmore, who she was dating, to sing during parts of the song “Difficult to Cure”, the title track of a Rainbow album. What the rest of the band thought of this–or if they even knew beforehand it would happen–is unclear.
There were a total of thirty-seven dates played and six dates cancelled, with two rehearsal gigs and one interview date. Ian Gillan’s autobiography also mentions a few other dates of rehearsals. Amazingly, all thirty-seven gigs were recorded, with three officially released. One of the two rehearsal gigs was also recorded.
|1993-09-18||Unknown Venue, Istanbul, Turkey||N/A||Cancelled|
|1993-09-20||Unknown Venue, Athens Greece||N/A||Cancelled|
|1993-09-21||Festspiel & Kongreßhaus, Bregenz, Austria||Rehearsal|
|1993-09-22||Unknown Venue, Thessaloniki, Greece||N/A||Canelled|
|1993-09-23||Palaghiaccio Marino, Rome, Italy||No||Rehearsal|
|1993-09-24||Palaghiaccio Marino, Rome, Italy||Yes|
|1993-09-25||Palasport, Firenze, Italy||Yes|
|1993-09-26||Palatrussardi, Milano, Italy||Yes|
|1993-09-27||Palasport, Torino, Italy||Yes|
|1993-09-29||Stadthalle, Villach, Austria||Yes|
|1993-10-01||Sporthalle, Schwerin, Germany||Yes|
|1993-10-02||Ostseehalle, Kiel, Germany||Yes|
|1993-10-03||Festhalle, Frankfurt, Germany||Yes|
|1993-10-04||Grugahalle, Essen, Germany||Yes|
|1993-10-06||Weser-Emshalle, Oldenburg, Germany||Yes|
|1993-10-07||Deutschlandhalle, Berlin, Germany||Yes|
|1993-10-08||Alsterdorfer Sporthalle, Hamburg, Germany||Yes|
|1993-10-10||Sporthalle, Cologne, Germany||Yes|
|1993-10-11||Eissporthalle, Memmingen, Germany||Yes|
|1993-10-13||Frankenhalle, Nuremberg, Germany||Yes|
|1993-10-14||Olympiahalle, Munich, Germany||Yes|
|1993-10-15||Maimarkthalle, Mannheim, Germany||Yes|
|1993-10-16||Hanns-Martin-Schleyerhalle, Stuttgart, Germany||Officially released|
|1993-10-18||Zenith, Nancy, France||Yes|
|1993-10-19||Zenith, Paris, France||Yes|
|1993-10-21||Hallenstadion, Zürich, Switzerland||Yes|
|1993-10-22||Patinoire de Malley, Lausanne, Switzerland||Yes|
|1993-10-23||Palau des Esports, Barcelona, Spain||N/A||Cancelled|
|1993-10-24||Velodromo Anoeta, San Sebastian, Spain||N/A||Cancelled|
|1993-10-26||Olympiahalle, Innsbruck, Austria||Yes|
|1993-10-27||Stadthalle, Vienna, Austria||Yes|
|1993-10-29||Jubiläumshalle, Wels, Austria||Yes|
|1993-10-30||Sportovny Hala, Prague, Czech Republic||Yes|
|1993-10-31||Hala Widowiskowo-Sportowa, Zabrze, Czech Republic||Yes|
|1993-11-02||Forest National, Brussels, Belgium||Yes|
|1993-11-03||Ahoy Sportpaleis, Rotterdam, Netherlands||Yes|
|1993-11-05||Manchester Apollo, Manchester, UK||Yes|
|1993-11-07||Brixton Academy, London, UK||Yes|
|1993-11-08||Brixton Academy, London, UK||Yes|
|1993-11-09||NEC Arena, Birmingham, UK||Officially released Audio+video|
|Some time before 11-12||TV studio, Denmark||Yes||Ian Gillan Interview|
|1993-11-12||Valby Hallen, Copenhagen, Denmark||Yes|
|1993-11-13||Isstadion, Stockholm, Sweden||Officially Released|
|1993-11-15||Spektrum, Oslo, Norway||Yes|
|1993-11-17||Jäähalli, Helsinki, Finland||Yes||Here|
|1993-11-18||Olimpijski Stadium, Moscow, Russia||N/A||Cancelled|
After the November 3rd concert, Blackmore tore up his Japanese visa in front of the band and proceeded to try firing members of the road crew. Despite this, the band did indeed continue with the tour.
Part 2: Satriani
Joe Satriani had the unenviable task of replacing Blackmore with only two weeks’ notice. He was suggested by a Japanese promoter, Mr. Udo, as a replacement who would satisfy Japanese fans, and learned the parts both from a tape of the recently-performed Stuttgart show and from Machine Head.
The band used as slightly different setlist for the Satriani tour dates, with more of Purple’s classic repertoire than had been performed in the earlier portions of the tour. One of the songs pulled from the setlist was “Difficult to Cure”.
A total of six dates were performed in Japan. All six of them were recorded.
|1993-12-02||Rainbow Hall, Nagoya, Japan||Yes|
|1993-12-03||Osaka-Jo Hall, Osaka, Japan||Yes|
|1993-12-05||Buka Taiiku-kan, Yokohama, Japan||Yes|
|1993-12-06||Budokan, Tokyo, Japan||Yes|
|1993-12-07||Budokan, Tokyo, Japan||Yes|
|1993-12-08||Yoyogi Olympic Hall, Tokyo, Japan||Yes|
Satriani continued on with the band into the next summer for another trip through Europe. In total, twenty-five dates were performed on this tour, with one more unconfirmed date. Six were postponed, while three were cancelled outright. All but two of the confirmed dates were recorded, with two songs from one date eventually finding their way onto an official release by Ian Gillan.
|1994-05-27||Brabanthallen, Den Bosch, Netherlands||N/A||Postponed to June 24|
|1994-05-28||Seidenstickerhalle, Bielefeld, Germany||N/A||Postponed to June 13|
|1994-05-29||Eissporthalle, Kassel, Germany||N/A||Postponed to June 14|
|1994-05-31||Flanders Expo, Ghent, Belgium||N/A||Postponed to June 18|
|1994-06-01||Westfalenhalle, Dortmund, Germany||N/A||Postponed to June 7|
|1994-06-02||Carl-Diem Halle, Würzburg, Germany||N/A||Cancelled|
|1994-06-02||“Stone Rock Festival” at Festivalgelände, Wiesen, Austria||No||Unconfirmed date|
|1994-06-03||Waldbühne, Berlin, Germany||Yes|
|1994-06-04||“Esbjerg Rock Festival”, Festpladsen, Denmark||Yes|
|1994-06-05||Eissporthalle, Halle, Germany||No|
|1994-06-07||Eilenriedehalle, Hannover, Germany||N/A||Cancelled|
|1994-06-07||Westfalenhalle, Dortmund, Germany||Yes||Postponed from June 1|
|1994-06-08||Alsterdorfer sporthalle, Hamburg, Germany||Yes|
|1994-06-10||“Harlshamn Summer Festival” at Bellevueparken, Karlshamn, Sweden||Yes|
|1994-06-11||“All Star Festival” at Heden, Gothenburg, Sweden||Yes|
|1994-06-13||Seidenstickerhalle, Bielefeld, Germany||Yes||Postponed from May 28|
|1994-06-14||Oberfrankenhalle, Bayreuth, Germany||N/A||Postponed to July 6|
|1994-06-14||Eissporthalle, Kassel, Germany||Yes||Postponed from May 29|
|1994-06-15||Nibelungenhalle, Passau, Germany||Yes|
|1994-06-16||Saarlandhalle, Saarbrücken, Germany||Yes|
|1994-06-17||Kunsteisstadion, Villingen-Schwenningen, Germany||Yes|
|1994-06-18||“Monsters of Rock” at Freilichtbühne, Loreley, Germany||N/A||Cancelled|
|1994-06-18||Flanders Expo, Ghent, Belgium||Yes; portions officially released||Postponed from May 31|
|1994-06-19||Schwabenhalle, Augsburg, Germany||Yes|
|1994-06-21||Speedway Arena Vicenza, Italy||Yes|
|1994-06-22||Palasport, Genova, Italy||Yes|
|1994-06-24||Brabanthallen, Den Bosch, Netherlands||Yes||Postponed from May 27|
|1994-06-25||“Harley Davidson Festival” in Flugplatz Wildenrath, Wegberg, Germany||Yes|
|1994-06-26||“St. Gallen Open Air” at the Festival Ground, St. Gallen, Switzerland||Yes|
|1994-06-29||Palacio De Los Deportes, Barcelona, Spain||Yes|
|1994-06-30||Palacio de los Deportes, Madrid, Spain||Yes|
|1994-07-01||Football Stadium, Burgos, Spain||No|
|1994-07-02||Plaza de Toros, Gijon, Spain||Yes|
|1994-07-05||Alpenstadion, Kapfenberg, Austria||Yes|
|1994-07-06||Oberfrankenhalle, Bayreuth, Germany||Yes||Postponed from June 14|
Joe Satriani left Deep Purple after this short stint in order to focus on his solo career, at which time the band permanently took on their current guitarist, Steve Morse. Due perhaps to the fact that he never performed on any studio releases, Satriani is often not counted by fans as a member of the band; this is only worsened by the lack of live albums from this portion of the tour, further limiting listeners’ exposure to his tenure in the band.
Despite all of this, his presence is credited by the other members as having saved the band. They dedicated the next album they made, Purpendicular, to him.
- Gillan, Ian. Highway Star: A Journey in Rock
- The Deep Purple Hub