Tour Guide: The Battle Rages On Tour

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.

Ad for the album. Retrieved from here.

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.

The Dates

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.

Cancelled Dates

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.

DateLocation
1993-07-27Broom County, Binghamton, New York, USA
1993-07-28Performance Arts Center, Saratoga, New York, USA
1993-07-30Darien Lake Center, Darien Lake, New York, USA
1993-07-31Star Lake Amphitheater, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
1993-08-01Kingswood, Toronto, Ontario, CAN
1993-08-03Le Colisee, Quebec City, Quebec, CAN
1993-08-04Forum, Montreal, Quebec, CAN
1993-08-07Jones Beach, Long Island, New York, USA
1993-08-08Thames River Music Center, Groton, Connecticut, USA
1993-08-10Great Woods, Mansfield, Massachusetts, USA
1993-08-11Allentown Fairgrounds, Allentown, Pennsylvania, USA
1993-08-13Garden State, Holmdel, New Jersey, USA
1993-08-14Mann Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
1993-08-15Marriweather, Washington D.C., USA (could mean Merriweather Post Pavilion?)
1993-08-17Walnut Creek, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA
1993-08-18Carowinds, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA
1993-08-20Riverbend, Cincinatti Ohio, USA
1993-08-21Alpine Valley, Troy, Michigan, USA
1993-08-22Poplar Creek, Hoffman Estates, Illinois, USA
1993-08-24Blossom Music Center, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, USA
1993-08-25Pine Knob Music Theater, Clarkston, Michigan, USA
1993-08-27Deer Creek, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
1993-08-28Riverport, St. Louis, Missouri, USA
1993-08-29Sandstone, 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.

Mark II in 1993. Retrieved from here.

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.

DateLocationRecorded?Other Information
1993-09-18Unknown Venue, Istanbul, TurkeyN/ACancelled
1993-09-20Unknown Venue, Athens GreeceN/ACancelled
1993-09-21Festspiel & Kongreßhaus, Bregenz, AustriaRehearsal
1993-09-22Unknown Venue, Thessaloniki, GreeceN/ACanelled
1993-09-23Palaghiaccio Marino, Rome, ItalyNoRehearsal
1993-09-24Palaghiaccio Marino, Rome, ItalyYes
1993-09-25Palasport, Firenze, ItalyYes
1993-09-26Palatrussardi, Milano, ItalyYes
1993-09-27Palasport, Torino, ItalyYes
1993-09-29Stadthalle, Villach, AustriaYes
1993-10-01Sporthalle, Schwerin, GermanyYes
1993-10-02Ostseehalle, Kiel, GermanyYes
1993-10-03Festhalle, Frankfurt, GermanyYes
1993-10-04Grugahalle, Essen, GermanyYes
1993-10-06Weser-Emshalle, Oldenburg, GermanyYes
1993-10-07Deutschlandhalle, Berlin, GermanyYes
1993-10-08Alsterdorfer Sporthalle, Hamburg, GermanyYes
1993-10-10Sporthalle, Cologne, GermanyYes
1993-10-11Eissporthalle, Memmingen, GermanyYes
1993-10-13Frankenhalle, Nuremberg, GermanyYes
1993-10-14Olympiahalle, Munich, GermanyYes
1993-10-15Maimarkthalle, Mannheim, GermanyYes
1993-10-16Hanns-Martin-Schleyerhalle, Stuttgart, GermanyOfficially released
1993-10-18Zenith, Nancy, FranceYes
1993-10-19Zenith, Paris, FranceYes
1993-10-21Hallenstadion, Zürich, SwitzerlandYes
1993-10-22Patinoire de Malley, Lausanne, SwitzerlandYes
1993-10-23Palau des Esports, Barcelona, SpainN/ACancelled
1993-10-24Velodromo Anoeta, San Sebastian, SpainN/ACancelled
1993-10-26Olympiahalle, Innsbruck, AustriaYes
1993-10-27Stadthalle, Vienna, AustriaYes
1993-10-29Jubiläumshalle, Wels, AustriaYes
1993-10-30Sportovny Hala, Prague, Czech RepublicYes
1993-10-31Hala Widowiskowo-Sportowa, Zabrze, Czech RepublicYes
1993-11-02Forest National, Brussels, BelgiumYes
1993-11-03Ahoy Sportpaleis, Rotterdam, NetherlandsYes
1993-11-05Manchester Apollo, Manchester, UKYes
1993-11-07Brixton Academy, London, UKYes
1993-11-08Brixton Academy, London, UKYes
1993-11-09NEC Arena, Birmingham, UKOfficially released Audio+video
Some time before 11-12TV studio, DenmarkYesIan Gillan Interview
1993-11-12Valby Hallen, Copenhagen, DenmarkYes
1993-11-13Isstadion, Stockholm, SwedenOfficially Released
1993-11-15Spektrum, Oslo, NorwayYes
1993-11-17Jäähalli, Helsinki, FinlandYesHere
1993-11-18Olimpijski Stadium, Moscow, RussiaN/ACancelled

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.

One of the very few photos of Mark VI. Retrieved from here.
DateLocationRecorded?Other Information
1993-12-02Rainbow Hall, Nagoya, JapanYes
1993-12-03Osaka-Jo Hall, Osaka, JapanYes
1993-12-05Buka Taiiku-kan, Yokohama, JapanYes
1993-12-06Budokan, Tokyo, JapanYes
1993-12-07Budokan, Tokyo, JapanYes
1993-12-08Yoyogi Olympic Hall, Tokyo, JapanYes

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.

DateLocationRecorded?Other Information
1994-05-27Brabanthallen, Den Bosch, NetherlandsN/APostponed to June 24
1994-05-28Seidenstickerhalle, Bielefeld, GermanyN/APostponed to June 13
1994-05-29Eissporthalle, Kassel, GermanyN/APostponed to June 14
1994-05-31Flanders Expo, Ghent, BelgiumN/APostponed to June 18
1994-06-01Westfalenhalle, Dortmund, GermanyN/APostponed to June 7
1994-06-02Carl-Diem Halle, Würzburg, GermanyN/ACancelled
1994-06-02“Stone Rock Festival” at Festivalgelände, Wiesen, AustriaNoUnconfirmed date
1994-06-03Waldbühne, Berlin, GermanyYes
1994-06-04“Esbjerg Rock Festival”, Festpladsen, DenmarkYes
1994-06-05Eissporthalle, Halle, GermanyNo
1994-06-07Eilenriedehalle, Hannover, GermanyN/ACancelled
1994-06-07Westfalenhalle, Dortmund, GermanyYesPostponed from June 1
1994-06-08Alsterdorfer sporthalle, Hamburg, GermanyYes
1994-06-10“Harlshamn Summer Festival” at Bellevueparken, Karlshamn, SwedenYes
1994-06-11“All Star Festival” at Heden, Gothenburg, SwedenYes
1994-06-13Seidenstickerhalle, Bielefeld, GermanyYesPostponed from May 28
1994-06-14Oberfrankenhalle, Bayreuth, GermanyN/APostponed to July 6
1994-06-14Eissporthalle, Kassel, GermanyYesPostponed from May 29
1994-06-15Nibelungenhalle, Passau, GermanyYes
1994-06-16Saarlandhalle, Saarbrücken, GermanyYes
1994-06-17Kunsteisstadion, Villingen-Schwenningen, GermanyYes
1994-06-18“Monsters of Rock” at Freilichtbühne, Loreley, GermanyN/ACancelled
1994-06-18Flanders Expo, Ghent, BelgiumYes; portions officially releasedPostponed from May 31
1994-06-19Schwabenhalle, Augsburg, GermanyYes
1994-06-21Speedway Arena Vicenza, ItalyYes
1994-06-22Palasport, Genova, ItalyYes
1994-06-24Brabanthallen, Den Bosch, NetherlandsYesPostponed from May 27
1994-06-25“Harley Davidson Festival” in Flugplatz Wildenrath, Wegberg, GermanyYes
1994-06-26“St. Gallen Open Air” at the Festival Ground, St. Gallen, SwitzerlandYes
1994-06-29Palacio De Los Deportes, Barcelona, SpainYes
1994-06-30Palacio de los Deportes, Madrid, SpainYes
1994-07-01Football Stadium, Burgos, SpainNo
1994-07-02Plaza de Toros, Gijon, SpainYes
1994-07-05Alpenstadion, Kapfenberg, AustriaYes
1994-07-06Oberfrankenhalle, Bayreuth, GermanyYesPostponed 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.

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