by Alex Lloyd Gross
Legendary rockers Deep Purple just played a nearly sold out show at the Xcite Center at Parx Casino in Bensalem. The question people want to know is who is still with the band? Any original or long time members? Roger Glover, Ian Gillan and Ian Paice. Is that awesome or what? Longtime keyboardist Don Airey and a new guitarist, Simon McBride round out the band.
It was about a 90 minute show on February 10, 2023, and this band could have walked through all of the radio staples they have and called it a night. They chose not to do that. They opened with Highway Star and then played newer songs that resonated well with the crowd. They also took care of business with tracks that might not have gotten a lot of radio airplay. “Anya”, is a song that has been around for decades. It starts out slow and the tempo slowly builds into a rocker.
They played “Uncommon Man”, who they dedicated to their late keyboardist Jon Lord. The slowest song they did, actually went over well, “When A Blind Man Cries”.
Fans that saw Deep Purple at the Tower Theater thought that they would be seeing the last of the band live. Part of that was right. The Tower is no longer hosting live shows and Steve Morse is no longer with the band. Replacing hims Is Simon McBride. He joined right after the pandemic. McBride got a warm reception in Bensalem. Most fans knew he would be there but were not familiar with him. He held his own on stage, playing with legendary musicians. .
One song that should have been played but was not, “Child In Time”. This classic is amazing. Other songs played include “Lazy”, “Black Night”, which closed the show. The crowd was subdued for this show, choosing mostly to sit in their seats, except for the last few songs. Those down front crowded around the stage, where band members tossed guitar picks and drum sticks to them at the end of the concert.
A few lucky fans got albums and cassettes signed by Ian Paice right from the stage, at shows end. .