Oh dear. What a difference a short forty years can make.
Last evening my wife and I went along quite excitedly to get our dose of rock nostalgia and ear ringing. What could be better than Deep Purple live (well almost in fact) in concert? Smoke on the Water, Space Trucking and Woman from Tokyo. Just a few of the songs I was looking forward to hear live again. Albeit, to be performed by the now very old and grey haired gentlemen who are the remains of Deep Purple.
Well, I got the songs alright, but I really must have blasted my eardrums in my youth, as I couldn’t hear the guitar of Steve Morse at all. I was reassured when the crowd started shouting that they couldn’t either. It was not what I had expected. The volume of the concert hardly exceeded the volume of my iPod. All the other geriatrics around me seemed as disappointed as I was. This was not Deep Purple type loud. This was Doris Day type loud. I could even talk to my wife without shouting in her ear. Even hold a conversation while Child in Time mildly escaped from the huge stack of under-performing speakers directly in front of us. Oh, this was a tragic disappointment.
On the bright side however, the low volume allowed Ian Gillan to get away with having lost his voice. Without putting a finer point on it, I don’t think even a hard kick in the groin could help him get up there anymore. This wasn’t Deep Purple. This was Deep Disappointment or Deep Embarrassment.
Ironically, I noticed a good number of young people at the concert. Probably accompanying their grand parents for the evening I would imagine, as they seemed less than interested in the performance and more intent on adjusting their yellow foam earplugs. The irony for me was that it was my parents who wore the earplugs when I was playing my Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin records as a teenager. Have I gone through a time warp?
So in the end, we came home with our disappointed ears operating perfectly normally. Not even a hint of ringing. Cause for my money back I thought. But then again, what should I have expected from a bunch of geriatrics wandering around lost on stage?
Concerts are becoming a bit embarrassing for me now. I think I’m going to give away the idea of reminiscing my youth live in concert and stay with listening to my black vinyl 33 1/3 LP versions.
Either that, or start trying to acquire a taste for rap and go to concerts performed by artists who are actually breathing.