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6 Degrees Entertainment

'Deep Purple: Live At The NEC'
(Deep Purple / DVD / NR / 2016 / Eagle Vision)

Overview: On August 26th, Eagle Rock Entertainment will release the highly anticipated 'Deep Purple - Live At The NEC' on DVD and digital formats. Previously only available as part of the "Around The World Live" boxed set, this film is being made available for the first time as an individual DVD.

DVD Verdict: On September 14th, 2002, hard rock pioneers Deep Purple took the stage for a landmark concert at the NEC in Birmingham, England to bid farewell to founding member and keyboard legend Jon Lord. Having announced his retirement, the show is more than a fitting tribute to a man who sadly passed away a decade later on July 16th, 2012.

As was expected from the very off, this was always going to be a highly charged, very emotional evening for all concerned, and so it turned out. Hence, 'Live At The NEC' not only perfectly captures everything great about Purple, but at the same time illuminates the work done by Lord throughout his long, and productive Purple career.

In what also turned out to be a rather unique experience to the concert, on stage were to be found both Purple's keyboard players, Jon Lord and Don Airey. As noted above, Lord had announced his retirement earlier that year, and Airey was subsequently brought on board. In truth though, Airey serves as the principal keyboardist throughout the show, but there is one hauntingly, quite stunning moment here on the DVD.

For when Airey culminates his riveting, powerhaus of a Keyboard Solo, the lights go down, the darkness cloaks the stage for a few seconds, before the lights come back on and Jon Lord appears for an incredible rendition of "Perfect Strangers". From then on in the two legends share keyboard duties for the remainder of the night: "Speed King", "Smoke On The Water", "Hush", and both "Black Night" and "Highway Star".

Coming in at a lengthy hour and a half, the musical monster known Deep Purple (Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Steve Morse, Ian Paice, Jon Lord and Don Airey), from start to finish, power through their all time hits and more. Choice cuts include the classics such as, "Smoke On The Water", "Woman From Tokyo", "Space Truckin'", "Speed King", "Lazy", along with fan favorites such as "The Well Dressed Guitar", "When A Blind Man Cries", "Ted The Mechanic", and stunning solo spots from both Morse and the keyboard duo.

Rock songs chock full of Middle-Eastern influences, both Jon Lord and Don Airey perform the tracks like the veterans they are, whilst Ian Paice sticks to simple beats for the most part. Steve Morse and his riffs soar with each song, and Roger Glover's bass lines tracks perfectly at all times. Led by Ian Gillan, who sounds a wee bit more nasally here than before (but don't let that distract you from the lush melodies), this 2002 version of Purple was as magnificent as anything that had previously contained guitar legend Ritchie Blackmore.

Indeed, the band sound as good as ever. Check it out today and go back to a time (musically and somewhat visually) when huge amounts of hairspray in rock music meant you weren't watching real rock music - as there's not a can in sight here!

01. "Fireball"
02. "Woman From Tokyo"
03. "Mary Long"
04. "Ted The Mechanic"
05. "Lazy"
06. "The Well Dressed Guitar"
07. "When A Blind Man Cries"
08. "Space Truckin'"
09. Keyboard Solo
10. "Perfect Strangers"
11. "Speed King"
12. Guitar Solo
13. "Smoke On The Water"
14. "Hush"
15. "Black Night"
16. "Highway Star"

In addition to 'Deep Purple - Live At The NEC', Eagle Rock Entertainment will also release two more concert films — 'Total Abandon' and 'Bombay Calling' — on digital formats on August 26th, 2016.