Deep Purple Tear Through Classics in Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Performance
As expected, new inductees David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes were not part of the opening appearance. The quintet that took the stage was the current lineup of Deep Purple, which features guitarist Steve Morse and keyboardist Don Airey, along with vocalist Ian Gillan, bassist Roger Glover and drummer Ian Paice.
The mini-set started with "Highway Star," the first song on 1972's Machine Head, a nice gift to the band's fans.
After a segue featuring a generous portion of "Green Onions," the band went right into "Hush," as vintage photos of the band cycled on a loop behind them on giant screens. This song in particular underscored exactly why Deep Purple are so influential: A hulking low end — highlighted by Airey's trilling, vivacious organ — matched rhythms (and wits) with Paice's tangled drums, highlighting how the band could be both nimble and heavy.
Gillan ended the song next to Morse, sounding out the final "na-na-na" syllables with precision and drawing them out for maximum dramatic effect. To the delight of the audience, Deep Purple ended their set with "Smoke on the Water," whose searing riffs and bass grooves sounded as heavy and scorching as ever.
The song featured Gillan's best vocals of the mini-set; he was clearly settling into a groove, and added soulful flourishes to his performance. "Hey, Stevie, what's happening?" he cooed, before signaling Morse to head right into a guitar solo.
Appropriately, "Smoke on the Water" ended with an instrumental jam, which landed the band a standing ovation at the Barclays Center.
Deep Purple, whose absence has long been pegged as one of the hall's most egregious errors, first became eligible for induction – like fellow 2016 inductee Steve Miller – in 1993.
All members of the sometimes-contentious Deep Purple's heralded Mk. II lineup were honored, along with Rod Evans, frontman in the Mk. I edition, which also included Paice, Ritchie Blackmore and Jon Lord, and subsequent Mk. III-IV members Coverdale and Hughes. On the outside looking in, however, were those who later worked with the Blackmore-less editions of Deep Purple – notably guitarists Tommy Bolin and Steve Morse.
The 2016 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be broadcast on HBO on April 30.
Watch Deep Purple Perform "Green Onions" and "Hush"
Watch Deep Purple Perform "Smoke on the Water"
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