Reading the announcements of a new Deep Purple live album and video coming out, I had mixed feelings. Of course, as a fan it’s great to get as much live stuff from your favorite band as possible (at least if they still play „hand made“ music), but on the other side, there was also live stuff published that better should have been locked away…
Having the same concert shot for video and audio recording added some hope to my mixed feelings – not only IMHO it’s far better to record and publish a complete show in one piece than to cut, copy and paste a so-called live album from the preselected highlights of several different shows. That’s maybe also one reason why so many people prefer a bootleg of high sound quality instead of an average official live recording.
„Live At The Olympia“ was already released as a complete audio recording of the so-called „Steve Morse era“ – but an official video recording was still missing.
Of course, some shows at the House Of Blues were filmed in January 1998 and one was also broadcasted as RealVideo over the internet – but whoever has really tried to WATCH such Real“Video“ had to realize it’s far away from everything that is normally called „moving pictures“. [Some songs of the House Of Blues-shows finally made it to the „A Band Down Under“ video, which will also be included on the upcoming TA! DVD release.]
When I heard the first notes of „Total Abandon“ I felt a bit disappointed about the sound – it seemed to be too sparse for a perfect live recording. But with the show going on I realized how good the sound really is – it’s one of the few recordings where every instrument is clearly audible during each single moment.
The setlist is a typical „Morse era“ setlist – some songs should have been thrown out and replaced by others – but maybe it was a intentional decision because of Purple coming to Australia for the very first time since 1985. On the other hand – wouldn’t that have been a perfect reason to re-include some songs from „The House Of Blue Light“ or „The Battle Rages On“ into the set?
The video starts as every ordinary rock video, showing how the stage was assembled and then… „Oh my god, why the hell THIS jacket?“. I don’t know if it’s exactly the same one – but it looks at least as the same jacket Ian Gillan was wearing during Deep Purples preformance at the „Harald Schmidt show“ on German TV. Lucky me – after some songs Ian Gillan came back on stage area without it :)
The video itself is brilliant – filmed with 13 cameras, it offers a perfect mix between showing a lot of interesting details and changing camera views. Especially the camera above Jon Lord was a great idea – I was really wondering why it took that long until someone finally used that viewpoint – and I’m looking forward to the DVD release which will hopefully show more of that stunning material.
What more to say? – Take a listen/look for yourself!