Greek Theatre; Los Angeles, CA; 08/04/02

Reviewed by Keith Guillotine and R. Scott Bolton

Keith Guillotine: It was the kind of triple threat show you couldn't miss: DIO, DEEP PURPLE and the SCORPIONS on the same bill at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, CA. As expected, we had a great time.  

R. Scott Bolton: You've been to concerts where certain acts achieve "magic time." Their performances are so good and the audience so into the music that a particular set seems like magic. It's the kind of show that you remember forever. This time out, we had the opportunity to see three bands achieve "magic time." It was one of those shows that reminded us how great live rock'n'roll can really be.

Keith Guillotine: The show opened with Ronnie James Dio getting the crowd going with classics as well as new songs from his latest CD "Killing the Dragon." (Click here to read our CD review). The only disappointment to this set was that "Along Comes A Spider," a great track that has been generating tons of airplay, was not part of the song list. Oh well, I'm sure Mr. Dio had his reasons for not doing it.

R. Scott Bolton: This was something like the ninth or tenth time I've seen Ronnie James Dio perform and it was one of the best. Dio had the misfortune of opening the show at an early hour of 6:00 pm and the Greek Theatre wasn't even half full. But you should have seen how fast the snack bars and, yes, even the beer gardens emptied and the seats filled as Dio and his new crew took the stage. Mixing the standard classics ("Last in Line," "Holy Diver") with material from his latest CD, "Killing the Dragon," Dio put on a show that was perfect on every level. What was most impressive and noteworthy was that the audience that evening responded equally to the older material and the newer material - another example of the excellence of the new "Killing the Dragon" CD. Of course, there's almost no need to mention how great Ronnie's voice was - this guy has never been less than great and his voice is still powerful and majestic today. 

Keith Guillotine: Next up was Deep Purple. Great band! They performed all their classics, ending the show with "Smoke On The Water" and "Highway Star."  For a veteran band who've been around since the 60s, they certainly showed that rock'n'roll never dies. Deep Purple had the audience on their feet screaming throughout the entire set. In my opinion, if the Greek Theatre had a mosh pit, it would have been packed.

R. Scott Bolton: Regular Rough Edge Readers will know that Deep Purple is one of my favorite bands ever and it's shows like these that keep my interest in the band. The opening song didn't exactly light the audience on fire (it was the newer, lesser-known "Ted the Mechanic") but from the second song ("My Woman From Tokyo") on, the Greek Theatre (now completely full) was alive and on its feet. As always, the band's musicianship was impeccable - Ian Gillan's voice was in fine form, Roger Glover was magic with the bass, Ian Paice's timekeeping was powerful and engrossing and keyboardist Don Airey (taking the place of recently retired Jon Lord) fit in perfectly. And guitarist Steve Morse has really been given the opportunity to shine. His fretwork was nothing short of jaw-dropping this evening, especially during an instrumental performance entitled "The Well Dressed Guitar." The grand finale of "Smoke on the Water" and "Highway Star" were two of the highlights of my long, rock'n'roll show going history. I literally had goose bumps. What a performance!

Keith Guillotine: Last up, Scorpions! What can I say? These guys are rock'n'roll gods. They did ALL their classics. The lead guitarist even wore the "fork" eyeglasses depicted on the album cover during the performance of "Blackout!"

R. Scott Bolton: Don't get me wrong - my enthusiasm for the Scorpions set was nearly as high as Keith's - but there was something a little too slick about their performance. They sounded great, their set was lively and charismatic, but it all seemed too rehearsed, too staged. Not that it mattered, really. The band was in great form musically, the fans were ready to eat it up and the set was incredible (I haven't seen that many lights since Iron Maiden's big stadium days).  I really liked the opening theme: Before the band took the stage, they played a piece from their recording with the Berlin Symphony Orchestra and it set the tone for the rest of the show.

Keith Guillotine: Overall, I give this concert a 4 chainsaw review. If you get a chance to see this lineup I highly recommend you go, even if it's on a school/work night.

R. Scott Bolton: As I said at the top of the page, there aren't too many evenings like this ever. This is one to be remembered.

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Revised: 23 Aug 2016 22:57:16 -0400.