Around the World Live DVD Set
Review by Gary Hill
This is an amazing set and well worth the price of admission. You get four DVD’s (three full concerts and a documentary) all encased in a classy box. They also give you a book with lots of killer photos. They really pulled out all the stops on this one. OK, it should be mentioned for Ritchie Blackmore fans that this is all (with the exception of the documentary) Steve Morse era Deep Purple.
The first DVD is one of the early Morse gigs. Alright, let’s get technical here – it’s actually one full show and part of a second put in as a bonus. The band were hot at these gigs – as they were in all the performances here. They are perhaps not as tight as on the later versions, but understandably this lineup was going through their “getting used to playing together” period. This is not a standout DVD in the set, but it’s still darn good and well worth having.
The second disc is a show from Australia in 1999. You can tell that they’ve been through their adjustment period and are on fire here. This one is a better show than the ones on the first DVD, although, there is something to be said about watching a band come through some slightly awkward times, too. You also get a documentary featurette on here focusing on their Australian tour. This disc has been available by itself for a while as an import, but this is the first US release.
Disc three is arguably the “must have” disc of the set. Filmed at the NEC in 2002, this represents Jon Lord’s farewell gig. In fact, they open the set with Don Airey (Lord’s replacement) on keyboards. Mid show he takes a keyboard solo and the lights go down. When they come back up Lord is there playing the intro to “Perfect Strangers.” It makes for one heck of a concert and a rather bittersweet event. This one alone will certainly get a lot of Deep Purple fans to pick up the set. In addition to the concert we get a bonus interview with Ian Gillan and Roger Glover.
They close things off with a retrospective documentary that tracks the bands history from their beginnings in 1968 to the present day. This is definitely a good documentary and will certainly serve well to preserve the legacy of DP. The band’s had such a history, though, that it would take several separate documentaries to really do it justice. That said, this is a strong attempt. All in all this is a “must have” set for any and all fans of the Morse era of Deep Purple.