Music Blu-ray Review: Deep Purple - Live in Verona

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Three years ago, Eagle Rock Entertainment released Deep Purple’s Live at Montreux 2011 which featured the legendary rockers backed by a full orchestra. The concert presented on Eagle Rock’s new Live in Verona Blu-ray comes from the same tour (The Songs That Built Rock), filmed on July 18, 2011 (only two days after the Montreux show). It works as a terrific companion piece, though if you’re less than a diehard Deep Purple fan, the two concerts may be a little too similar to justify owning both. That said, the band’s energy is tremendous and if you love Deep Purple you’ll want to add this to the collection.

Deep Purple’s 1972 landmark Machine Head factors prominently in the set list, with “Highway Star” getting things rocking early on. “Maybe I’m a Leo,” “Lazy,” “Space Truckin’,” and of course “Smoke on the Water” all turn up for rousing renditions. Keyboardist Don Airey (who replaced the now-deceased Jon Lord in 2002) gets to show off his skills in a tasty solo spot. Though he might look as if he’s about to hit the shuffleboard deck on a cruise ship, lead vocalist Ian Gillan (65 at the time) is in fine form throughout. As with the previous Live in Montreux, the orchestra (Neue Philharmonie Frankfurt) is well integrated and sounds fantastic alongside the band.

Eagle Vision’s 1080i presentation is every bit as crystal clear as we’d expect from a recent high definition concert film. All lighting situations are handled well and there’s a great deal of fine detail in everything from tight close-ups to wide shots and audience shots. The audio is kickin’, with the choice between two mixes: DTS-HD MA 5.1 and LPCM 2.0 stereo. I chose the 5.1 and was blown away by the monstrous LFE response heard in Roger Glover’s bass and Ian Paice’s powerhouse drumming.

Though not listed as such on the case, the encore numbers “Hush” and “Black Night” are presented as special features. As is usually the case with their live music video releases, Eagle Rock has included a photo-laden booklet in the case. This one has a new essay by rock journalist Malcolm Dome.

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Chaz Lipp is a Seattle-based freelance writer whose focus is music and film. As “The Other Chad,” he has written for the online magazine Blogcritics since 2008. When he’s not writing, Chaz can be found trolling jazz clubs, attempting to find somewhere to play his sax (whether anyone wants to hear…

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