[Live Review] Deep Purple & Jefferson Starship, Ziggo Dome Amsterdam

Deep Purple hit Amsterdam on a sober, chilly Monday evening, still touring their 2020 album Whoosh! and bringing Jefferson Starship with them. We went to see what they were up to.

Deep Purple 2022

“Have you seen Deep Purple before?” the bar lady asked politely whilst pouring my pint of Heineken. A couple of times, I told her. When she asked when the last time was I told her maybe eight, nine years ago. It turns out that the last time I saw the British institution was all the way back in 2003 on the Arrow Classic Rock festival in Lichtervoorde and that made me feel old. Ancient, even. Almost twenty years have come and gone since that day, but I still distinctly remember that gig not being very good and coming away disappointed. However, being quite enamoured by Purple‘s recent run of albums I was quite keen to give them another try in Amsterdam’s Ziggo Dome venue.

First thing’s first though: Jefferson Starship. In a way a continuation of eighties cheese vehicle Starship, which in itself was a successor to the legendary Jefferson Airplane, the band enters the stage to lacklustre reception. It doesn’t help that the hall is only now starting to fill up and some of the experience is lost in the humdrum of people trying to find their placebut the band starts out unimpressively as well. Cathy Richardson squeals like Geddy Lee in heat during the first three songs and there’s nothing much to root for except for the bouncing Jefferson Starship logo on the screen behind the band, bouncing and dancing and making everyone seasick. Things get better with Sara and Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now because, well, these are songs people know, even if they didn’t even know the recording artist. We then get treated to an excellent rendition of White Rabbit, where Richardson impresses with a mean Grace Slick impression, followed by the cheesefest that is We Built This City. By the time we come to the closing song Somebody to Love, all is forgiven and the band receives a deafening and much deserved applause. Excellent warm-up to the evening despite starting out rough.


After a short break it’s time for Deep Purple to show what they’re made of, and I’ll be damned if you can find a better way to start off a concert with two classics like Highway Star and Pictures of Home. Ian Gillan is remarkably in form tonight, hitting notes he could not, or couldn’t be arsed to, back in 2003. The rest of the band is in top form as well. Special mention has to be made of new guitarist Simon McBride however, who stepped in for Steve Morse who retired from the band earlier this year due to personal circumstances. He has more of an edge, a more hard rock feel in his playing than Morse, which really gives the overall sound a kick in the teeth. It results in a far more fiery Purple and I for one love it.

The rest of the set is a nice mixture of old and new material. Considering we’re still on the promotional tour for 2020’s Whoosh! I would have expected more from that album than No Need to Shout and the wonderful Nothing at All with its fantastic keyboard/guitar noodling, but it is what it is. The late, great Jon Lord gets a shout-out with Uncommon Man (from 2013’s Now What?!), which is not only a great tribute but also a very good song. Other highlights are a roaring rendition of Anya, Don Airey’s keyboard spot (including dutch evergreen Tulpen uit Amsterdam), the always brilliant Perfect Strangers and a wonderful version of When a Blind Man Cries.


Of course, the evening is rounded out by the obligatory classics. You can’t have a Deep Purple concert without Space Truckin’Smoke on the WaterHush or Black Night, so that’s exactly how the band wraps up the night in style. Purple was in mighty fine form tonight, and more importantly, they seemed to genuinely have fun on the stage. The original plan was to end their career on 2017’s Infinite, only to release another two albums after that (including a collection of covers released last year). In recent interviews it was hinted there could be more new material on the horizon and judging by tonight, I’d say they Deep Purple still has some life left in them. We’ll be here if they choose to do another round.

Setlist Jefferson Starship

  1. Find Your Way Back
  2. Ride the Tiger
  3. It’s About Time
  4. Sara
  5. Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now
  6. White Rabbit
  7. We Built This City
  8. Jane
  9. Somebody to Love

Setlist Deep Purple

  1. Highway Star
  2. Pictures of Home
  3. No Need to Shout
  4. Nothing at All
  5. Uncommon Man
  6. Lazy
  7. When a Blind Man Cries
  8. Anya
  9. Keyboard Solo
  10. Perfect Strangers
  11. Space Truckin’
  12. Smoke on the Water
  13. Hush
  14. Bass Solo
  15. Black Night


Review by Ralph Plug


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s