DEEP PURPLE played its first show with new touring guitarist Simon McBride last night (Sunday, May 22) at the Menora Mivtachim Arena in Tel Aviv, Israel. Fan-filmed video of the concert can be seen below.
DEEP PURPLE's setlist was as follows:
01. Highway Star
02. Pictures Of Home
03. Strange Kind Of Woman
04. Nothing At All
05. Uncommon Man
07. When A Blind Man Cries
08. 7 And 7 Is (LOVE cover)
09. Throw My Bones
10. Time For Bedlam
11. Keyboard Solo
12. Perfect Strangers
13. Space Truckin'
14. Smoke On The Water
15. Caught In The Act
16. Hush (Joe South cover)
17. Bass Solo
18. Black Night
McBride, who has previously toured with both Ian Gillan and Don Airey, among others, is filling in for longtime DEEP PURPLE guitarist Steve Morse. Steve is taking a temporary hiatus from live shows but remains a full member of the band.
Morse's hiatus from the classic rock icons was announced on March 31. In a statement, he said that his wife Janine is battling cancer and added that he hopes he can rejoin PURPLE on tour "after she gets a clean bill of health."
Added the rest of the band: "All of our thoughts are with Janine during her fight against cancer and also with Steve while he supports his wife at a very difficult time. We hope that Steve will be able to join us back on the road later this year."
McBride said: "I'm deeply honored to be asked to stand-in for Steve and play for such an iconic rock band like DEEP PURPLE. They are amazing musicians and amazing people… I'm very excited to get out and play all those iconic songs and rock the stage with such legends. My thoughts are with Steve and Janine and their family."
Morse effectively took over Ritchie Blackmore's DEEP PURPLE slot in 1994 and has since been in the group longer than Ritchie.
In a 1997 interview, Blackmore stated about Morse: "I'm just glad they [DEEP PURPLE] found a guitar player to carry on because I thought I was going to be shackled to this band for the rest of my life. It was like a ball-and-chain thing, and luckily, they said, 'Well, we found someone.' 'Thank God, I can get out!'
"I haven't listened much [to DEEP PURPLE's recent recordings]. I just know that Steve Morse [is a] brilliant player. I remember Steve Morse with the DIXIE DREGS; they're fantastic."
Morse's solo career has encompassed rock, country, funk, jazz, classical and fusion. Having started playing guitar around the age of 11, he later on attended University of Miami's School of Music, where he studied classical guitar and jazz. A "guitarist's guitarist", he was voted "Best Overall Guitarist" in the Guitar Player Readers' Poll for five consecutive years, before being removed from eligibility to open the award to other musicians, and being inducted into their Gallery Of Greats. His work has received seven Grammy Award nominations, and he has appeared on over 200 albums.
DEEP PURPLE's latest album, "Turning To Crime", came out in November via earMUSIC. The LP contains DEEP PURPLE's versions of great rock classics and musical jewels — including songs originally recorded by Bob Dylan, FLEETWOOD MAC, Bob Seger, CREAM and THE YARDBIRDS — carefully chosen by each member of the band.
Everyone has a plan, till you get punched in the face,