By Chyrisse Tabone, Rock At Night Tampa
Live Review: Glenn Hughes w/Voxx – Bilheimer Capitol Theatre, Clearwater, Florida – September 23, 2023
Whenever Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Glenn Hughes comes to town—I am so there. I had the opportunity to interview him in 2016 after the release of his album Resonate and was very impressed with the “Voice of Rock’s” humble nature and genuine love of his fans. Rock At Night has been reviewing his live concerts (US and UK) and albums for side projects Black County Communion and the Dead Daisies for a decade.
Being a fan of Deep Purple, it was with great excitement that I heard the Glenn Hughes Performs Classic Deep Purple Live – Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Album Burn tour would be coming to Clearwater, Florida. The tour began in Vineland, New Jersey, on August 16th and ended last Night, September 24th , at the Capitol Theatre, Clearwater. Yes, he was co-headlining with Yngwie Malmsteen, but I left after Glenn’s performance (no interest–wink wink).
Tampa band Voxx performed for approximately 25 minutes to warm up the audience. Since this was my first time hearing the band, I would describe their music as “hard rock with hints of metalcore.” The song “Being Human” was a standout that featured lead guitar solos, catchy riffs, and a melodic rock groove.
The audience rose as Hughes and the band ripped into the fiery Deep Purple song “Stormbringer.” Originally sung by David Coverdale, Hughes proved why he still is the “Voice of Rock,” and in my opinion, sounded better than the recorded version. Even at 72, he has maintained a powerful voice with an unbelievable range, unlike some of his classic rock peers (dare I say, Roger Daltrey and Robert Plant). The evening’s concert was supported by longtime guitarist Søren Andersen, keyboard session player Ed Roth, and Ash Sheehan, drummer of the UK band Dead Sea Skulls, Ash Sheehan. Let’s not forget Hughes is a celebrated bassist and a master of the instrument in his own right.
Still standing through most of the concert, the Baby Boomer audience held their fists up high, head bopped, and relived the 1970s. At one point, Hughes remarked, “You can sit down. I’ll still love you!” I giggled at this remark because Hughes appeared quite a bit more fit and youthful-looking (than his audience) with his long, wavy locks flying in the fan wind. He pranced while holding the bass’ neck and headstock high and giving the audience all the rock star poses.
Possibly a highlight of the evening was the band performing “Mistreated.” Andersen’s guitar playing was fluid and tone-perfect, as he entertained the audience with smiles and an occasional tongue. Sheehan is a force of nature on the drums, and I plan to check out his Birmingham band. Roth proved why he is a sought-after LA session player, mesmerizing the audience with his solos. Hughes’ wailed and sang “woman, oh woman” so mournfully one would believe he was raised in a Harlem church.
He continued expressing his gratitude to the audience, “This is my real family here. I like to keep it going all the time. Thank you for your love.”
An especially poignant moment was his paying homage to “his brother Tommy,” whom he co-wrote the funky blues song “Gettin’ Tighter.” Former James Gang guitarist Tommy Bolin replaced Blackmore after he departed from Deep Purple in 1975. He tragically died of an overdose in Miami in 1976.
Hughes expressed exciting news, saying, “This is the last night of our tour. I have a new record coming out with Black Country Communion in the new year.”
“I probably am not supposed to announce this yet but I’m coming back to Florida in February.” At that point, a barrage of cheers and whistles filled the room.
He continued, “Well, fuck to that. I’m telling you in person. Thank you for your love, Florida. The next song, I wrote with my friend David Coverdale.”
I looked around the room as many gray-haired men were singing along to “Keep On Moving.” It was heart-warming to see everyone on their feet and truly feeling the music. It reminded me that a person stays 18 years old in one’s mind and heart forever.
Hughes and the band left briefly before being summoned back by rhythmic clapping. Everyone was on their feet and dancing to fan favorites “Highway Star” and “Burn.” I am sure they are dragging out old Deep Purple albums and playing them this morning.
Again, Hughes never ceases to amaze and bring joy to an audience, proving he is still one of the most dynamic frontmen and voices today—and is a force of nature, even in his 70s. UK friends! Look for his tour to begin on October 10th in Holmfirth.
DEEP PURPLE – THE STORY BEHIND “BURN”
Burn is the eighth studio album by the English rock band Deep Purple, written and recorded in 1973, and released in February 1974. The album was the first to feature then-unknown David Coverdale on vocals and Glenn Hughes, from Trapeze, on bass and vocals.
The album was recorded in Montreux, Switzerland, in November 1973, with the Rolling Stones Mobile Studio. With the addition of David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes, Deep Purple’s hard rock sound incorporated elements of soul and funk, which would become much more prominent on the follow-up album, Stormbringer.
Burn hit #3 on the UK Albums Chart, #9 on the US Billboard 200, and #1 in Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Norway.
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