Russia, Ukraine & Baltic reviews
Like a dream
Tonight was like a dream. It was best evening in this year. It was the Purple evening. The show should begin at 19:00, but as usually, it started at 19:25 At first I saw Ian Paice, he got ready on drums. Don Airey, Steve and Roger entered on stage. The last one was Gillan, who wore black and no shoes.
And then - first chords of Woman From Tokyo. Wery good instrumental part of that tune. Howewer the microfone was set too low during this song, so I couldn't hear Gillan very well. If the reviews are true about Gillan being in great vocal shape on the Russian and Ukrainian dates, he wasn't tonight. After a few stanzas he was coughing, and I understood that something was wrong. Of course Woman From Tokyo and Ted The Mechanic were superb, but I saw that Ian wasn't satisfied with his voice. After Mary Long, Ian walked to every musician and said something. When he was walking backstage (Steve was taking his part at the moment), Ian talked to Don Airey. Don glanced to Ian, and Ian shook his head and hand which meaned - No.
Then I understood that I would not hear one of the best songs ever - Child In Time. But I'm not dissapointed, because this show was just superb. I'm singing in a beginner's band. Don't laugh! We are preparing Child In Time as a tribute and I know how complicated this song is to sing. Wery well if Gillan decides not to risk his voice. After Mary Long was Lazy with very nice improvisation between Don and Steve. When Lazy ended I was expecting to hear the first chords of Child In Time. I explained to my friends that if Purple didn't play this masterpiece now, they wouldn't play it this evening at all.
And my prognosis was correct. They didn't play Child In Time at all. But I had the opportunity to hear other fantastic tunes such as No One Came from Fireball and The Aviator from Purpendicular.
I don't like the album version of No One Came, but this evening it was great. It was performed differently from the original, and it sounded more modern and was a true masterpiece for me.
The funniest part of that show was The Aviator. After Ian had sung few stanzas, he sat down on the flor and crossed his legs like a turk. It looked fantastic. Roger and Steve followed his example and sat on each side of the singer. It looked inexpressible! As Steve's other occupation is a pilot, this song was a nice representation of his hobby. At the end Ian raised his left leg and spread his arms... He immitated a bird flying. That was nice!
Well Dressed Guitar... I think this was a new song from the upcoming album. It was interesting guitar improvisation of Steve. He played that tune using a lot of classics. It was all instrumental...
Fools was unbelievably well played. Great sound on the voice during this song. I could hear everything perfectly. In the middle Steve passed across the string section and we heard the sound familiar to us as Richie Blackmore's sound on the original recording from Fireball. But soon Steve gave full freedom to Don Airey, and he played a nice improvisation. I've heard from reviews that Don Airey brought a more modern sound to Purple. Yes he did, and I like it. Don's style is quite different to Jon's, but he is a professional and he did the right thing trying to play in his ows style.
And then - a perfectly performed perfect song from a perfect album... Perfect Strangers. It started with Don's solo. At first a few classics, several Etitudes. Then something from Schubert. He was improvising with both organ and synth and it lead into our national anthem Ant Kalno Murai. Suprisingly he playded Kalinka as they've recently were in Russia. Most people began to whistle, but he continued to play it faster and faster... Then followed to the original introduction to Perfect Strangers. This song was one of the highlights of this evening including together with Fools, When A Blind Man Cries, Smoke On The Water, Speed King and Highway Star.
The long intro to When A Blind Man Cries was a chance for Ian to take a rest. When he returned, he was in a good shape, and made the song a true highlight of the evening. This version was quite identical to Live At The Olympia 96.
And then the Riff Raff. AC/DC's Back In Black, Jimmy Hendrix's Voodoo Chile, Led Zeppelin's Kashmir, Dire Straits' Money For Nothing, and other great stuff from oldies but goldies turned into Smoke On The Water. Nice solo from Steve. It sounded more like Blackmore than Steve. Actually this is Purple's best song. People around me began to jump up and down, and as I'm small in height, I could hardly see what was going on the stage.
Speed King was as powerful as usual. Then came solo time for Roger Glover. It was umbelievable. He performs bass guitar solos like Steve does them on guitar. Then he turned on the distortion fuss and it gave more power to the sound. As always, Roger's solo was followed by a solo from little Ian . He performed the ending solo with just one hand.
Three encores ended the show: Hush (according to Ian Gillan this was written 100 years ago), Black Night, and a true masterpiece - Highway Star.
I can't remember the exact setlist, so the question marks indicate that I'm not sure of the order:
Woman From Tokyo
The overall performance... The band looked a bit tired, because they'd had a hard tour with shows every evening in Russia, Ukraine and the Baltic States. The mood of the group was quite OK, except Steve Morse. He looked wery tired, and he only seemed to enjoy himself when he was soloing. I don't know if he was dissatisfied with something, but he looked tired. When I was in Riga, Latvia, one year ago, he looked very cheerful during the show, and today he was... sad.
Ian Gillan had problems with his voice. No such problems, like he had on the British tour, but he wasn't 100% healthy, or maybe he was tired... This was the final show of the tour. But he was in good mood, and I could see his joyful face every moment.
Don Airey looked concentrated, as he really was. He knows that the audience came to see Jon playing, but he did very well, and I liked his style very much, which was more modern and brough some fresh elements to the group. Ian Paice was too busy to show emotions. Roger Glover - always happy, always smiling, always laughing. He was in the best mood today.
I took 12 photos during the show, and I think they they will be a nice reminder of the evening. After the show I wanted to get some signatures from band members, but they looked tired or gloomy, so nobody got a single signature. Only Steve, who was walking down the stairs, apologized saying "I'm sorry"... Sorry for what? You were fantastic! Superb! Fascinating! You will always be my favourite band, my favourite musicians, my favourite music.
Thank you for this evening... Brighten up guys!
Unauthorized copying, while sometimes necessary, is never as good as
the real thing (with apologies to Ani)|
(c) 2005, The Highway Star