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Asia 2002 reviews  

Two hours of bliss

Deep purple has become the only band to make India a routine stop on their Asian tours, and probably among the few international artists to realise the huge following of different genres of western music in the vastly untapped Indian market. This was their third show in India and the second one in Bombay. The pre-show hype was tremendous, and for once the organisation was great. Gates opened an hour early, and those of us who were devoted enough to brave the hot evening sun (temperatures in the high 30s) made it to the first row, just a few feet from the gods of rock themselves.

The set list was the same as that played in Bangalore last year. After a shoddy opening act, Deep Purple finally arrived on stage at 7.45pm, with the sun set and the atmosphere much more amicable. First up was in true purple tradition Woman from Tokyo. The crowd went absolutely nuts, it being one of the hugely popular Purple tracks. Ian had a video camera which he was using at times to take shots of the crowd from. The heat was trememdous and it got to Ian a little fast. He had to change his shirt right in the second song and went through many more of that and lots of water poured on what would be a mighty wet backstage.

After Woman from Tokyo Ian said the next song is about a wine merchant and they broke into Ted The Mechanic. The roar from the crowd on hearing the booming bass was enough to take the roof off - had there been a roof. Roger was throwing his bass picks into the crowd after every song. I had the luck to catch the one he threw after Ted.

Following their precious set list, they then went into some of their not so well known songs - Mary Long and then Lazy. The primary focus of attention at this show was Steve Morse. He was the singular highlight and played some of the most awesome solos Indian rock lovers would have ever heard live. Ian Paice didn't do his trademark solo.

They played a song supposedly inspired by Steve's aviation career, not patently Purple sound but extremely good. They also played an unrealeased instrumental called the Well Dressed Guitar. The people loved it. I hope it comes out on the new record.

The medley they played was similar to the one last year and inculded Sweet Child O' Mine (Guns N' Roses), an AC/DC track (where Ian tried singing), and obviously the solo from Stairway To Heaven (Led Zeppelin). After a few songs which the crowd was not so familiar with, Purple gave us When A Blind Man Cries.

Even nearing 60, these guys had the most awesome energy on stage. Many younger bands would probably have collapsed with the sheer heat and humidity. Airey played a wonderful solo when the band took a little break, and included a Mozart masterpiece.

The band returned with Perfect Strangers. The song was changed a little from the record version, before the main riff of the song in the chorus. It drove the crowd into a frenzy.

They played Smoke On The Water which the crowd sang louder than the band, then came back to play Hush (which Ian said was recorded 100 years ago). After this the crowd the had the chant of Black Night going, like at a football match, and the band played it. Paice did some awesome work in the little fills in Black Night, which was the only time in the show he really took the spotlight.

The final song was Highway Star and it was a fitting climax to the best Deep Purple gig ever in India. They are now off to Goa, the beach city for their next gig on the May 5.

Purple rocked Bombay. and we want them to come back to give us more.

The set list.:
Woman From Tokyo
Ted The Mechanic
Mary Long
The Aviator (Steve Morse)
No One Came
Well Dressed Guitar (previously unrealsed instruemntal)
Fools ( with a loooooong Steve Morse solo)
Airey keyboard solo
Perfect Strangers (with Airey solo intro)
When A Blind Man Cries
Medley (Sweet Child O' Mine, Stairway To Heaven, etc. - Steve Morse in his element)
Smoke On The Water
Black Night
Highway Star

By 9.45 the show was over - about two hours of bliss.

John Doe

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