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Asia 2002 reviews  


Last year, I took a 300+km bus trip to see them in Sepang, Malaysia. This time, they dropped by in Singapore and what a gig it was. Held at Fort Canning, an outdoor event in an open park facing a huge old colonial style building. There was no seating arrangement and it was on a first come first serve basis to get nearest to the stage. No seats in sight.

The show was supposed to start at 8pm but by 5.30pm, about 50+ of us were already there. Some huge blunder by the ticket usher guys happened here. We were already let in, had already settled down on the grass in front of the stage and WALA!! We were chased out of the gig area by the security. They say we can only come in again at 7pm. Hope the organisers take note and don't repeat this in the future.

By 8pm, the place was cramped. Besides us men in the 30s, 40s and 50s, it's nice to see a lot of teens with NSync image and also mature ladies in headscarves. Guess they were the big fans since back in the 70s. Local newspaper report the crowd as 7000+, I cant estimate as its in an open sloping field but definitely a near to a sold out gig.

Purple was late, there was no opening band, the speakers were blasting some MTV rock standards like Bon Jovi and Santana. At 8.20pm, Purple came on stage. I was on Steve's side of the stage and found his biceps muscles a bit bigger now. Ian was in a light cream shirt and pants which looks traditional Indian style and no shoes.

The crowd went wild and here it goes -
1. Woman From Tokyo They look very relax, smiling and fooling around from song one. Guess playing in Asia is sort of of a breather for them compared to the Donningtons and Madison Square Gardens of Europe and America. These heroes can have the most horrible gig with the worst sound and we would still be cheering them on. Beggars can't be choosers.
2. Ted The Mechanic Steve let it rip on this one. Heavy riffs.
3. Mary Long Funny for me when some 'fans' in the crowd shouting that it is Purple's brand new song.
4. Lazy Don Airey shows his stuff before the song begin. Very loud cheers from the crowd for him. We will always love Jon Lord, but just like Steve Morse, I do hope Don brings in a refreshing and exciting pair of legs to Purple.
5. The Aviator Ian and Steve sits on the floor cross-legged and Roger kneels. Cool song. Can't wait to hear how it sounds on a studio album.
6. No One Came - Crowd "nodding donkey blues" to this one. Up The Irons.
7. Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming When Ian introduce the song about being in a Spanish hotel, I got mixed feelings. Sad because I know they won't play Child In Time tonight and I guess I will never see Purple play this song live ever, but at the same time happy as SIFLS is definitely my favorite Purple song after the 1984 reunion. I sung loudest, jumped highest and smiled widest thru this song.
8. Well Dressed Guitar Ian asked his normal question. "Should this song be on the next album?" Like the rest of the world, we roared YES!!
9. Fools Another song the 'true Purple fans' in the crowd identify as a new one. During Steve's improvisation, Roger played maracas. Check him out when they play this song in your part of the world.
10. Perfect Strangers After Don played the Indonesian Anthem in Jakarta on the intro of PS, I was hoping for a surprise here. And what a nice one it was. He played an old Malay traditional folk song "Rasa Sayang". Love it. The crowd was really into PS, we sung it with Ian all the way.
11. When A Blind Man Cries And the crowd cries with him, again we sang with Ian all the way. Beautiful meaningful song. What about replacing WABMC with Wasted Sunset next tour guys?
12. Guitar Parade/Smoke on the Water Ah!! The pop hit!! And the NSYNC crowd does some great vocals on this one. But again, Steve steals the show with his riff-raffs which was well received by the crowd. I mean those who can identify the riffs that is. AC/DCs' Back In Black, Beatles' Strawberry Fields, GNRs' Sweet Child O Mine, Dire Straits' Money For Nothing, Led Zeps' Stairway to Heaven solo among others. Somewhere near to the end of the song, Steve and Roger swap instruments and at the end Roger walks to Steve side and pretend to swap guitars with Steve's guitar tech. They can't retire because it seems they are having so much fun on stage. Wish I had a camera because seeing Steve with a bass and Roger with a guitar is the best Kodak moment of the whole gig.
13. Speed King The sound was not too clear on this one. But still, Roger and Ian does their stuffs, Ian's drum solo was amazing and loud was the cheers for him. Near end of the solo, he pretends to collapse to his right from tiredness, but continue his now famous 'one arm solo'. Ian G came from behind him to lovingly wipe the perspiration from Ian Paice's face and has us cheering away. During the 60's jam, they play Elvis' It's Now Or Never, High School Hop and some other oldie.

14. Hush Ian should have taken a breather during the Na-na-na parts cause the crowd are loud on this one.
15. Black Night Fantastic!! A super classic!! We roared the Na-na-nas and Steve has his guitar battle with the crowd on this one. Same like the Olympia 96 version but a bit longer, they let us have some extra Na-na-nas. Thanks guys.
16. Highway Star The show's got to end and what a better way to end it than HS. Steve is wonderful on that famous Ritchie solo. A perfect song to end a great gig.

IMHO, many in the crowd are not really constant Purple listeners. Many of the them, the NSync image guys I mean, were rocking along but I guess they don't really have a clue on many of the Purple songs and it's a bit sad because Purple are playing their more popular songs. It would have been nice if the Purple constant listeners and fans be nearer to the stage and the 'don't have a clue' poseurs be a bit behind.

Some guys were screaming for Burn and I think many of us will forever dream Purple play that song live again. Maybe during some Purple family reunion gig some day. Thanks to the organisers and promoters for bringing Purple to Singapore.

My deepest respect for Purple as they constantly include many parts of Asia (not just Japan) on their tours. If only other heavy rock bands does it. It's not that difficult a trip, just drop by on the Australia Japan leg.

To sum it up, Purple really entertained us and they are one of my favourite all time bands. Best wishes to them, and hopefully Ian Paice, Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Steve Morse, Jon Lord and Don Airey be in good health always.


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