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UK reviews 2002 (rescheduled)

Absolutely perfect

The show started a few minutes after 9:30 with the exploding thunder of Fireball. They continued their set with Woman From Tokyo, Mary Long and Ted The Mechanic. The audience was in a very good mood and was singing along to every word of each song. The set was the same as previously on thsi tour, with only a few changes to the running order of the songs. Every song was stretched with guitar/keyboard solos so that they sounded better.

Along came Lazy with the usual harmonica playing from Ian Gillan, sending all of us to heaven. He then introduced a song from the new album which will be released around this time next year. The song was of course The Well Dressed Guitar. Then Gillan said it was blues time and continued with When A Blind Man Cries. Space Truckin' travelled us to other dimensions and Perfect Strangers landed us to earth.

Don Airey's solo was something great. He started with Ode To Joy and continued with Zorba, Melina Merkuri's The Children Of Pereaus. He closed his solo with the Star Wars theme. There were moments when he sounded like a whole orchestra not just one person.

Steve Morses' solo was something great too. He started with the solo from Stairway To Heaven (I cried during that moment) and he passed through N.I.B., Back In Black, Johnny Be Goode and some others I can't recall at the moment. His solo must be named The History Of Rock/Metal Music In Three Minutes.

A surprise was awaiting us just before Speed King. Something that doesn't happen every day. Two people got on stage. The first was Stathis Panagiotopoulos and the other a friend of his. He said that this kind of interruption to a Deep Purple show is not happening every day, but there is a good reason. He wanted from us just 30 seconds of silence. He pointed into the audience at his friend's girlfriend and gave him the microphone. This guy made a marriage proposition to his loved one. I think she must have accepted his proposition because she got on stage running and they were holding each other for more than five minutes in the dark. Even though I don't know the couple I wish them the best.

After this short pause the band continued with Speed King and the bass/drum solos. One by one they played something and got off stage. First Steve and then Don leaving Roger Glover and Ian Paice for their solos. Roger proved that bass is not an instrument just there to keep the rhythm of a song, but good music can be played on it. Ian proved that he has a great technique and he can play really fast (with only one hand if he wanted).

The ending of the show came with the all time classic Smoke On The Water in which the audience was singing every word of it. Gillan made a small mistake and he started singing ("We ended up at...") before the solo was over, but the others corrected him. After a couple of minutes they returned with the encores Hush, Black Night and Highway Star. During Black Night the crowd started singing the main riff of the song. Steve took the chance and played something which the audience repeated.

As a conlusion I must say that this concert was one of the best in my life (and I have seen nearly 40 rock/metal concerts). It had everything: all time classic songs, surprises, improvisations - and the audience had a great time.

I hope to see you soon, Deep Purple.

Panagiotis Tsoutsis

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