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UK reviews 2002 (rescheduled)

Two nights in a row

First night: The masters return to the UK
Purple hit the stage around 8.30 or so with powerfully and perfectly mixed loud versions of the classics starting with Fireball.

I have to say (I know this is blasphemy) but Don Airey was better than Lord the first night. I was pleasantly surprised and was yelling out his name in jubilee.

I had second row center and caught a wink, nod and a smile from Roger - very groovy indeed. Gillan and Paice were the real stars with the singer literally capturing some moments from his Black Sabbath/Purple 1984 days - i.e. he was incredible. not one flaw.

Paice was very inspired also, playing more like he did back in the 70s. Morse and Roger were looking a bit weary, especially the second night. They must record this year or tension may mount.

The set list was the same as in Germany, minus KAYBD, with Space Truckin' really putting to shame the other bands of their era - not to mention young rock bands of today. Even at the ripe young age of being in their late 50s this is their last peak, see them.

Second night: Jon Lord saves concert
I don't know what happened to the crowd, but I think they forgot to show up (very subdued) until, of course Mr. Lord took the keys on Perfect Strangers (very high in the mix - about time). Then the crowd came alive and it slowly built to a climax at the end of Highway Star.

Even though Jon only played a few songs this was the Deep Purple we've all come to know and worship and Jon brought out the spirit of the band and the crowd. Thank God. I was really getting worried and feeling bad for the band, but it was a true testament to what Jon Lord means and is to Deep Purple and its fans.

Iron Maiden joined Purple for Smoke On The Water and it worked. Also, helping in raising the crowd to roaring levels - very cool.

The set list was the same. How about Child In Time for Jon's final?

Seeing Jon at his very best was really worth it all. I'm glad it worked out the way it did, because you could tell Jon felt literally responsible for lighting a fire under the thousands in the audience. A great, emotional way for Jon to end his time with Purple. Amazing.


Gene Boris

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