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UK reviews 2002 (rescheduled)

Worth the wait

After originally purchasing my ticket for this show at the beginning of November I've been looking forward to this for a very long time. As a 'younger' fan, of which there were many at Newcastle, I had never seen the band perform live before - well, what can I say but it was definitely worth the wait.....

Right from a powerful and sensational opening with Fireball, Purple performed one of the most exciting live shows I have ever seen. To see the looks of concentration on their faces as they played and the sweat, especially on Ian Gillan, showed the total amount of energy which the band delivered. Being a guitarist myself, I was delighted to be right in front of Steve Morse on stage left, although needless to say the band moved about throughout the show. Morse, Gillan and a bouncy Roger Glover regularly swapped places in front of different sections of the crowd.

The highlights of the show include the aforementioned Fireball, a powerful version of Space Truckin' and of course Smoke On The Water - coming on the end of another Morse guitar blitz. In a lengthy guitar intro to When A Blind Man Cries, Morse played a solo including snippets of the American national anthem - a tribute on the anniversary of September 11 perhaps? Don Airey's entertaining keyboard solo ended with lights out and then - you guessed it - Jon Lord standing in his place. You could just see the silver hair in the darkness as he crept up to his keyboard!

The band seemed to appreciate the response they got at the end, none more so than Lord, the last to leave the stage. Definitely an occasion worth waiting for.

Set List:

* Fireball (with a few bars of Into The Fire tucked on the end..)
* Woman From Tokyo
* Mary Long
* Ted The Mechanic (or should that be Martin The Wine Merchant?)
* Lazy
* The Well Dressed Guitar (off the next album)
* When A Blind Man Cries
* Space Truckin'
* Perfect Strangers
* Speed King
* Smoke On The Water

Encores :

* Hush
* Black Night
* Highway Star

Paul Barrow

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