& Mexican reviews
Auditoria Nacional, Mexico City, Mexico
September 23, 2003
1. Highway Star
2. Woman From Tokyo
3. Silver Tongue
5. Contact Lost
7. Space Truckin'
8. The Well Dressed Guitar
9. Knocking At Your Backdoor
10. House of Pain
11. Keyboard Solo
12. Perfect Strangers
13. Steve-led jam
14. Smoke On The Water
15. Contact Lost
17. Black Night
After Smoke on the Water Deep Purple received 3 CDs that were
recovered from the space shuttle Columbia that broke up as it descended over
Texas. An astronauts husband told us that the astronauts in space used
to hear these CDs before going to sleep. The CDs were Machine Head, Purpendicular
and Rainbow's Down To Earth. NASA recovered only a piece of two CDs, but one
CD is almost complete. Then Contact Lost was played again to remember the astronauts.
The music was excellent! I will be waiting for Deep Purple in Mexico City again...
Tonight I had the priviledge of attending the last concert
on the initial leg of the Bananas World Tour. Due to a timely phone call to
Ticketmaster just as tickets for the concert began to be sold, I was lucky to
be "sitting" (actually I stood the whole time) where every fan wishes
to be: front row center! And it was an awesome experience.
The setlist was pretty much the same as has been reported for the Brazilian
shows, but I will comment on some highlights and variations.
Kicking off the concert with "Highway Star" has proven (since the
"Made In Japan" days) to be an amazing way to instantly get the crowd's
attention, and tonight was no different. "Woman From Tokyo" is always
a welcome classic with a beautiful quiet part in the middle. "Silver Tongue"
was well done, but there are several other songs from the new album which weren't
played and which I consider to be much better (such as "Razzle Dazzle,"
"Doing It Tonight," "Bananas," "Walk On," and
"Never A Word" - in other words, most of them)!
"Contact Lost" followed immediately by "Haunted" is a nice
combination, and both of them include some great guitar playing. Sometime during
"Space Truckin'" Roger Glover looked in my direction and threw me
(at least I like to think it was intended for me) a guitar pick (bass pick?),
but unfortunately it landed in front of the guy next to me and he got it in
"Knocking At Your Backdoor" is an excellent and in my opinion very
underrated song, and did not disappoint, except for the fact that the opportunity
for an orgasmic guitar solo (such as Ritchie Blackmore's on the version which
appears in "Knebworth '85: In The Absence Of Pink") was glossed over
in tonight's show.
Don Airey's keyboard solo showed he's a maestro in his own right, and he was
nice enough to incorporate bits of two Mexican songs ("La Cucaracha"
and "El Jarabe Tapatío," known colloquially in English as the
"Mexican Hat Dance"), in addition to several tunes from Bach, Mozart,
and other classical composers, the introduction to "Mr. Crowley,"
and some great music from "Star Wars" (I don't care if many other
people out there have complained about it - it's good music and that's final).
Sometime during "Perfect Strangers" a Steve Morse guitar pick thrown
into the audience came very close to me - enough for me to get my little finger
(which was almost broken in the process) on it for a brief moment before it
was won by a large fellow to my right, so again I missed out.
Following a brief applause-filled pause after "Smoke On The Water"
a barefoot Ian Gillan introduced the next event in the evening: Jean-Pierre
Harrison (I think thats his name), the husband of astronaut Kalpana Chawla
from the Columbia Space Shuttle mission, which burned on re-entry. He presented
the band with the framed remains of three CDs that they had previously signed
and presented to his wife for her to take aboard Columbia with her. The three
CD's were "Down To Earth" (by Rainbow, signed by Roger Glover and
Don Airey, who were in that band when the album was recorded), "Purpendicular,"
and "Machine Head" (both signed by the current members of Deep Purple
who were involved in those two projects).
The first CD was recognizeable as such, the other two were deformed and partially
destroyed, and all were accompanied by a certificate of authenticity signed
by the Head of NASA, their Chief Astronaut, and a few other people (I'm sorry
the details were too many for me to be able to memorize).
It was a touching moment, though it was marred by a few idiots in the back interrupting
with some yelling which I hope the band did not understand. On behalf of all
Mexicans I would like to apologize for their existence. I would like to thank
the band, NASA, and everyone else involved for honoring Mexico City with this
special opportunity. The only thing is that next time I'd like to volunteer
my translating services - the person that did the translating was quite inept,
and in addition I wouldn't have to ask for the album names to be repeated each
time they were mentioned like she did!
After this moving interlude "Contact Lost" (the song on the new album
dedicated to the Columbia crew) was played again, and then the "traditional"
(for this tour, so far) encores of "Hush" and "Black Night"
rounded off an excellent evening lasting a total of 105 minutes.
The only member of the band I haven't mentioned yet, Ian Paice, provided a consistent
aural backdrop to the rest of the instruments with total mastery, as always.
Everyone on stage and in the audience seemed to enjoy him/herself thoroughly!
All in all an amazing experience.
Andrés Gómez de Silva
Antonio Ramos' review (in Spanish)