Reviews, Europe 2003
Jäähalli, Helsinki, Finland
November 21, 2003
1. Highway Star
2. Strange Kind of Woman
3. Silver Tongue
4. Knocking at Your Back Door
5. House of Pain
8. Contact Lost
9. Doing it Tonight
10. Space Truckin'
11. I Got You're Number
12. Steve Morse solo / Well Dressed Guitar
13. Don Airey solo / Perfect Strangers
14. Smoke on the Water
15. Hush / Ian Paice solo / Roger Glover solo
16. Hit the Road Jack (few verses)
17. Black Night
Steve Morse did a guitar clinic at Helsinki Pop & Jazz Institute
at 15.00. The auditorium was full (around 300) of mostly music students.
We had a great concert tonight. Uriah Heep wasn't too hot but they did
warm up audience with a "best of" set. They played over 80 minutes.
I saw one of Deep Purple's summer tour shows, but Helsinki was much better.
I believe a sold out Jäähalli was one reason. Another reason might
be that Bananas was high in our top 10 and we also had a Finland only Deep Purple
collection 2CD in our top 5 six months ago.
The sound system was the best ever in Helsinki Jäähalli.
My highlights were Knocking At your Back Door and Bananas.
This was my first time ever with a photo pass (thanks EMI) and I saw the two
first songs in a front of the band. A strange feeling to be there.
The Perfect Strangers of Finland (PSOF) met the band (minus IP) in a meeting
room before the gig. Happy faces, etc.
Ten years and 4 days ago it was a bitter feeling when Ritchie left the band
in Helsinki and didn't have a drink after the show with the others in the hotel
bar. That was a sad night as Jon Lord said later.
It was obvious right from the start, that we were
about to see (another) excellent Deep Purple show, as the band quickly moved
into the updated (at least to my ears) intro to Highway Star. Steve's guitar
sounded especially delicious, but more of that later...
Before the show I was (just a little bit) concerned how
the new material would fit in, but that was really not an issue. We could have
done well without Bananas, but otherwise the new numbers seemed to be right
in place. Especially my personal favorites from the new album, House Of Pain
and Doing It Tonight, worked well for me. I also think that the inclusion of
Contact Lost is a brilliant idea, giving depth to the set. Overall it was really
fun to hear so much new material compared to the otherwise brilliant show in
2000 at the same venue.
The old numbers did not provide me with any kind of surprises, really. I missed
some of the old numbers from previous Steve Morse era tours, e.g. When A Blind
Man Cries and Maybe I'm A Leo. But you just can't get everything, can you?
The two selections from the Perfect Strangers album were my faves among the
older tunes, but I was (surprisingly) taken by the version of Space Truckin'.
The number has never really been an actual favorite of mine, but this time it
really worked well! Oh, by the way: When do we again get to hear Gypsy's Kiss
from Perfect Strangers?
I don't know if it is only me, but Steve's guitar sounds more metallic and raw
today (does anybody agree?), and that gives him a presence that helps to give
the older numbers a facelift. I just loved it! Especially the aforementioned
Space Truckin' sounded fired-up. Steve's contribution, his riffing and fills,
seem to be instrumental in updating old material onstage, but credit must, of
course, be given to the band as a whole; they have been playing some of this
material for over 30 years, for god's sake!
The only real disappointment was the encores, more imagination could have been
used when selecting numbers. Not that I disliked Hush or Black Night, but something
extra at the end of the evening could really have done the trick...
All in all, a great show, really. I left happy. When do they come back?
This was my first Purple
show, and wow, what a great one it was!
Uriah Heep opened the gig greatly, playing their classics for an hour
with great feeling. Mick Box was smiling all the time, making these weird gestures
with his hands. At the end of their set, I was wondering if Purple could top
But at the very moment Deep Purple took the stage I saw who were the
real stars of the show, it was so powerful and tight. I had a great seat on
the right side of the stage, first row, about 10 meters from the stage.
Gillan's voice was much better than I had expected, and the atmosphere was great.
Airey knows how to take his audience, during his solo spot he played parts from
the Finlandia-hymn, which is one of the most loved classical pieces for us Finns.
The whole band look relaxed and really seemed to enjoy the show. The new songs
from Bananas blended very well with the older classics, and Bananas (the song)
was one of the highlights of the show alongside with KAYBD and Perfect Strangers.
They played for maybe 100-105 minutes.
This gig will stay in my memory forever.