Reviews, Europe 2003
Hala Spodek, Katowice, Poland
December 3, 2003
Strange kind of woman
Knocking at your back door
House of pain
Doing it tonight
I got your number
Steve Morse solo
Don Airey solo
Smoke on the water
A SAUCER FULL OF FANS
If I didn't check the Highway Star website, I wouldn't know about the Deep Purple
gig in Katowice. No publicity in Warsaw, only a few posters in some music shops.
The concert was well advertised in Katowice only.
Our "Spodek" looks like a saucer indeed; the building is very nice, but it's
easy to lose one's way there.
The gig starts with a Polish hard rock group. The frontman is indefatigable;
he sings loudly, very well, and he runs to and fro. Fine fellow, fine band.
The public is enthusiastic, but when Purple come, people become crazy! The "Saucer"
hall is overflowing, so there's no room to swing a cat. We are standing near
the stage, me and Zenek, my "larger half", and I can't see the drummer. Never
mind. I can hear him. Zenek is delighted. He always cries and waves his hands.
Me too, but there's no place to dance. What a pity.
A surprise: "Strange kind of Woman". Ian is in great form tonight. Another surprise:
this beautiful guitar solo by Steve is followed by "Doing it Tonight" instead
of "Haunted". Very nice, too. I love "Bananas". A lot of songs of this record
tonight: "House of Pain", "I Got Your Number", "Silver Tongue", and "Bananas",
of course. All are sung perfectly. A few older songs as well: "Space Truckin'
", "Knocking at Your Back Door", "Highway Star"... And "Perfect Strangers"-
obviously! Great. About two hours of unusual, smashing music. I've never been
so happy. The public boils, we all want the band to play the whole night. "We
love you" - Ian repeats it many times. Yes, the audience is spontaneous and
very sympathetic. The security staff have their hands full: they keep on leading
off brave boys and girls who jump over the security barrier again and again.
It's evident: the bandsmen love us indeed. Exhausted, on their last legs, but
they play two encores. I've never seen them so tired- they really do their best.
It's a pity they are seldom in Poland. When will they be here again? In three
Zenek says the gig is superb, it sounds much better than the new DP record.
I don't deny it. The acoustics of the "Spodek" is very good. The best Deep Purple
concert I've seen so far. Many thanks, Ian, Don, Paicey, Roger, Steve. See you
Katowice are situated 350 km from my home town
- Lublin. Me and my friends hired a minibus and went to see this spectacular
event. The show started on the dot. Corruption played as a support and it was
quite good. Although everybody was waiting for the main dish of the night. Suddenly
the lights were turned down, but we did not feel like "fear of the dark" :)
Over seven thousand people started whistling and scanning the name of the band.
Purple showed up on the stage and Steve decided to warm us up with "Highway
Star". Gillan's voice didn't sound good at first, but after "Strange kind of
woman" it was getting better and better. The sound and light effects were great.
Almost after every song Ian expressed his thankfulness to the crowd, which was
really excellent that night. When they dedicated "Contact Lost" to the victims
of Columbia catastrophy, people supported it with hundreds of lighters. The
solo was very nostalgic and lyrical.
One of the best moments of the show was Airey's solo. He welcomed his Polish
fans with a polonaise by Fryderyk Chopin (a famous Polish composer), then he
went to playing our national anthem and ended up with an extract from the "Star
Wars" theme. All the people were totally amused. We enjoyed "Perfect strangers"
and "Smoke on the water",however then Deep Purple ended their show. The fans
did not let them to stop so quickly,so they showed up once again to treat us
to "Hush" and a breathtaking version of "Black night". Unfortunately this was
the very end of the concert. Gillan once again thanked the fans and the security
and disappearded in his dressing-room. We were a bit disappointed as we expected
some more songs and a solo before "Smoke on the water", nevertheless this undoubtedly
was a worthwhile event.