Koseinenkin Hall, Osaka, Japan
17 March, 2004
1. Silver Tongue
2. Woman From Tokyo
3. I Got Your Number
4. Strange Kind Of Woman
6. Knocking At Your Back Door
7. Contact Lost
8. Steve Morse guitar solo
9. Well-Dressed Guitar
10. Don Airey keybord solo (organ - Rokko Oroshi - super man) - Perfect Strangers
11. Highway Star
12. Doing It Tonight
13. Pictures Of Home
14. Don Airey solo - Lazy
15. When A Blind Man Cries
16. Space Truckin' (including Ian Paice mini drum solo)
17. Smoke On The Water
19. Ian Gillan sing a long - Black Night
The sound was very loud, louder than the Judas Priest concert
last year. The hall was full right up to the third floor (upper balcony), which
goes to show how popular DP are here.
We were all anxious to see/hear how the new member, Don Airey, fared in this
line-up. Well, he's a technically superb player and blew our worries away immediately.
On the recent titles of which he was part of the original recording, you can
hear the same sound as on the CD, and on the older tracks, his phrasing was
very faithful to the original, as if to pay respect to Jon Lord.
Of course Don is a keyboard player of his own right and style, so you get different
flavours and techniques from Jon. The synthesizer intro on Knocking At Your
Back Door, for exmaple, or the intro to Perfect Strangers featured different
sounds and feels - obviously played by another keyboard player on different
equipment. While Jon used to produce billowing sounds that were pushed upwards
and outwards from the deep bottom, Don's sound is more in a straight line, so
In his solo he included various classical quotes, as well as Rokko Oroshi (theme
song for the local baseball team, Hanshin Tigers) to keep the audience entertained
and get them rocking. His key technique are absolutely superb, he played very
complex phrases with such an ease. Don Airey is the perfect replacement for
Jon Lord. Incidentally the intro to Strange Kind of Woman, was played on keyboard
rather than on guitar this time.
Ian Gillan seems to regain more and more of his high range
as he gets older, his voice was much better this time than last time, and the
last time vetter than the time before, etc. It's so good to hear him in such
good shape. He certainly is a lot better now than on the Perfect Strangers tour
right after the reunion.
The only thing I missed this time was that there was no drum solo from Ian Paice.
On the last tour he played a mini solo during Speed King, which was not on tonight's
setlist. I've read him say somewhere that long drum solos are unnecessary these
days, but I personally would like to hear at least 15 minutes of it.
The show started around 7:15 and lasted about two hours, but it felt so short.
I'd love to go and see all the other dates too, but I can't. So I just hope
they'll come back to Japan very soon.
First of all I must tell you what a fantastic concert it was
tonight. And I must thank our Deep Purple for never ceasing to give us such
I got to the venue long time before the doors opened, so I was near the front
of the queue when they let us all in, and I could buy the Ian Paice drumsticks
(signed by himself, limited to 10 pairs) for 5000 yen! I'll treasure them forever!
I was very lucky to experience this show in the sixth row on Steve Morse's side.
Paice, Airey, Glover, Gillan - they were all in the best shapes! Gillan's voice
has a much wider range this time than the last time I saw them on the Purpendicular
The first few songs, however, were not mixed very well. But the whole show was
just amazing, especially Steve! I play guitar myself, but of course nothing
like he can. He didn't pick a single wrong note in two hours. I know there are
people who are still stuck with Ritchie worship, but I think Steve is the guitarist
for Deep Purple.
The best thing was to watch the members looking so happy and enjoying themselves.
A fantastic evening!
Such a wonderful atmosphere, with the entire audience standing up (except for
the front two rows - weird, but it gave me a great view, as I was in the third
row!), even on the upper balcony, all the way through the show. Lots of bouncing
heads around me, and the big chorus in SOTW was louder than I've ever heard
Don's local melody went down a storm too. IG said afterwards he'd never seen
that - the entire hall clapping and throwing their fists into air - in Japan,
and he was very touched and awed.
They had left the orchestra pit empty, so there was quite a big distance between
the stage and the front row seat, but during Doing It Tonight I saw Steve and
IG briefly confering, with Steve pointing to the front of the stage, and soon
after that IG jumped offstage to go and shake hands with fans standing at the
front, while the band continued playing the instrunmental part of the song.
All in all it was one of those great DP evenings where the audience and the
band feed off each other and create a huge energy, and such a wonderful start
to a new tour.
The setlist was basically the same as on the US tour, except for Never Before
and Maybe I'm a Leo being dropped from the main set and replaced with Doing
It Tonight (which I personally had never heard live before, and it sounded great
- many people were dancing to it, so was I).
The encore was Hush followed by Black Night.
For me it didn't feel that loud - it certainly wasn't as loud as the last shows
I saw in New York a couple of weeks ago - but while leaving the hall after the
show, I heard several people say "God, that was loud" or "I still
can't hear properly."
When Jon Lord left the band, it was a bigger shock to me than
when Ritchie left. I myself play keyboards in a band, and I used to copy a lot
of Jon's style and technique. His solo albums, Pictured Within and Before I
Forget are also my big favourites. When I heard my master left Deep Purple and
Don Airey was replacing him, my first thoughts were "well, I suppose he's
the best solution." Don is also one of my favourite keyboard players, so
I was more anxious than usual this time. As I nervously sat in my seat, the
lights went out and the members came onstage.
The opening number was Silver Tongue. And how loud it was! The setlist was a
mixture of old and new material, played alternately. OK, now the most important
thing for me: Don's performance. He paid a lot of respect to Jon and kept to
the latter's style as much as possible, while dazzling us with his own colours
in his solos and on new numbers. His flamboyant solos totally captured me. And
the organ solo in Highway Star was the studio version! It was very refreshing
to hear it played that way again.
My personal impression of Gillan's singing was that, compared to the last Osaka
show in 2000, he was having a little more problem with his voice. However, his
shouting was in full strength, and his comical (I think) stage act was great
fun to watch. I'm very happy to have heard the famous "I thaaaaaannnnk
yooooouuu" live at last. Gillan's is the voice of Deep Purple!
Steve's guitar performance on two numbers in the middle of the show - Contact
Lost and Well-Dressed Guitar, with guitar solo inbetween - was fantastic. I'd
always wanted to hear Well-Dressed Guitar live, ever since I heard it on the
live album from the 2001 Tokyo orchestra show, and I'm very happy that my dream
has now come true.
I was disappointed that Haunted from the new album was
not included in the set list, but was very glad they did Doing It Tonight. I
thought that had fallen off the setlist ages ago. The second half of the main
set, as well as the encore, was a barrage of classics from the Mark 2 era, and
I was absolutely thrilled non-stop.
And Glover and Paice: the rhythm section, in a way, is
a more important fixture of Deep Purple sound. Should they decide to leave the
band, I would imagine it would cause the band more problems than Ritchie or
Jon leaving. (I know Roger has, once, left.)