Shibuya Kokaido, Tokyo, Japan
March 22, 2004
Woman From Tokyo
I Got Your Number
Strange Kind Of Woman
Knocking At Your Back Door
Steve Morse guitar solo
Don Airey keybord solo
Doing It Tonight
Pictures Of Home
When A Blind Man Cries
Smoke On The Water
I've just been to the show at Shibuya Kokaido, it was great.
They did many numbers from Bananas, and they were a great joy to hear - although
people around me looked like they weren't enjoying the new numbers as I was.
I felt the sound balance wasn't perfect, I couldn't hear Steve's solo very well,
but it got better in the second half of the show. Steve's guitar performance
is fantastic. He was the main reason I went to see the show, and I was not disappointed
in any way. (He does tend to overdo his fast fingering, though.) His solos on
tracks from Bananas were especially good, and the duel with Don was absolutely
thrilling, much more so than with Jon, where Steve seemed slightly inhibited.
Don sounds a lot more prog/Dregs.
I would have loved to hear Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming. Next time I would
like to hear a set with less old numbers and consisting mainly of material from
Purpendicular, Abandon and Bananas.
Having heard the excellent new album, Bananas, I went to see
the band live full of expectations - and got even more than I had hoped for!
For the last several years, Deep Purple have been getting fresher and livelier.
Even old classics, which by now could have bored the audience to death, are
performed in such a fresh way each time, it moves and brings great joy to us
fans. The members are smiling throughout the show, they do everything to make
us happy, and indeed they made us feel that they are fond of Japan and the Japanese
fans. There's absolutely no rock star arrogance in evidence, the atmosphere
is very warm and friendly. These guys have been playing live for over 30 years,
and yet their performance is full of amazing and wonderful fresh energy.
What really surprised me this time was that even during the opening number,
Silver Tongue, there was a lot of improvised interaction between various members.
Right from the start, nothing sounded like routine. As opposed to their earlier
show structure, wherein the duells were not heard until the latter half of the
set, this time they kept us thrilled non-stop for two entire hours. That really
amazed me. Are they really in the middle of a long tour? At no point in the
show they showed any sign of tiredness.
Some fans say Gillan's voice has aged, but now that I have heard him live, I
can tell you it's just as powerful and tantalising as ever. Of course any singer
goes through the physical ageing process as they get older, including Dylan,
McCartney, Plant, Elton John, et al. But wait, did that make them worse singers?
Absolutely not! That's what I'd like to ask those people who've been slagging
off Gillan. I personally really enjoyed the ad lib "Hit the Road Jack"
and the mike stand swinging too.
It was very good to see Glover, who usually stays in the background, come out
to the front of the stage a lot more. His interaction with Gillan looked like
that of two little kids having fun, and it made me smile.
Both Morse and Paice gave us great, solid performance. That the drum solo was
rather short this time was due, I believe, to the new structure of the show.
I suppose Don Airey was the focus of everyone's attention
this time. As on the Bananas album, he has managed to play in his own style
without either exaggerating it or dumping all the Jon Lord colours into the
bin. In his keyboard solo, he included a wide range of quotes - from A La Turca
to Star Wars. Hats off to his sheer showmanship! The only complaint I could
come up with was that his Hammond was rather low in the mix in some places (perhaps
some technical problem with the organ itself?).