[ d e e p P u r . p l e ) The Highway Star

Review: Via Funchal (Sao Paulo, Brazil) March 19th 1999

The Via Funchal show of last Friday (March 19th) was the fourth Deep Purple show I've seen until now. From the three remaining, I honestly can't consider the show in Sao Paulo with JLT in the vocals, not only because of JLT himself, but also because of the "typical" R. Blackmore's mood, who contributed to mess most of the show. Since then I have had the opportunity to see my preferred band twice in Germany (Purpendicular tour, Düsseldorf and Köln) and both shows were a nice reward for a long waiting time (I'm a Deep Purple fan since the 1980's).

It is the first time I contribute to this section, since I got in touchwith this web page only after the Germany shows of 1997. So, there was no opportunity for me to write until now. But enough with the explanations, let's go to the show...

The Via Funchal is a nice show house, relatively new, located in the south region of the Sao Paulo megalopolis. The house is very confortable and, what's principal: one can have a good vision of the stage from almost every point in the audience. It has a capacity of 5000 people. As for the acoustics, I was not so much impressed, it was difficult to distinguish the instruments (in my opinion, the medium frequencies were too low). Another high point of the house is the quality (but not the price) of the beer, unusual for Brazilian standards.

My first surprise was to notice that there would be no support act for the show. Perhaps this was a consequence of the economic crisis and the need to keep the ticket price supportable for the Brazilian audience, but it was sad. We have good quality brazilian rock bands, which would surely contribute to the quality of the night (OK, OK ... I agree, this is not a typical property of DP support acts :-)). I noticed the absence of a support act, by recognition of the equipment (the Hammond principally) on stage.

With British punctuality, the band entered the stage at 22:00. The placement was the usual: IP and JL as left and right defenders, respectively, RG as left-forward, SM as right-forward and IG as center-forward. Of course, this disposition was not tight, confirming the good quality of these players :-). I started to write the set list, but then I noticed that there was no major changes from the set list of the last shows of 1998 and stopped to write (see Stathis Panagiotopoulos' reviews

The show started with "Ted, the mechanic" with a good participation of the audience. I observed this for the other "Purpendicular" songs, showing that this record had a good penetration in Brazil. The same was not true for the "Abandon" songs, and the audience remained quiet in these occasions (sadly). This, in my opinion is a consequence of the lack of airplay in the Brazilian radio. They played only the MKII classics and "Sometimes I Feel like Screaming" (due to the personal preference of a DJ) as preparation for the tour.

After "Ted..." the band played "Strange Kind of Woman" and the audience went into ignition. It followed "Bludsucker" and "Pictures of Home" (burning the audience, too). One interesting point I noticed was the inclusion of some lengthy instrumental sections in the end of these songs, in these occasions, IG alone or with one of the other musicians disappeared at the back stage and returned with less pieces of cloth. Maybe the heat was too much for them (but it was only 23 oC, in my opinion this is not too much).

Apart from these changes, the order of the show was the sameas in the Bulgarian shows mentioned above. "Bludsucker" is a strong live number (I suspected this since the first time I heard "In Rock"), as well as "Watching the Sky". I was not so much impressed with "Almost Human" and "Any Fule Kno That", while "Fingers to the Bone" was reasonable. I can't imagine why they dropped "Seventh Heaven", in my opinion, the best song on "Abandon". The MkII classics, with no surprise, were high points of the show. The audience sang together and the band was in good mood. To my surprise, "Perfect Strangers" was one of these high points, confirming one of these Brazilian peculiarities.

As for the surprises, SM's solo ended merging into "Cascades..." final chords (in the German shows I've seen, the solo was part of "Cascades") and there was a lengthy introduction to "Smoke on the Water", quoting among others Hendrix' "Foxy Lady". I was aware, that it was the introduction to "Smoke" (since I have LATO at home), but the general public was not, so, for them, it was surely a nice surprise. Jon Lord quoted "Aquarela do Brasil" in his solo, showing good knowledge and originality (anyone else would quote "Garota de Ipanema").

As a last surprise, I must mentionnew haircuts for Gillan and for Lord. In general, the show was very good. I'm looking forward to see them again in the Aramaca show, next week.

Dr. Claudio Schoen

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