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

Deep Purple Live in Malaysia

Well, the event of the millenium has come and gone, but it will stay on and on...in my memory, at least. The moment they took to the stage, the start of the beat to "Ted the mechanic", brought with it an unsurpassable feeling.
Almost thirty years have passed since I first listened to "Black Night", "Speed King", etc. In my dreams, I met and spoke to them. No, I did not get to meet and talk to them, but seeing them in action...wow !

I attended the concert in Auckland, NZ back in 1994 (I think) - with David, Glenn and Tommy Bolin, and of course Jon and Ian Paice (? - Ed.). It was not the same. This time round, I was disappointed not to have seen the Mk 2 line-up. It will certainly be a fulfillment of a thirty year dream. I guess I am not fated to see Ritchie in person. Still, I hope there's a chance to see Blackmore's Night, if not Rainbow. Like it or not, Ritchie was an integral part of Deep Purple. Without him, we may not know Deep Purple the way we know them to be now. It pains me to hear remarks like "Ritchie who?" Sure, he was difficult to work with (understatement, maybe), but still, will Deep Purple be what it is today ? Maybe, better. Maybe not. We'll never know. But I like Deep Purple the way they have evolved as Mk 2.

Steve is good, and fit in well. The cohesiveness in the band is evident, looking at the interaction between Jon/Steve, Gillan/Morse, Glover/Morse and so on. The duet between Morse and Jon in "Speed King" - this was sorely missing in the last video with Ritchie ("Come Hell or High Water"). But the sound of Deep Purple with Ritchie has its place in Deep Purple history. Irreplaceable. Morse comes in and stamp his mark. He is good, and he will leave his mark, too. Just as Coverdale did with "Burn", "Stormbringer" and "Soldier of Fortune". David, too, contributed. (Can't say much for the others that came and left, though - my personal opinion only).

Seeing Roger, Ian & Ian and Jon on stage, finally. Listening to Deep Purple all these years, I feel like I know them personally! Steve will have to work his way in, and he's getting there. I like his interpretation of "Perfect Strangers" and "Pictures of home"! Last night, he showed he is part of the band, not a filler-in for Ritchie. I think the crowd warmed to him, too. I won't be surprised if 80% of the audience thought that Ritchie looked different in person . To many here, Deep Purple is Ritchie Blackmore.

I felt the Malaysian audience were there for nostalgia. Most of them. Perhaps as much as 80-90%? The response to the old hits was tremendous. However, hits from Purpendicular and A.Band.on elicited noticeably less reaction (still some response, though, cause the sound system amplified and made those tunes catchy - "Sometimes I feel like screaming", "Almost Human", "Watching the sky"). "Ted the Mechanic", as the opener certainly roused the audience with the dynamic catchy riff.

However, the staple numbers - "Smoke...", "Highway...", "Into the fire", "Speed King", "Black Night", "Perfect Strangers" - these really drove the audience wild (as wild as Malaysians can be, I suppose). Oh yes, and one of my favourites "Bloodsucker". I'm glad almost all my favourites were there, except for "When a blind man cries". Others I would have liked to hear but I missed... "Hard loving man" and "Flight of the rat". Guess we'll never hear "Burn" or "Stormbringer" or "Soldier of Fortune" from Ian.

Last night was certainly one of my most memorable ever. Listening to Deep Purple all these years, except for brief periods between 1976-1984 when they were not DP, I have never been without the "In Rock" or "Machine head" in my sound system!

Long live Deep Purple. I hope I get to see them in action somewhere, sometime before they cease to be.


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