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An enjoyable Night — Well-Seasoned Band which is alive and kicking – Review in Burrn Magazine

Deep Purple played at the Budokan again, for the first time since their 2014 Japan tour. This is their second visit to Japan after their latest album, “Now what?” was released With the current line-up, DP does not necessarily tour when they have a new album, rather, they tour regularly regardless. It just means that in their set list of new + old song combinations, the new songs are still from “Now what?” It’s hard to tell to what extent the Japanese audience wants to hear new songs, but it seems quite clear that the band is being motivated by the new songs.

As in the previous tour, Holst’s “Mars” was the opening sound effect. DP appeared on stage with this dramatic tune, and the first song they played was Highway Star. The crowd goes wild. In the previous tour, DP chose “Apres Vous” from “Now What?” as their first song, but with the Ian Gillan line-up, Highway Star is definitely the best opening tune. Apparently they started playing Highway Star as their first song from the middle of the European tour late last year.

In this show, the band used three large screens on stage — center, left and right — to produce the show. The screens show the members’ real-time performance as well as images. I was quite happy that we were able to see Don Airey’s performance from right by his side, his fingerwork up close. As he plays facing the audience, this is an angle you cannot see. It was a nice treat. For me, personally, this was the best part of this show, watching Don playing up close.

The second song was Bloodsucker from “In Rock”. This song became part of their on-stage repertoire from late last year, but was not played so much in the past. In Japan, they played it for the first time on day 2 of their show in 2000 at the International Forum. They slipped in Bloodsucker where they played Into the Fire on the first day. Starting with Highway Star, and bringing in Bloodsucker next — a great song which they did not play so often in the past — really enhanced the value of the show.

The third song was Hard Lovin’ Man, the fourth was Strange Kind of Woman, same order as the last tour. After which Ian Gillan speaks for the first time. In other Japan locations, DP played Woman from Tokyo, but here they moved on to Vincent Price. Then Contact Lost, Uncommon Man, The Well-dressed Guitar, The Mule… all same order as the last tour. Then Lazy, which brings on much handclapping from the audience. Ian Gillan plays the harmonica as usual, and this is really cool. Without Ritchie Blackmore and Jon Lord, Ian Gillan carries the band’s “legendary” aspect. When Ian does not shine, the show does not succeed. Today Ian had a great voice, so who could complain (although he dressed very casually….). We could all relax and enjoy the show.

The next song is Demon’s Eye. This was also added to the set list from late last year. In the Japanese and US versions of “Fireball,” this song was replaced by Strange Kind of Woman, so Demon’s Eye was rarely played on stage. When I heard DP’s groovy performance of Demon’s Eye, I understood for the first time why Yngwie Malmsteen liked this song so much. The light touch of the next song, Hell to Pay, added a special effect to the show. The good thing about the current line-up is that they can play these “pop” type of songs, and it was very impressive how the three players in the front of the stage really seemed to be enjoying themselves.

Next comes Don’s solo — one of the highlights of the show. Don’s solo is full of enjoyable moments, and not a second to be bored. He is always service-oriented and includes local tunes in his solo. This time, he played parts from “Sakura”, a popular song by a Japanese band called Ikimonogakari. The audience was thrilled.


This was followed by the powerful performance of Perfect Strangers, Space Truckin’ and Smoke on the Water. The crowed is very satisfied by the performance of one well-known song after another. The band left the stage but came back after only a short break. As in the previous tour, they played Green Onions a little bit, and went right into Hush. The chase between Don and Steve seems to continue forever, intensifying the convivial atmosphere of the song. This is followed by Roger Glover’s simple solo, leading to the last song. Starting with Highway Star and ending with Black Night. This is Deep Purple!!

Deep Purple’s performance as a live band was highly satisfactory. It was a great show. Ian Gillan’s vocals were shining, and above all, the solidarity of the band was amazing. The band is a legend, and the show had many high points. What is important is that the new songs from “Now What?” are quite hot on stage. They are not in the set list just to make sure that something new is included. The new songs play an important part in the show. I am very happy that such a well-seasoned band is still very much alive and kicking.

Incidentally, DP apparently started recording their next album in Nashville in the end of January. Bob Ezrin will be producing this album again. It is not yet complete. As DP will start their European tour after the Japanese tour, I suspect it will be a while before the new album is released.

with thanks to Akemi Ono for the information and the translation

12 Comments to “An enjoyable Night — Well-Seasoned Band which is alive and kicking – Review in Burrn Magazine”:

  1. 1
    kraatzy says:

    ups … what a sleepy report ….


  2. 2
    Dave Hodgkinson says:

    Comin’ home. Was mr Udo there?!

  3. 3
    Tracy(Zero the Hero)Heyder says:

    Lovely review and thanks for taking the time to put all together so clearly, cleverly and vividly. Looks like a lot of Same old Same old with a dash of past Same old. Don’t get me wrong, I am not throwing any bombs here. As Same old as the tours have become, they still bring it and somehow it all comes across as fresh and new. That is the beauty of this band. I have yet to walk out after a Deep Purple show (and I have been to quite a few) without a smile on my face. When you witness these shows live, I dare any of the typical Neg-ville booers here to go and be disappointed. One thing I have found here is that most of the unhappy Purple campers haven’t even been to a Live show. They view some footage from YOUTUBE and then become professional critics. Well this lifetime fan can’t wait to see these guys again, even with the Same old Same old tunes. Would a completely different set be great to see and hear? Absolutely! I have a list of songs I would love to hear Live. So does everybody else. Hell, even the band members themselves probably have their own list. Well I am tickled Purple that I still am able to see these guys play after all these years and even get a new album in the near future.

    PLEASE, if you have NOT been to a Purple concert over the past 10 years, STOP POSTING NEGATIVE CRAP THAT YOU HAVE NO CLUE ABOUT. Go to a show and earn that remark you post.

    On that note, if Purple comes to a town near you…. GO! I guarantee you will withdraw from that negative side and move into the positive zone. 😉


  4. 4
    nupsi59 says:

    Great review, thanks!

    No surprise for the setlist, a best-of of well known songs.

    The encores are getting boring. Don’t get me wrong: The combination of “Green Onions” + “Hush” is great and “Black Night” always rocks!

    What about “Cascades” or “Loosen my Strings” from “Purpendicular”?

    I hope for some setlist changes in the future.

    Have a nice Day!

  5. 5
    Adel says:

    Cold Turkey!!!!!

  6. 6
    DeeperPurps says:

    Tracy @3…Well said! There is a lot of negativity here on these boards and it is not necessary. That the band is still performing live, and playing well, whatever the song choice, is a gift. It’s their music and its up to the Purps to choose what they want to play.

    For those of you who have any doubts, make the effort to go to one of their shows and watch them play. Unless you deliberately walk in there with a critical attitude and looking for fault, then I assume that you the concert-goer will come out after with a smile on your face.

  7. 7
    Russell says:

    It’s hard to believe the Perpendicular and Abandon albums never get played much anymore, great albums. I could watch a Steve Morse era concert and then have a few mark 2 encores.

  8. 8
    Ivica says:

    Back in the U.S.S.R.

  9. 9
    Rajaseudun Rampe says:

    As some of us above say, it would be most reasonable to play something from Purpendicular, which (IMHO) is THE milestone Morese-era DP album. Loosen my Strings, Somebody Stole My Guitar, Cascades, Purp Waltz, Soon Forgotten, Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming, there is a whole bunch to choose from.

  10. 10
    Paulo Glover says:

    @Russell (7) I agree. That is a big problem with those bands with 30+ years of history (DP is almost 50). I would enjoy a Rush concert with only half dozen songs. 2112, Hemispheres and a few others 🙂

  11. 11
    Graham Cooke says:

    Tracy @ 3. Excellent comment. I’ve been a regular Purple concert goer since the 1970’s and have seen Blackmore, Bolin and now Morse in the lineup. One thing that I have noticed since the Morse years has been the sense of fun that the band have on stage. I loved Jon Lord but Don Airey has been an amazing addition to the band. You can’t replace a Blackmore or a Lord but you can add a Morse and an Airey. The 2013 British tour opener at Manchester was amazing. My son and I were down at the very front right in front of Steve and we witnessed tremendous musicianship, camaraderie and enjoyment on stage and that spilled over into the audience. The new songs add immensely to the set yet the old ones never feel laboured. Thank goodness that the band that I learned to love 44 years and more ago are still alive and playing with such verve. Long live Purple (and, yes, I have tickets for my son and me at the Rainbow gig in Birmingham). Looking forward to the new album and another tour.
    On songs that I’d love to hear live, can I add the remarkable “Clearly quite absurd” from “Rapture”.

  12. 12
    MatsB says:

    As a couple of previous comments have suggested, stuff from Purpendicular is sadly missed. Personally I rate that album as one of their very best. (btw, I did start listening to the band in 1971 so I am not unaware of the MKII legacy;-)

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