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The Purple spirit

This was my third Deep Purple concert, and the third show they ever played in St. Petersburg. When I was going to the show, I knew that Don Airey would be there instead of Jon Lord. My expectations were far from good. I expected to see a tired band without sparks in their eyes. First of all because their last album was released four years ago and these four years they have played 'greatest hits' stuff in general. And the second is that Jon, one of Deep Purple's founders left the band, and the Purple spirit left the band with him. But I was wrong.

This gig was excellent. It is hard to believe, but the band without both Blackmore and Lord still can be called Deep Purple, because there certainly was a lot of Purple spirit in the music they played.

Here is the set list:

Woman From Tokyo
Ted The Mechanic
Mary Long ("Dedicated to two people, they are in heaven now")
Lazy (with long intro by Don Airey)
!!!CHILD IN TIME!!! ("A song written in Bible times")
The Aviator ("Steve flies planes")
No One Came
Well-dressed Guitar ("Well-Dressed Security Guys")
Perfect Strangers
When A Blind Man Cries
Smoke On The Water
Speed King ("A little ballad")


Hush ("Recorded 100 years ago")
Black Night
Highway Star

This time Purple played at the new venue New Arena, or Ice Palace. It was built in 2000 just for the Ice Hockey World Cup. This is a big modern arena with large capacity, a great sound system and three big screens just below the roof, where everyone can see what's happening on stage. The place was full and as Russian nayword tells - "people stood upon their ears" (went crazy).

The sun was shining all day long, which isn't typical for St. Petersburg in March, and Ian told us that their mood was also sunny. This show was full of great improvisation parts and I was surprised by a long bass solo (I think it was more than a minute), and a long drum solo with a one-handed drumroll. But the most fantastic part was a piece of Don Airey's solo. He played the theme from a song that is an unofficial anthem of St. Petersburg. It translates like "Native City On Neva River" (or something like that). And he also played "Kalinka".

Gillan took Paicey's drum stick and started conducting. There was a lot of that kind of jokes on stage. The band was really happy. And also Ian's voice was OK this night, he even dared to sing Child In Time.

And here is my 'open letter' to the band:

I have been a fan of Deep Purple for a long time and the main thing that I would like to wish is to be more creative in the nearest future. Don't just play 90% 'greatest hits', but record a new studio album and play half of it on tour - like you did before. Deep Purple are great musicians and I believe that their new songs will be great also. We will support any stuff they record and real Purple fans will get more pleasure from new material than from Smoke On The Water played at every show for 30 years. I hope that Don Airey will ignite a new spark in the band, just like Steve Morse did in 1994. It is time to move forward.

Good Luck!

Konstantin Gorlov

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