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German reviews 2002

Still my band...

This was my sixth DP concert. In june 1999 we were at the same venue, also DP and Dio playing. Back then there was water in front of the stage, but now there was floor so people could stand right up near the stage so that was cool. The venue is a very good place to do a live concert, it's all very open and there's a river behind the stage where boats float all the time :)

When we arrived, Dio was already playing. Pretty stupid, the ticked said 20.30 but as we arrived at about 20.00 Dio was already on stage. He did some great songs, I remember him playing Man On The Silver Mountain, Long Live Rock'n'Roll, Rainbow In The Dark, Heaven And Hell and some new tunes. His music was very enjoyable. We had to laugh a bit about the keyboardplayer though, he was walking around more than playing the keys.

During Dio's concert Don Airey was inspecting the place, and he passed by so I asked him to sign my _|_ CD. He was kind but didn't say much. It didn't matter. The rest of DP seemed to be elsewhere, I didn't see them at the side of the stage. So I didn't get their signatures, so now I have my _|_ album with the signature of only Don, who didn't even play on it. Better luck next time...

When the stage was ready for Deep Purple they came running on to the stage and started off with Fireball. The setlist was as follows (not very sure about the exact order of the songs:

Woman From Toyko
Ted The Mechanic
Mary Long
When A Blind Man Cries
The Well-Dressed Guitar
Space Truckin'
Perfect Strangers
Knocking At Your Back Door
Speed King
Smoke On The Water

Black Night
Highway Star

Let's talk about the new man first, Don Airey. He is good. Yes he is. As someone else mentioned before: he's got the vibe. He had some excellent solos. The solo he did in When A Blind Man Cries was absolutely fantastic. Very subtle and sensational. He put a lot of emotion in there. And also in Hush, he had also a great solo. But I missed Jon Lord during Speed King in the duel with Steve. Don was good, yes, he was great, but, I dunno, I just miss Jon. I just miss his presence. And also I have the feeling that the sound of Jon is a little more dynamic and rawer than Don´s. But of course, this is a usual reaction of a Deep Purple fan so I'll continue.

During Fireball we left our seats and rushed down, a little closer to the stage. We had a fine spot (I guess about 15 meters from the stage). When A Blind Man Cries was really good. Don was brilliant here and Paice was drumming perfectly. Also, I found that Well Dressed Guitar has developed into a great solid instrumental. And by the way, Gillan was in a good shape, he still hit all the high notes. But the most difficult notes for him to sing are the ones in the higher regions of his normal singing voice (he was struggling in KnockingAYBD).

During the first verse of Space Truckin' there was an enormous raincloud breaking up above the audience. Some kind of a 'tent' spanned over the stage and a small part of the audience. When the rain started we hesitated not a moment and rushed forward, until we were just under the tent in a dry spot. Everybody was wet, and surprised by the sudden rain, but everybody was jumping and singing along like crazy, and that's where the real party started! Big Ian said "You´re all crazy!" right after Space Truckin', because of the explosion of the crowd. We were on a good spot and dry for the rest of the show. The rest of the audience was soaked to the bone. During his solo before Lazy Don played a bit of Singing In The Rain. He also played the Star Wars tune. He-he, we had a good laugh.

Don Airey was all smiles and really seemed to be having a ball, but, it seemed at some points that the rest of the band was driving on routine. And that's not a cool thing. No surprising solos (well, Roger's bass solo was 'eavvy, really cool), and no guitar solo from Steve. Huh? What did I say? Yep, I guess that's right... there was no guitar solo. At least, I can't remember one. Speed King was short. No riff-raff before Smoke, but some short kind of Lazy-rhythm-like improvisation intro by the whole band.

All in all, it was a great concert again, but then I wasn't expecting anything new after having seen the setlists from the American tour. I'm the one who's been shouting the last two years for the band to make a new album first, then go touring and do some more new stuff. They played nothing from Abandon and only Ted from Purpendicular.

Deep Purple is still my band, even without Jon, but I truly hope they're going to stop touring soon and do a new album. However, I have my doubts about a new album ever being recorded... it's just a feeling I have.

I wish you people that go to the next DP gigs a lot of fun, and especially the people who are going to the concerts in England. Wow, how great it would be to see Jon one more time behind the Hammond.... Ah, well anyway I hope you liked this review, I'm going to get some sleep and Deep Purple - until next time.

Gerard Alberts (Netherlands)

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