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Reviews, Europe 2003

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Pavelló Olímpic Vall d'Hebron, Barcelona
October 22, 2003

Highway Star
Woman From Tokyo
Silver Tongue
Strange Kind of Woman
House of Pain
Contact Lost
Steve Morse Bridge
Space Truckin'
I've Got Your Number
Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming
Well Dressed Guitar
Don Airey's Solo
Perfect Strangers
Smoke on the Water.

Black Night

To be honest, Deep Purple had a hard stand this night. They had to compete with Christina Aguilera, who was "stripping" through Palau San Jordi. With the result that the latter was filled by half (6500), and our guys filled the venue, Pabelló Olympic Vall d'Hebron, completely.
The opener, Lilith, was as far as I understood a local one. Letting gender equality rule in Hard Rock we saw two girls and guys. Lilith played exactly half an hour, and they filled their role quite ok.
As the break took another half an hour the place filled the crowd went already hot. Not only because doors closed (finally!), but also due to the good rock programme coming from CD filling the break. Oh, an the air was filled, by a whole lot of "flowerpots", very poke-ish!!! Any EU officer would have rejoiced...
Everybody went nuts right from the first tunes of HS, and yes, how it rocked! There surely is no better rocking opener! Followed up by WofT, it marked all a brilliant start, and the crowd went on being absolutely wild. Coming to the audience, apart from the herbal fragrance, it's so great to see them at all ages, equipped with all kinds of Band-Shirts rocking on the seated places, waving down from the balustrades, just all those great vibes IG uses to appreciate. Silver tongue as the first of the Bananas songs, was well received. Topping the mood after WofT would have been impossible, to be honest and the new songs aren't that familiar so far. Then came SKOW (IG: "This is the story of one of my first girlfriends..."), how great to hear that live again! Although I don't like the end they played, in the sense that to me this song came a bit short. Unfortunately it's no MIJ-alike version. At this point I want to say that in SKOW as through the whole concert I missed a lot the musical clowneries between IG or DA and SM, respectively. Such always has been a big winner of DP, I don't understand why those "duels" are so rare now.
HoP from Banana came up and was cheered a bit more than Silver Tongue. Afther that, IG sat down to calm a bit and explained the sad inspiration for Contact Lost, and they played it merging it together with Haunted. Very good move, and making it an exretemly emotional part of the show. To me it's for those moments why I consider SM a true plus for the band. I know it's a matter of individual taste, but I like that one. It fitted to play Space Trucking then, and it's nice to have it back after 5 years.
IGYN followed, which I was very eager to see it played live and I like this version absolutely. Especially for the voicing in the low part and its rock turnover. Excellent! SFILS and the Wild dressed Guitar were the two songs played from Mark VII, and the latter went better than I expected.
Time went fast, but they also played the songs without big pauses. IG was stating that, and I suppose it was for being the first gig in Europe on this tour. They let themselves lead by the incredible crowd, who just couldn't get enough. The five on the stage had visibly a lot of fun, IG blamed it to the Guinness they took before the show. Later he told us greetings from Tony Iommy, who called him that morning saying that they had always great times in Barcelona.
Don Airey started his solo with the whole audience singing the Mozart's "Alla turca" when he played it. Don definetely is "in", setting his own marks, and he played a very impressive solo. Perf.Str. came on, Steves Solo and SOTW, with was the last one before the encores.
Hush, what a great song, greatly plaed, as young as ever. IP had his little solo part in it. Intresting to note he played it in that one, being the only one present who recorded it with DP. BN was introduced by a bass solo of RG, and SM was conducting the singing crowd in the mid part.
As they played much of the show so quickly (not the songs themselves...), the whole took 'only' 1:45h, and to me it appeared a bit short. Such impression is of course due to the fact that it's been yet another tremendous concert of Deep Purple. Very good, very impressive, Hard Rock played at its best.
One thing I'd like to critizise, is that for the first time an official T-shirt has reached the price as the concert ticket itself. In countries like Spain it's especially bad, but also in general, 25 Euro for the cheapest T-Shirt is just too much!
Christian M. Siegler

Nice first show of the tour with two changes on the set list: Strange kind of woman (presented by Gillan as "this song is about my first girlfriend") and Sometimes I feel like Screaming ("written in Spain"). The voice of Ian was superb, absolutely superb, in my opinion much better than the past time I see him live in 2000. Roger as always with his smile and very good performance as Ian Paice (two small solos, the first in Strange kind of woman and the second in Hush).
Steve did an amazing work on his solo without famous riffs of other big bands, the technique of Steve is incredible as it showed too in The well dressed guitar but he commited one big error starting Strange kind of woman. Don's solo included the Star Wars theme, it's very nice to see him with his funny hat in the last song, his improvised parts in Woman from Tokyo, Hush, Strange kind of woman and many others was fantastic.
The Banana's songs played were one of the best points, especially Silver tongue and House of pain (with an harmonic intro similar to the Purpendicular waltz one).
Thank you for this amazing show (and the signatures on the ticket), I'm waitting to see you the next time. I thank yoooouuuuu !!!
Misael Núñez


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