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Gymnasium, Beijing, China
March 31, 2004

My first ever supergroup concert in Beijing! Had to wait 35 years but it was absolutely worth the wait...
Tickets sales in Beijing is always a nightmare, no information, nothing, but the Workers Gym was packed and the music warmed up the atmosphere going into a continuing crescendo until the climatic Smoke on the Water was played. In response to the excited crowd Deep Purple gave us Hush and two more pieces combined.
All in all, the group played beautifully, lots of energy and I still wonder how can Ian Gillan keep singing as he did in the early 70's ? You had to listen to believe! Thank you for taking me back to my early youth!
Every soloist was oustanding, the bass, guitar, drums and keyboards - all of them. Unfortunately I could not make sure who was who. I guess three are from the "original" line up (including Gillan). Is that correct? [Yes, Gillan (vocals), Glover (bass) and Paice (drums) were all in the original Mark 2 line-up, that recorded In Rock, Fireball, Machine Head, Who Do We Think We Are, Perfect Strangers, The House Of Blue Light and The Battle Rages On. Rasmus]
Victor Ochoa

Deep Purple awakens Beijing to the sonic pleasures of heavy metal
BEIJING (AFP) - British rockers Deep Purple brought their heavy metal act to Beijing, fascinating an uninitiated crowd with the sonic pleasures of gothic rock amped up to ear-crunching decibels.
Chinese officialdom has long frowned upon the rock-and-roll genre, fearful that electrified songs of protests and struggle could topple a political regime. But Deep Purple, led by 60-something Ian Gillian [sic], showed Wednesday they don't care a lick for politics, putting on a professional show of 1970s classic rock hits for an audience never before serenaded by the likes of "Highway Star" and "Space Truckin'."
"At first I thought it was too loud, but later I got used to it and I could see which guy was making what sound," Chen Lanfen, a beaming 19-year-old Beijing student, said after the show. "I never thought that such a few people could make so much noise."
A late replacement for the legendary Rolling Stones, who had booked the Worker's Gymnasium last April but cancelled because of the SARS outbreak, Deep Purple can now boast to being one of the first heavy metal bands, and the first pioneer of rock, to grace the stage in China.
The band at first appeared to have trouble getting the crowd into the music, but by the last numbers, notably the band's greatest hit "Smoke on the Water," most of the more than 5,000 concert-goers - mainly young Chinese or older expatriates - were on their feet.
A mid-concert solo by guitarist Steve Morse delighted the crowd with a sonic cascade of techno guitar, while keyboardist Don Airey won warm applause by amping up a well-known Chinese classical standard.
The show was opened by China's grandfather of rock, Cui Jian, who complained about not being allowed to perform his best-known songs of protest and struggle, being limited to five songs out of alleged concerns that he might incite the young crowd. Those fears allayed, Cui Jian has been told he can perform an extended repertoire when he opens for Deep Purple at concerts in Shanghai and Guangzhou, promoters said.


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