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Koseinenkin Hall, Osaka, Japan
17 March, 2004

1. Silver Tongue
2. Woman From Tokyo
3. I Got Your Number
4. Strange Kind Of Woman
5. Bananas
6. Knocking At Your Back Door
7. Contact Lost
8. Steve Morse guitar solo
9. Well-Dressed Guitar
10. Don Airey keybord solo (organ - Rokko Oroshi - super man) - Perfect Strangers
11. Highway Star
12. Doing It Tonight
13. Pictures Of Home
14. Don Airey solo - Lazy
15. When A Blind Man Cries
16. Space Truckin' (including Ian Paice mini drum solo)
17. Smoke On The Water

18. Hush
19. Ian Gillan sing a long - Black Night

The sound was very loud, louder than the Judas Priest concert last year. The hall was full right up to the third floor (upper balcony), which goes to show how popular DP are here.
We were all anxious to see/hear how the new member, Don Airey, fared in this line-up. Well, he's a technically superb player and blew our worries away immediately. On the recent titles of which he was part of the original recording, you can hear the same sound as on the CD, and on the older tracks, his phrasing was very faithful to the original, as if to pay respect to Jon Lord.
Of course Don is a keyboard player of his own right and style, so you get different flavours and techniques from Jon. The synthesizer intro on Knocking At Your Back Door, for exmaple, or the intro to Perfect Strangers featured different sounds and feels - obviously played by another keyboard player on different equipment. While Jon used to produce billowing sounds that were pushed upwards and outwards from the deep bottom, Don's sound is more in a straight line, so to speak.
In his solo he included various classical quotes, as well as Rokko Oroshi (theme song for the local baseball team, Hanshin Tigers) to keep the audience entertained and get them rocking. His key technique are absolutely superb, he played very complex phrases with such an ease. Don Airey is the perfect replacement for Jon Lord. Incidentally the intro to Strange Kind of Woman, was played on keyboard rather than on guitar this time.
Ian Gillan seems to regain more and more of his high range as he gets older, his voice was much better this time than last time, and the last time vetter than the time before, etc. It's so good to hear him in such good shape. He certainly is a lot better now than on the Perfect Strangers tour right after the reunion.
The only thing I missed this time was that there was no drum solo from Ian Paice. On the last tour he played a mini solo during Speed King, which was not on tonight's setlist. I've read him say somewhere that long drum solos are unnecessary these days, but I personally would like to hear at least 15 minutes of it.
The show started around 7:15 and lasted about two hours, but it felt so short.
I'd love to go and see all the other dates too, but I can't. So I just hope they'll come back to Japan very soon.
Yasushi Morita

First of all I must tell you what a fantastic concert it was tonight. And I must thank our Deep Purple for never ceasing to give us such energetic performance.
I got to the venue long time before the doors opened, so I was near the front of the queue when they let us all in, and I could buy the Ian Paice drumsticks (signed by himself, limited to 10 pairs) for 5000 yen! I'll treasure them forever!
I was very lucky to experience this show in the sixth row on Steve Morse's side. Paice, Airey, Glover, Gillan - they were all in the best shapes! Gillan's voice has a much wider range this time than the last time I saw them on the Purpendicular tour.
The first few songs, however, were not mixed very well. But the whole show was just amazing, especially Steve! I play guitar myself, but of course nothing like he can. He didn't pick a single wrong note in two hours. I know there are people who are still stuck with Ritchie worship, but I think Steve is the guitarist for Deep Purple.
The best thing was to watch the members looking so happy and enjoying themselves.

Toru Saegusa

A fantastic evening!
Such a wonderful atmosphere, with the entire audience standing up (except for the front two rows - weird, but it gave me a great view, as I was in the third row!), even on the upper balcony, all the way through the show. Lots of bouncing heads around me, and the big chorus in SOTW was louder than I've ever heard in Japan.
Don's local melody went down a storm too. IG said afterwards he'd never seen that - the entire hall clapping and throwing their fists into air - in Japan, and he was very touched and awed.
They had left the orchestra pit empty, so there was quite a big distance between the stage and the front row seat, but during Doing It Tonight I saw Steve and IG briefly confering, with Steve pointing to the front of the stage, and soon after that IG jumped offstage to go and shake hands with fans standing at the front, while the band continued playing the instrunmental part of the song.
All in all it was one of those great DP evenings where the audience and the band feed off each other and create a huge energy, and such a wonderful start to a new tour.
The setlist was basically the same as on the US tour, except for Never Before and Maybe I'm a Leo being dropped from the main set and replaced with Doing It Tonight (which I personally had never heard live before, and it sounded great - many people were dancing to it, so was I).
The encore was Hush followed by Black Night.
For me it didn't feel that loud - it certainly wasn't as loud as the last shows I saw in New York a couple of weeks ago - but while leaving the hall after the show, I heard several people say "God, that was loud" or "I still can't hear properly."
Akiko Hada

When Jon Lord left the band, it was a bigger shock to me than when Ritchie left. I myself play keyboards in a band, and I used to copy a lot of Jon's style and technique. His solo albums, Pictured Within and Before I Forget are also my big favourites. When I heard my master left Deep Purple and Don Airey was replacing him, my first thoughts were "well, I suppose he's the best solution." Don is also one of my favourite keyboard players, so I was more anxious than usual this time. As I nervously sat in my seat, the lights went out and the members came onstage.
The opening number was Silver Tongue. And how loud it was! The setlist was a mixture of old and new material, played alternately. OK, now the most important thing for me: Don's performance. He paid a lot of respect to Jon and kept to the latter's style as much as possible, while dazzling us with his own colours in his solos and on new numbers. His flamboyant solos totally captured me. And the organ solo in Highway Star was the studio version! It was very refreshing to hear it played that way again.
My personal impression of Gillan's singing was that, compared to the last Osaka show in 2000, he was having a little more problem with his voice. However, his shouting was in full strength, and his comical (I think) stage act was great fun to watch. I'm very happy to have heard the famous "I thaaaaaannnnk yooooouuu" live at last. Gillan's is the voice of Deep Purple!
Steve's guitar performance on two numbers in the middle of the show - Contact Lost and Well-Dressed Guitar, with guitar solo inbetween - was fantastic. I'd always wanted to hear Well-Dressed Guitar live, ever since I heard it on the live album from the 2001 Tokyo orchestra show, and I'm very happy that my dream has now come true.
I was disappointed that Haunted from the new album was not included in the set list, but was very glad they did Doing It Tonight. I thought that had fallen off the setlist ages ago. The second half of the main set, as well as the encore, was a barrage of classics from the Mark 2 era, and I was absolutely thrilled non-stop.
And Glover and Paice: the rhythm section, in a way, is a more important fixture of Deep Purple sound. Should they decide to leave the band, I would imagine it would cause the band more problems than Ritchie or Jon leaving. (I know Roger has, once, left.)
Arashi Ihara


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