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North Shore Events Centre, Auckland, New Zealand
April 30, 2004

Silver Tongue
Woman From Tokyo
I Got Your Number
Strange Kind Of Woman
Knocking At Your Back Door
Contact Lost - Steve Morse solo
The Well Dressed Guitar
Don Airey's solo (incl Pokarekare Ana)
Perfect Strangers
Highway Star
When A Blind Man Cries
Space Truckin'
Smoke On The Water

Hit the road Jack (with impromptu road crew singing)
Sweet Dream Baby
It's Now Or Never
Black Night
Speed King

What a concert.
I have seen Deep Purple four times - first with Tommy Bolin, second the reunion, third with Jon Lord and now with Don Airey. I would have to say this was equal or better to the last one I saw in Melbourne in 2001. Everything seemed to work and Steve Morse has put his own stamp on some of the older songs - but they still rock.
Two hours of rock.
Don Airey put his mark on the concert too and came out of it well.
They still sound like they are enjoying it and the whole thing just rocks.
Robert Vowles

I saw Deep Purple perform in Auckland during the 1984 Perfect Strangers tour when there was a riot outside the gate, trouble inside the stadium and Blackmore refused to play Smoke On The Water. I remember coming away from that show a little empty and disappointed.
Not so 20 years on. A much smaller crowd in an indoor venue that really lived up to the up close an personal billing. It was a fantastic show. I read Steve Morse's comment that the Auckland show "...could have been one of our best ever" and I can't disagree.
The set list seemed to follow those of the Australian shows with a good mix of old and new. I was pleased to see Strange Kind Of Woman and Knocking At Your Back Door - two favorites of mine - included in the set. The Bananas songs came across great - much better than on disc I think.
Don't leave it so long coming back next time guys.
Mark Strachan

Outstanding concert.
Take back everything I said about Gillan not putting his voice on the line - he gave it heaps!
Steve Morse is just brilliant, even the organ was exceptional - though still not Jon Lord.
Higlights for me were definitely Morse's solo and Smoke On The Water, but the whole show was great.
Down points - the acoustics weren't that great where I was sitting - made the vocals indistinct - and I would have loved them to do Stormbringer or Burn, but I guess those aren't 'Gillan' songs. I was also disappointed they didn't do Walk On. But hey - can't have everything and this was a great concert.
Thanks for talking me into it (though it didn't take much persusasion) [My pleasure! Rasmus]
Dave Adams

Sitting front row was truly a surprise as I arrived for the evening and I had just seen them last week in Sydney too. Tonight's gig in my eyes has to be the best Purple concert I ever witnessed.
The tracks from Bananas were so amazing live even the audience were getting into it as well. Having Steve Morse finally being introduced to the NZ crowd was well recieved. His Well Dressed Guitar solo was freaking incredible. Don's keyboard solo was incredible too. Seeing him perform Waltzing Matilda in Sydney last week had me wondering what he was gonna play in his solo here in Auckland, and playing Pokarekare Ana was a suitable choice. I spoke to him about it backstage and he told me what a beautiful song it is. And to hear Star Wars in his solo was also a crowd pleaser.
Ian Paice played a longer drum solo than in Sydney last week on the 20th. He sure showed the audience that he can still kick butt. My mate caught one of his drumsticks too.
Roger's basswork was very solid too. My mate Bruce commented on how well balanced Rog's bass and Steve's guitar was the entire night. Very nice indeed.
And as for Mr Ian Gillan himself. He too was always in top form. He seemed really pleased to get a great reaction from the crowd.
During the encores Gillan got the manager on stage. Bruce Payne and a few other guys came up on stage and sang along to 'I love my dog, I love my cat, I love my little weasel.' That was a laugh.
And I was surprised that Speed King was being played. Last week on the 20th the gig ended with Black Night. So I considered that a treat for sure.
Thanks guys for such an extraordinary evening. Do come again soon.
Fabian J. Lelo

It has been 20 years since Deep Purple last played in New Zealand and after seeing them last Friday they may well be around for another tour in 20 years time. The only problem is that we fans may not be able to keep up with them.
I have read the tour reviews after each show for some time now, and the problem I had before the concert was that reading all these reviews, I wondered whether the show would not measure up to my expectations. I had nothing to worry about! Two hours and 15 minutes and including three encores. All the superlatives previously said and more! For those 2:15 hours I was in my happy place.
Steve Morse said of the concert on his website that it could well be the finest they have played.
To Ian, Ian, Roger, Steve and Don; a big thank you for coming Down Under and providing us with a superb concert.
There were some extremely happy and contented kiwis wandering around Auckland last Friday night, including myself
Once again, a big thank you.
BTW, my Indian taxi driver wasn't too impressed with my impersonation of an Ian Gillan scream. He reckoned I was having an adverse effect on him and, as a result, I had to walk the last two kilometers home. Some people just don’t understand the finer points of life.
Phil Walker

What a terrific night.
Great crowd. Great lights. Aband on fire.
Guest vocals by the manager and a few others from the crew. A setlist that seemed to go on forever and several thousand happy Purple-Punters.
Don's 'local' tribute during the keys solo was amusing.
Highlight of the night was the Bananas title track. Some fine prog moments there.
I still can't believe I managed to score tix to see the lads on the last night of the tour in my home town. A great thrill.
Paul Rogers

Ending this section of their Bananas Tour Down Under in Auckland, New Zealand, The Magnificent Five had the fans young and old applauding, cheering and at times left with jaws stuck to the floor at the quality of their musicianship.
My journey to the concert started at 5am with a train trip, followed by a bus trip to the airport and then a drive for 600 kilometres in a hired car after the airport was closed due to fog. There was no way I was going to miss my event of the year.
The crowd was treated to four encores of Hush, Hit the Road Jack, Black Night and Speed King, even the road crew got hauled out by the silver tongued Ian Gillan during one of the encores for a sing-a-long.
The concert was fantastic, right from the opening number of Silver Tongue through to Speed King the crowd was singing and rocking with the band. Ian Gillan - as it appears he has been on each and every night of the tour - was in wonderful voice and had the crowd in his control as one would expect from a front man of his ability.
Steve Morse was fantastic to see live as opposed to on a DVD, and I was seated right in the front row in front of him, a wonderful experience. His solo spot of Contact Lost and Well Dressed Guitar at times had the crowd reduced to silence as they watched a wonderful talent. I know from those I talked to after the show, he certainly gained many new fans, especially fathers and sons who left the concert smiling and saying "See son, I told you they were good."
Roger Glover was solid, smiling, and fault-less. Ian Paice was simply himself, BRILLIANT. Don Airey as he appears to have done in all countries he has toured through threw in a locally known tune in his solo spot to really win the home town fans over. I really enjoyed his keyboard work throughout the evening.
It was an experience this 42-year-old Kiwi fan will not forget.
I will be checking this site every day as I have for many years looking out for their return Down Under in the next couple of years.
The long drive back throughout the night with a three-hour sleep in the car at the back of a petrol station was done re-singing every song from the evening. Thanks guys for a memory I will hold forever. Please come back to New Zealand soon.
Alan Patterson

20 years ago Deep Purple paid their last visit to these shaky isles and a riot ensued as Auckland at the Western Springs when 40,000 people were whipped into a frenzy.
These days, through lack of touring and air play, Deep Purple seemed to have dropped off the music radar. To be honest, I never thought I'd see DP play here. I quietly expected them to cancel as the day drew nearer. But the promoters were quite smart. Heavy advertising on the local classic rock station - Radio Hauraki and reasonably priced tickets (compared to our Australian neighbours) - $85 NZD which works out at $50 US meant that this was a concert that was always going to sell well.
Reports coming in from Christchurch the previous Wednesday said that this was quite a show. The North Shore Events Centre is a basketball venue which holds 3000-4000 (seated- bah humbug) people. Having seem these guys in Brixton, London some 10 years earlier I knew that so much relied on getting the sound just right. Somehow seeing them play in a basketball venue just didn't seem right, they should erect venues for these guys to play! How wrong I was.
One thing that immediately strikes you when you go to a DP concert is it's a Market Researcher's nightmare. Kids of younger than 10 through to 65-70 year olds, students, bikers, middle class professionals like myself. I was introduced by my father to Purple and by the look of things I certainly wasn't alone. How do you market to that? And the place was buzzing - don't forget Auckland has been waiting 20 years for these guys to come back and my god, you could feel it.
The set list didn't budge one iota from previous shows, but there was a very disturbing moment when Ian invited Bruce Payne and the rest of the crew on for a last night sing along. Something about "He's got a small diddle, and likes to widdle." The phrase probably sums up the night; humour, fun and a very good night out.
Is it just me or does it look like the band can't get those smiles off there faces? Don Airey wore the stupidest hat I had ever seen and performed a nice little slap dance during Black Night. They should have warned you about the NZ beer, Don!
The show was incredible - and some real highlights: Speed King was of legend status - heaps of improvisation - fast and slick. Bananas - I thought that was good on the CD but live.... holy cow Batman! Somehow it got better. Excellent work from Steve and Don. Perfect Strangers - Hard, very hard and magnificent. Well dressed Guitar - Steve in total command, fingers getting a full-on aerobic exercise for four minutes. The Roger Glover/Ian Paice jammathon - I've often thought that Roger needs his own spot. He was just awesome. Gillan's voice - better than Brixton - ten years ago.
For the non-Kiwis out there, the Don Airey solo was the old America's Cup theme - Sailing Away - (yes, I know that's not its real name but...).
I took six people with me to the show. On the way back home we stopped off in a pub for a beer to talk about the concert and wind down - but the local band started up and we lasted just one song. That summed it all up for me. We had probably seen the musically best band live that we would ever see, so nothing could be compared to that.
Dave Kirk-Jones


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