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Really spectacular – Amsterdam

Yesterday I went to my first Deep Purple concert since the Concerto Tour in 2000. I was willing to see them again, just because I really admire the new album Rapture of the Deep, but also because I wanted to see them play in the Heineken Music Hall.

Everything was very, very good. The atmosphere, the opening act (really don’t know who they were, but they took their stand as warmup for Deep Purple, singing Iahan Gillàààn repeatedly. Funny guys from the south of the Netherlands) and of course Deep Purple. And it was loud! Very very loud. (one time it hurted my ears…)

The show opened on the two video screens left and right of the stage. Very nice feature, these screens. Just before the band came upon the stage there was a short film of a big trunk being opened by one of the roadies. The 5 guys we all came to see came out of the trunk and walked towards the stage door.

Then the show kicked of with Pictures from home, with the well known, brilliant Drum intro from Ian Paice. Very nice show opener, will probably remain the opener for this tour. It made everybody move, jump, swing, clap … have fun.

They went straight on with Thing I never said, what a great Rock and Roll song, I feel a bit pissed that it is not on my special edition, metal case cd… 🙁 Very very good song, played at full volume …)

The whole show followed more or less the same setlist as the other shows. Back to Back was left out, and unfortunately we didn’t get to hear Speed King, but Mary Long and Hush were a real treat ! Absolutely fabulous.

Wrong man still appeared to be difficult for Ian Gillan. He started with the lyrics of the second verse, instead of “I wasn’t in the room when the action was going down … ” He still was paging through his textbook and yet made the mistake. Is he nervous? As the show moved on, he didn’t need the book anymore, and the performance of the new songs got better and better (if any improvement was still possible, because it was first class already)

Living wreck, complete with the fresh style of timing by Ian which I like very much, was real treat. It is nice to hear an old song being performed live in such a strong way. (did I already say it was loud?)

All the other songs were performed with splendid musicality, the titelsong from Rapture of the deep is not my personal favorite, but live it was taken to the level of Perfect Strangers. It is much better than on the album, in fact all the new songs have a much more energetic feeling ion their live versions. (This show calls for a live album gentlemen!)

Before Time began was also very nice and then Ian Gillan told the roaring crowd that we were left in the capable hands of Steve Morse. He played a beautiful version of Contact Lost driving up to The Well Dressed Guitar. Specially for these solo parts the video screens were superb, also because the camera work was done very well. Really like it!!

The Morse solo was highly appreceated by the crowd. At the end I jumped out of my chair to applaud as loud as I could. (Just like many others!) It took us to “Lazy”, one of my favourites. Execellent, brilliant, need I say more? … Loud maybe? (this is the song in which one chord of Steve really made me grab for my right ear, it hurted like hell for half a second…)

And then, the Keyboard Solo. Don really took over from Jon Lord in a very pleasant way. He’s got his own style and being a real Jon Lord fan I’m reluctant to say that I think Don Airey is more all-round. He was playing syths, moog, piano, hammond and another keyboard. WOW WOW WOW!!! He kicked off with a Lord-like classical piece of Beethoven, moved on, performed the Star Wars theme beautifully and even incorporated “Tulips from Amterdam” very funny sing-along song from the early fifties. It raised a big laugh by the audience. The solo could have gone on and on for ever, but took us to Perfect Strangers.

Yeah Perfect Strangers, it made full use of the wonderfull lighting kit. Sometimes so bright you could hardly look towards stage. Really spectacular !!!!!

Junkyard blues was introduced as a “true story” about an era where Ian had no money and had to sleep in an old car.
Excellent live song.

Then came another surprise, Hush !! To me, this line up, with Don behind the keys, has given the best performance of that song I have ever heard. I did like the Kula Shaker version, but now we know how we really got to know it…
Good chance for a chart single, a live single?

Then we were leaving the rock ‘n roll highway to go “up there” and Ian pointed to the ceiling… SPACE TRUCKING! It’s been a while since I heard that one live… wow… at that time I was hoping the evening would never end…

It was Machine Head time… we were also treated on Highway Star and of course, again with a roar from the crowd, Smoke on the Water. I think everything there is to say about these songs had already been said in the last 30-something years… I will remember the bass-solo and the drum solo forever. (What a beautiful Bass Guitar Roger. Very vintage, great sound.)

The fab five left the stage briefly, to return for the encores, Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye and Black Night. The latter being turned int o a real sing-along by Steve Morse.

All the band members appeared to have a great time. And so did we.

The sound quality in the Heineken Music Hall is indeed splendid. No reflections from walls or ceiling, just music coming from stage. For the first time I could really identify every instrument. Specially the Bass made a great impression. (Hopefully my ear will recover, maybe it just needed some training… )

Thank you guys, keep on Rocking!!!

Robert Daems

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