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Satisfying – Helsinki

I saw Deep Purple live in Helsinki on the 1st of February… The concert venue was the icehall of Helsinki. The place was full. There were only like twenty free spots in the hall. I don’t know the exact size of the audience, but I think there were about 7.000 people.

The warmup band Crazy World played about thirty minutes. They were ok, but nothing special. They played few of their own numbers and a cover of Led Zeppelin’s Immigrant Song…
Purple’s set lasted a little over two hours. The last time I saw them live was in Tuuri in Miljoona Rock outdoor festival and they played only about 1 hour and 35 minutes. It was a pretty big show and it attracted over 10.000 people. (It wasn’t an actual “festival”. It was mainly a Purple gig with some Finnish warmup artists)

Anyway, back to the actual show. There were two big video screens in the both sides of the stage, though I couldn’t see them too well because I was standing just in front of the stage (actually I was just in front of Morse’s pedals and Engl amps). Suddenly all the lights were off and we were all standing there in the dark.

Then we saw the Purple members on the video screens making their way to the stage and then, bum! All the Purple guys were on the stage. They started the show with a powerful version Pictures of Home, RG doing his classic bass solo. They were in very tight shape, and the show was just great musicianship from sart to finish. All the members had many great solo spots and IG’s voice was great (all the screams were there and he was very energetic). Morse was particulary awesome.

The show continued with Things I Never Said, a bonus track from the Japanese version of ROTD. It was the only song that I hadn’t heard before. I think it worked very well live, as did Wrong Man from ROTD and Ted the Mechanic from Purpendicular. It’s great that they have taken Ted the Mechanic back to their set. A shame that they didn’t play Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming from Purpendicular though. They played it on their first few European ROTD shows, but decided to drop it from the set. Don’t know why. Imo it’s one of the greatest Morse-era songs.

After Ted they surprised us with a great version of In Rock classic Living Wreck. If I’m not completely wrong, this tour is the firts time that the track has been played live by any lineup of the band. Great guitar work from Morse.

Then two new ROTD numbers, the title track of the album and Before Time Began (one of the best Morse-era songs imo), both worked well live. Mary Long from the underrated Who Do We Think We Are album was also very nice… Then it was time for Morse’s big solo spot: Contact Lost and The Well Dressed Guitar plus some improvisations. It was just unbelievable to be standing there right in front of one of the best rock guitarists in the world. It was one of the show hilights for me. It got mighty applauses from the audience (including me). The applauses of the audience weren’t even faded yet when they kicked off Lazy.

After that it was time for Don’s solo (based on Jean Sibelius’ Finlandia… mighty applauses again) which lead into an amazing version of Perfect Strangers. Junkyard Blues from ROTD. Kiss Tommorow Goodbye with a unbelievably loud drum intro from Paice. The song was one of the best working live songs from ROTD imo.

Space Truckin’ continued with Paice’s loud drum work. Highway Star had an extra long intro. It was one the best performace’s of the night. The video screens were showing cool zooms of Airey and Morse doing their solos. I didn’t see them (the screens) very well though… Smoke was Smoke… Audience went bananas. Everybody were singing along loudly. After Smoke they left the stage quickly and IG wished us all good night.

The audience was actually shouting for more even before all the Purple members had left the stage, and the encores followed quickly… Speed King was very powerful and had great solo spots from every member, including the organ-guitar duel and Paice’s drum solo. The last song of the night was Black Night with a long intro and the audience singing along… Then it was over.

I had a great feeling. It was clearly the best gig I have ever witnessed. I was very tired because I had been jumping and shouting for over two hours… Still, it was a very satisfying experience… The sound quality was good and well balanced, though IG’s voice was a bit unclear (probably because I was standing so close the stage and in front of Morse’s amps).

If they will visit Finland again in the future, I’m definitely going to see them. They were in so good shape that I wouldn’t wonder if they will continue playing for many years… Oh, I almost forgot. I bought a Purple t-shirt with the cover art of Machine Head in the front side and big “Smoke on the Water” text in the back.

Rami Koskinen – a 16 year old Purple fan

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