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The Highway Star

Two concerts in two capitals – twice happy!

Date: 2011-03-23 and 25
Venue: Olimpiysky Sports Complex (Moscow) and IEC (Kiev)
Moscow, Russia and Kiev, Ukraine

This year I decided to go and see two Deep Purple gigs in the same tour – in Moscow where I live and in Kiev. They were my 6th and 7th Deep Purple concerts correspondingly. My desire to see Kiev and the fact that there was also a concert of Nazareth on the same weekend were two other good reasons which made the decision to travel from Moscow to Ukraine much easier.

The concert in Moscow was on Wednesday, 23rd of March. It was announced to start at 19.00 which is very early for the business day, and therefore I had to run from work to be on time for the gig. Luckily there was a local support band playing, so I was not late for Deep Purple. By the time my friend and I entered the venue, which is a huge sports complex, the house was full. The audience being not very excited with the performance of the local band was impatiently waiting for the legends to appear on stage.

Deep Purple started to play at 20.00. With the first chords of Highway Star the crowd exploded! We managed to take a good position in the standing stalls to the right from the center of the stage, just a few rows from the front. Looking around at the crowd and seeing their happy faces singing together I couldn’t be other than happy myself. This kind of crowd unity filled with positive energy and mutual happiness always impresses me!

The gig’s set list was the same as in the previous concerts of the tour:

Highway Star
Hard Lovin’ Man
Maybe I’m a Leo
Strange Kind of Woman
Rapture of the Deep
Silver Tongue
Contact Lost
When a Blind Man Cries
The Well Dressed Guitar
Almost Human
Lazy
No One Came
Keyboard Solo
Perfect Strangers
Space Truckin\\’
Smoke on the Water

Encores:

Hush
Bass Solo
Black Night

As I was following different reviews (including from my family and friends) about the latest gigs in other Russian cities (Yekaterinburg and St Petersburg) where the band played before Moscow, I was very much looking forward to the concert in Moscow and was wondering how Ian Gillan would sound (because of the different information from the previous gigs). And I must say Ian sang very well! It seemed to me that his singing was much better and stronger than in Samara last year. Though it may be due just as much to the sound settings and the position at the concert.

Steve and Don, as always, impressed me with their solos. Steve’s solo though was much calmer this time, without extra difficult passages, like before. It was an incredibly beautiful solo, very pleasant to the ears, but I wish it was balanced with some more active and virtuous guitar riffs. However, Steve showed his high guitar technique in the songs performance. Highway Star and The Well Dressed Guitar are the good examples. Gillan, as usual, during the latter song stood behind Morse and clapped his raised hands supporting Steve, and the crowd, of course, followed Ian by doing the same.

It was great in general to see how the musicians support and cheer each other during the gig, always smiling and interacting with the crowd charging us with the positive energy.

Don’s solo was fantastic, so powerful and diverse, that one moment the crowd was standing still and the other moment it was exploding with excitement. By the end of the solo Don played some low-pitched sound chords which made all the venue vibrating, and it seemed like the earthquake was about to start! Impressive! Hearing the famous classic tunes and the local song was also a pleasant part of the Airey’s performance.

It’s a pity that there was no Paice’s solo. However Ian was great even without it.

The new thing for me was Glover’s solo accompanied with Paice’s drums before the last song. Roger was sounding and looking superb! I like this musician very much; he is so kind and positive that it is visible even from the stage! In the end of the concert I caught Roger’s guitar pick which magically jumped off my hand and then flew back again. My friend also caught a guitar pick almost the same moment as I, which was thrown by Steve Morse. Her little hand was almost injured by the big boot while she was trying to get it from the floor, but in the end we both were standing happily with the guitar picks in our hands.

We got to meet with Don, Roger and Steve after the concert, and as the night before they had dinner with President Medvedev, they have shared their positive impressions from the meeting with us. In 30 minutes meeting they got to talk about rock music, politics and football, and the son of the President played guitar for them.

In the evening of the next day my other friend and I took a night train to Kiev to be on time for the next concert, on Friday, 25th of March.

When we arrived to the venue one hour in advance, we were caught off guard by the long line outside the venue. While we were waiting in the line the local support band was playing. Unfortunately we missed them, and later I found out that the band was quite good, and Don Airey even called them Ukrainian R.E.M.

Kiev’s venue was also a huge one, but it was a big exhibition center, so the acoustics there was not as good as in the venues specially made for concerts. We took a very good position in front of the stage, closer to the middle, and therefore I was even more happy and excited at the gig than in Moscow. However, this time Gillan’s vocals could be heard worse. Being closer to the stage we could also see that his shape is not as good as the shape of the rest musicians in the band. Nevertheless, the general impression about the gig was very good. Singing along Steve’s guitar during the Highway Star Ian sounded impressive!

I would also like to mention how the band acted when the security tried to push the crowd hard back (although the crowd didn’t really push forward): Ian Gillan and Steve Morse first with gestures and later with other methods tried to let the security know that it is not necessary to act so harshly towards the crowd. Musicians asked someone from their crew to talk to the security, but it didn’t work, so finally during one of the songs Ian without stopping singing a song went backstage, took his towel there, came back to the stage and thrown it into the security guy to attract his attention. In between the songs he also asked them from the stage to stop pushing us. The way the musicians acted really impressed me, and at the same time I was upset that these inhuman unnecessary methods are still used by the concert security in Kiev. They reminded me of my hometown concert security 10 years ago.

As about the rest, the show was similar to the gig in Moscow and other cities of the tour. I am very happy I got to see two of them – I’ve got twice as much positive emotions and happiness!

I’ve got to meet with Don, Roger, Steve and Ian Paice after the show. The band was very kind and sociable, as always. Don Airey was especially generous and kind to us and other guests (including the support band) doing everything to make us feel comfortable. We got to catch Paicey just before he left, and asked him, why there was no drums solo this time. Ian said he does enough work without it. Well, I completely agree with him!

I wish the great musicians good health and inspiration, and will wait for their next tour here.



Comment to “Two concerts in two capitals – twice happy!”:

  1. 1
    COCOBEACHSILVERSTRATSURFER says:

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