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Purple return to Budokan

Deep Purple live at Nippon Budokan (Tokyo, Japan 2014-04-12)

After more than 40 years of worshipping all things Purple, I finally made my pilgrimage to The Budokan in Tokyo to hear Deep Purple play at this storied arena, the place where my favourite album of all time, Made in Japan, was created.
I got to Tokyo last Monday to learn that all seats were already sold out….I was lucky enough just to pick up one of the few remaining standing room only slots. And yes the place was full, jam packed. Capacity is normally 14,000+ without a stage, with the stage it is about 10,000. So there were about 10,000 souls there to witness Purple bring its Now What?! show to Tokyo.
First song was “Apres Vous”, and Ian Gillan wearing a mock tuxedo was in fine voice. Next up was “Into the Fire” with some good screams by Ian. Roger led the riff into a powerful “Hard Lovin’ Man”. Then came “Strange Kind of Woman”. Gillan’s voice is strong and clear in the lower range and playing to those strengths, did a great jazz scat during the call-and-response with Steve Morse.
Gillan then said “that was the end of the jazz part of the show” and with that the band launched into “Vincent Price”. A very nice guitar solo by Steve in the same vein as on the album but with a bit more edge and improvisation. And a very good scream at the end of it all by Ian G.
Steve then played “Contact Lost” and segued into a nice solo which when joined by Don Airey morphed into “Uncommon Man”. Very nice work by Steve and Don, they have certainly put their own personal stamp on this band. At the end of that song Steve carried into another blistering solo which led into “Well Dressed Guitar”.
More strong voice and good screams by Big Ian on “The Mule”, and a very energetic drum solo by Little Ian Paice. The man is in his mid 60’s but is still able to bash those drums harder and faster than many men half his age.
Ian Gillan introduced the next song as “dedicated to our beloved Jon Lord” and the band started into “Above and Beyond” with a very nice key solo by Don, which then eased seamlessly into “Lazy”. Next up was “Hell to Pay” with another wonderful keyboard solo by Don which then segued into “Perfect Strangers”.
Next up were the old familiar chestnuts of “Space Truckin” and the finale “Smoke on the Water”. The band came out for one encore which included “Hush”, a fine bass solo by Roger, and the closer “Black Night”.
A very fine show by a band that is tight to the ‘n’th degree and very polished. Almost a third of their show encompassed tunes from Now What?! This band in not a nostalgia act, it is a living breathing vital entity that has a lot more to bring us in future. Long Live Purple!
Gary H. In Tokyo, Japan – April 13th, 2014

review by Gary Halverson

16 Comments to “Purple return to Budokan”:

  1. 1
    Charles says:

    DP in Budokan again! =)
    I’d die for being able to attend to it. Firstable for DP and then for Japan!! Love both of ’em, must have been a great mix.

    I do agree with your last remark.
    They have to play some old song, but they’re proving that they’re not a nostalgy act.
    Although, like (almost?) every fan, I would like to hear more from the Morse era and less from the Blackmore era (please drop the difficult ones for the voice!).
    But you can’t have everything! They’re making a great try to renew the set and that’s really great!

  2. 2
    Dirk Kahler says:

    Thanks for this review … hope we can see and hear this concert on DVD.

  3. 3
    Åke Nordh says:

    Sold out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. 4
    Michael Duynhouwer says:


  5. 5
    Jack says:

    Great!! A live cd/dvd of the Budokan show would be an excellent way to close the Now What?! episode!! An astonishing studio album and a stonishing live album!! Purple forever!!

  6. 6
    Pedro Gajardo says:

    DEEP PURPLE I recover from cancer!!!!

  7. 7
    Max says:

    Thanks for the interesting review. I wonder if they will drop Smoke on the Water one day rather than Contact Lost and – oh! – The Well Dressed Guitar which seem to be the only songs that have to be in every single setlist since god knows when… 😉 One should think Stve Morse has so much more stuff to offer for a solo spot…

  8. 8
    Commie lee says:

    I wanted to listen same set list as Made in Japan album
    It was little bit bored concert

  9. 9
    Les Hedger says:

    Maybe they could call the album”Deep Purple in Japan, That’s What!”

  10. 10
    Bob Lawrinz says:

    Nice one Les! Great title.
    Thanks for the great review Gary.

  11. 11
    Drdp says:

    I trust “Everything Was Louder Than Everything Else”!

  12. 12
    neil says:

    .. pretty routine concert by the sounds … I just think the band go through the motions these days ( anything off Purpendicular, the best Morse album or even Abandon ! ) though I do respect those people who believe different, but to me it is just pure nostalgia now seeing the band that`s been my life in music .

  13. 13
    Heydrich says:

    I wonder if one day the band will drop the solos and instead play more songs ?

  14. 14
    Bill the Wizard Pierce says:

    Hello Heydrich, Not to be mean, but no that will never happen. This band was built, from the get go on their virtuosity, whether it was Blackmore-Lord-Bolin-Morse-Airey-Glover-Hughes. even Gillan and Coverdale. so enjoy the musicianship. BP

  15. 15
    MrPtheDPfan says:

    Well as usual , you can’t make everybody happy .I’m thinking they did “Highway Star” but maybe you just didn’t mention it ? I’m glad they feel confident enough to do that much of the new album .I have seen on the Y tube that they have done “Bodyline” at some shows .Probably my favorite of “Now What ” . They are coming to the U.S. in August .I probably should have just passed on the show , but the date that’s some what close is at a great outdoor venue at the Mountain Winery in Saratoga California .My wife is not a huge fan of the band , but will go with me .And I think she will like the new songs as the older ones don’t mean as much to her as me . Would be a little miffed if they skip “No One Came ” . “Contact” and “Well Dressed”, could go as far as I’m concerned , but I guess Steve has some clout , and likes to do them . I’m going to get flack on this , but “Space Truckin ” is replaceable .They do it great as I recall , and it was a radio hit ,but , if something has to go . Good numbers , but I would like so many others . “Speed King” , or “Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming” , “Rat Bat” , “Hard Lovin Man” and “The Mule” should go a long way to make the die hard , old geezers happy .Thanks Gary . Given my age and their advancing years ,this could be it for me and the band live . I had to book a room .There is a shuttle from the Inn to the show .So I will be properly gassed to the ass . Here’s to the boys .Stay healthy , and let’s WRAAWWWCCKK !

  16. 16
    Deeperpurps says:

    Hi MrPtheDPfan @15, thanks for your comments. I’m sure will will thoroughly you enjoy the upcoming show. I see you noticed that Highway Star wasn’t on the list…yes true, they skipped that one…I was a bit surprised about that, but I think maybe it was to make room for the NW!? material. All the best, G

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