Jäähalli, Helsinki, Finland - April 6, 2000
Well, what can I say? The 1998 gig at this venue was great, but this one wiped floors with the memories of the other one - this was probably the best concert I have ever seen. First, the new set list is a real screamer (IMHO). The omissions of certain songs were acceptable while we got the chance to hear complete live versions of both "Into the Fire" and "Fools" (if my memory serves me right, the latter one has not been perfomed live ever before this tour!). Fooling around with classics like "Whole Lotta Love", "Iron Man" and "Fever" were good for laughs - I noticed that I was not the only one smiling broadly while hearing them. :)
The playing was inspired throughout the whole show, the band really smoked for two hours. The solos, jams and vocal/guitar and guitar/organ trades were just as good as one could expect (or at least for my taste). The only draw back was that Lord had some problems with his Hammond - one roadie spent the whole gig within the cabinet [the Leslie? - Ed.] trying to fix the problem and because of this Lord had to use other keyboards instead of Hammond on some songs.
But the real star of the concert was Gillan who was in a very strange mood - and a good one this time. I saw Black Sabbath on their "Last Supper" tour in December and thought that no one could outdo Ozzy Osbourne in showmanship, but Gillan came close yesterday. He was all over the place, running around the stage, making long weird speeches between songs and even jumping like Ozzy sometimes. He even changed clothes during the guitar solo (fashion note: he started with the white suit but changed to black for the rest of the gig :)) And while Lord was pissed off because of the broken Hammond cabinet, Gillan... eh... cheered him up a bit. :)
The only complaint: The opening act, Ben Granfeld Band (Granfeld's previous band, Guitar Slingers, also opened for Purple at the 1998 show), was total crap. The playing was fluent but lacked any kind of emotion and Granfeld's chatter between songs was too arrogant to raise eny positive feelings. Ben, take a lesson from Gillan!!
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