[ d e e p P u r . p l e ) The Highway Star

Tour Review: Deep Purple World Tour 2000 in Helsinki, Finland, April 6th, 2000

Special Report: Alex Andry travelling from Tallinn, Estonia to Deep Purple concert in Helsinki.

Superb!I did it!!!
Thanks to DPAS, I have enough tour info and decided to travel to Helsinki. Passport/visa not ready, some adventure feeling/Sometimes I feel like this... But a miracle; at 2PM I receive money and go to the port of Tallinn. Estonian Border woman smiles, sees that I am carrying a DP cup from 1996 tour with Ian Gillan's autograph. Custom woman smiles too, and they close their eyes at some formalities.
4.30PM - in the last second I jump aboard and arrive in Helsinki at 7PM, no visas. Finnish Border man smiles and asks me: "How long you stay in Finland?" - "Just see the concert." - and puts his stamp. Thanks.

No time for hotel accommodations, baggage still in hand, but just one reason to be here - Deep Purple! Quickly change money to FIM from EEK in nearest hotel at fantastic rates. After getting on the local subway some people on the street speak English - surprise, surprise.

Finally, I find the Old Ice Hall. No posters, no promotion, but I followed the signs until I found the ticket window and purchased a ticket. Then I go to the gates.

I think about 5-6000 people gathered at this place, to enjoy DP. At 9.00PM, just after the stage was cleared, Deep Purple come!!!
They started with "Woman From Tokyo" - because they just came from Japan. Then "Fireball". Something wrong with the Hammond, Jon was upset, technicians didn't have time to check it out, but the crowd was so excited and rocking.
"Into The Fire" - Jon use another keyboards, his Roland 500 and Korg M1, so we heard a fantastic solo from him.

Ian Gillan seems to be in underwear or some kind of white pajamas and barefoot on stage. He cut his long hair.
The stage was very simple, only instruments and some lights, nothing else.
Big Ian talked a lot between the songs. "This is a song about lost memories, lost numbers, based on a real story. "Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming" - just brilliant. "You're just fantastic - surprise, surprise.!"

"69" - Ian proceed to talk a lot, now about 1969, very important year, they played some Black Sabbath ("Iron Man"), Led Zeppelin ("Whole Lotta Love"), "Paint It Black", and - "Smoke On The Water" - just fantastic version. "Fools" - first time live! Gillan proceed to talk before and scream after, this time about headless chickens dancing. "Black Night" - wow, so much jamming here!

"A very contemporary song for you - "Watching The Sky" - Gillan used some new lyrics here and the band were laughing behind his back.

Jon played an intro to Steve's superb solo.
"Any Fule Kno That" - Jon's solo was just brilliant... Then Jon makes the intro for "Perfect Strangers". Ian Gillan changes clothes, now back in black, fantastic and incredible.

"Now a blues song for you - "When A Blind Man Cries" - Yeaaahh!! Such sensitive feelings, SOMETIMES I FEEL LIKE I CRY, yeaaah,man...

Fantastic Gillan and Morse dialog here:
"Speed King" - a lot of jamming, Jon and Steve make a duel against each other, Roger Glover's and Ian Paice's solos were superb, finishing with "Fever". Gillan sang and Morse played it - a very funny duet. Big Ian, jumping and running around the stage.
"You're fantastic, absolutely fantastic - surprise, surprise, we like you very much." he finally said. The crowd roared: "We want more, we want more!!!!!"
And Deep Purple returned:

"Lazy" - Jon was playing the solo with one hand and showing off to Steve: "Can you do this?" Steve duelled with Gillan and Lord And finally - "Highway Star" - brilliant and perfect!!!
"Fantastic, you are just fantastic, thank you very much, yeeeaaahh!!! Good night, bye-bye!!!"

The concert finished with Doors music ("Riders On The Storm) - what else?
Of course, Jon had some problems with his Hammond during "Fireball" and after this Gillan shake his hand and looks like hes' playing a guitar and then his hand went down and made some motion pictures - some joke about Lordīs organ, and, of course, Jon made him a note about this joke between the songs...
Buy the way, the road crew spent about two hours trying to fix the Leslie problems with the Hammond, and because of this Jon had to use other keyboards at this gig..

As I heard, Deep Purple had problems in Helsinki with their luggage at the airport. I had the same in the harbour in the morning - strange? So when they arrived at St. Petersburg airport they had disappointed and gloomy faces. Anyway, this was a great experience for me, and a week after I listen to Deep Purple everywhere all the time and look at videos all nights long.
"When's the next time" I asked Jon Lord backstage at the Tallinn Song Festival in 1996 when he was signing autographs. "Who knows" was his reply. PERFECT STRANGERS - DEEP PURPLE FOREVER - DEEP PURPLE RULE THE PLANET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Alex Andry
Tallinn Rock Club/DP Fan Club

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