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

Tour Review: Deep Purple World Tour 2000 in Moscow, Russia, April 9th, 2000

This show was my third Deep Purple show (after Kiev' 96 and Moscow 98) and was the best of them all. It was not only worth going to Russia from Ukraine, it was a REVELATION! It couldn't be compared to the previous show in Moscow because of the total difference in a mood and health condition of Big Ian. After having a rest last year he looked much more fit, he was very cheerful and talkative tonight and his voice was on the top. Definitely, it was his day!

The show started with a 30 minute delay and lasted 2 hours. I'm not going to write a setlist as I'm not sure about the order, so I'll try to recollect the highlights.

At first there was the unseparated set of "Woman From Tokyo" (very good beginning), "Fireball" and, to my great delight, a complete "Into The Fire". Then Big Ian did a small speech about how pleasant it was being in Moscow again (I don't remember his exact words) and introduced "Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming". In my opinion this song is a masterpiece of the band, but at that time it was not the best of the show. As I see, there is a habit in the band of supporting the voice in the hardest places by the guitar, sometimes useful but other times harmful. As a result I saw but didn't hear Ian screaming. What are you doing, Steve! Nevertheless, it was great.

After that there was a small instrumental jam including Roger's bass solo and a perfect solo by Steve Morse (Gillan had a time to change his silly white suit to a more appropriate dress - black t-shirt and trousers). Steve played many pieces of famous rock songs during the show, there was "Stairway To Heaven", "The House Of Rising Sun", "Paint It Black" and lots of others I couldn't recognize. Then - "Smoke On The Water". I wonder how this old song known by heart might sound so hard and fresh!

Then another great surprise followed - "Fools". I hadn't expect to ever hear it live. Fantastic singing and guitar! After that Big Ian did another speech which I misunderstood as an introduction to something new but it proved to be "Black Night" with a very strange intro. The introduction to the next song - "Space Truckin'" was not misleading - as I remember Jury Gagarin was mentioned.

"New" things - "Watching The Sky" and "Any Fule Kno That" were also great. "Perfect Strangers" preceded the long awaited solo from Jon including a piece of "Concerto" and "Moscow Nights". Then there was the high point of the show - "When A Blind Man Cries" performed in a blues mood and "Speed King" / "Blue Suede Shoes" (black trainers). I couldn't see it, but later a newspaper wrote Gillan had his shoes off by this time, singing "Don't step on my shoes" - what a guy!

"Lazy" and "Highway Star" were performed quickly and as it seemed, someone was in a hurry to end the show and get to the bar to have a drink. :-) When it finally ended I felt like it wasn't enough. I believe the promised "next time" will really take place.

Oleg Majewski (who was also there and had a great delight) and Sofia Grachova, the happiest Purple fan in Ukraine

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