Deep Purple In Minsk, Belarus, Nov. 5, 2000
It was the very first time Deep Purple visited Minsk and Belarus. Needless to say I and many other DP fans eagerly awaited this concert. To the very last moment I couldn't believe they were coming to our country, but they did! It seems that every concert of bands like these could be the last one; Because these guys seem to get everything they wanted out of this life. All they do is not only for money, but also for their own pleasure.
The concert started at 9 pm local time. They immediately set off with "Woman From Tokyo", a rather surprising start, I thought. After that they combined the numbers from their latest albums, "Purpendicular" and "Abandon" with their old and well-known classics, such as "Fireball", "Black Night" and "Smoke On The Water". They also played several numbers they rarely play live. Among those were "No, No, No" and "Bloodsucker".
Everybody played exceptionally well, as they probably should after 35 years in the trade. But I think, it was Steve Morse's night. His passages and guitar riffs were terrific! He could play his own beautiful ballad solos like that from "Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming" as well as Ritchie's well-known passage from "Highway Star". Playing entire two-minute solos with flageolets (this is what Steve Morse did) requires not only a technique, but a talent as well. Being the youngest of the 'purples' he continuously ran across the stage as if trying to pass his excessive energy off to the public.
Actually in DP everyone is a true virtuoso on his instrument, be it Morse, Lord, Glover or Paice. The latter played his traditional number with a one-stick drum solo that spellbound the fans. He just pressed his chin against his hand demonstrating that he could even rest while playing!
A few words must be said about Ian Gillan as well. Only God knows what he'd been doing to his voice, but it sounded much better than during the "Live At The Olympia" CD. Of course, they didn't play numbers like "Child In Time", but in all other songs they did play, Gillan could sing all the high notes. It is amazing how this man manages to preserve his voice over the years!
After having said their traditional goodbye, they returned and played two encores - "Lazy" and "Highway Star". After the concert, a group of fans ran to the entrance where the musicians seemed to be getting in their cars. As usual, it was a place where the autographs were signed. The people who signed the autographs were Gillan, Morse and Glover with Paice and Lord sneaking past the fans into the cars. The old rockers seemed tired, but obviously happy with what they'd shown to Belarusian audience...
If you know Russian and your browser is able to read Cyrillic, you read a report with pictures on the Minsk gig and Purple's press conference here.
All the best to all your team,