Madrid, 20-10-00; Palacio de Deportes
Despite the fact that there were 'slight changes' in the setlist, at no
other concert I've ever attended before, was I able to experience a historic moment of music! It left me speechless for hours, which is very rare for me. However I will try to share some of my memories.
The venue was very crowded, though it's not been totally sold out. I guess
there have been about 8000 people. This Palacio is one of those huge places,
where you could walk around, without disturbing anybody, and without missing
the splendid view or sound. The fragrance in the air was very herbal, people
passing around pot and liquor all the time.
The Romanian Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) entered the stage first, welcomed with a warm applause, as well as the brass section Side Door Johnnies (Gillanism) and very much so
the backing vocals Backstreet Girls as well. The same happened to the
orchestra technician and Mickey Lee Soule whilst doing their final check.
As Paul Mann, Miller Anderson and Jon Lord appeared - again tremendous
Jon Lord (wearing a white jacket over black shirt & pants) started his gentle
introduction of the RPO & PM, he also announced these "slight changes" in the
set, he looked a little upset having to say this. He mentioned that
there would be some quiet parts, but in the end we'd be rocked "until we're
Finally he introduced "Pictured Within" (applauded) featuring MA.
While PM was conducting the RPO at the intro, MA did so with the audience in
order to (successfully) calm them a little... As he started with "Here be
friends..." the crowd replied with some gentle clapping. General note: with
the best intention, spanish audiences don't hesitate to give spontaneous ovation
when they feel like it! The people really liked this tune, JL then said something like "this was
just for the ones, who don't have a fear for silence", the crowd seemed to
Then came Ronnie! The crowd went wild for him... He brought sun glasses and a
black hat, gave them to PM. The band started playing a theme from "Blues
Brothers", RJD began to sing, ending in "...'caus' he is PAUL MANN!" Great
laugh, good surprise!
"Sitting In A Dream", "Love Is All", "Fever Dreams", "Rainbow In The Dark"
The two RG songs were really starting to lift the audience, but of course,
the 'real' Dio tunes gave them what they wanted from RJD. Ronnie himself visibly
enjoyed having such a luxurious 'supporting' band. All in all, his act did
anything but divide the crowd - he was just taken as a part of the DP
"Wring That Neck"
JL now introduced this instrumental, talking about the early days of DP in
'68 and his companion of all purple times "featuring Ian Paice, for my money,
best I've worked with...!" The sax solo got the excitement of the Madrilenians,
who definitely enjoyed this version.
Well, the awaited show-master entered his stage. Good mood, fancily dressed,
strongly applauded. He extended his personal "good evening" to both RPO and the
audience. I might have mixed the order, but I think it's been the following:
They started right away to "benefit from the presence of such an orchestra
of fine musicians..."
"When A Blind Man Cries"
Intro like on "Live At The Olympia 96", (the classical piece from the "Platoon" soundtrack). This song is definitely just made for being played with an Orchestra!
"Ted The Mechanic"
IG tells this "napkin-man-called-Ted-he-was-a-mechanic" story, you never get
tired of. The people rocked it as a classic tune. Funny to see many of the RPO and PM from his podium grooving with the pure band music, tapping their feet, waving their bows, more or less slightly banging their heads. Especially the 'big brother' on the drums turned out to be bouncing around all the time!
"The Wild Dressed Guitar"
SM featured a piece together with the RPO, IG introduced it like this. It's
amazing to see how our American friend is practicing this harmonic
give-and-take of inspiration with the other four, especially with JL. He totally excited
the spanish audience.
How pleased was I that they played this! It was a very impressive
performance, especially IG's interpretation of the lyrics. To me, it appeared a little
inconsequential, that JL played the cello solo part as synthesized, although
there were some picturesque cellists in the RPO. ["Picturesque?" He he... :-) Ed.]
"Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming", "Pictures Of Home" ("thank you")
We've only known these songs in their '& Orchestra' version for one year?
Amazing, touching, splendid... Supreeeme! What I appreciate about this part of the event, is the mixture of with and without orchestra. It helps to enjoy both the preciously orchestrated songs
and the classically rocked. (Where else is such a crossed correlation that
"The Concerto" -slightly changed
Well, finally IG, announced the most significant of the "slight changes": They left out "The 2nd Movement"!!! Knowing about the trouble that hadn't ceased during the quieter parts of
this special tour, I was purplexed: Disappointed, as I especially like "The 2nd Movement"; angry, as some less relaxed and more intolerant, supposedly fans of Purple having finally
succeeded in defeating the music itself; Sorry for Jon Lord, as he must have suffered
the most. Sorry also for the friendly Spanish audience. I can hardly think of any
better educated people in arts and culture and more attentative during perfomances.
They proved the latter during the two movements: Whistling and swinging within
the orchestral parts; Clapping hands in anticipation, when the rhythm allowed
this; Rocking instantly with the band in its parts. After each movement,
especially after the third, they strongly rewarded JL's magnificent opus with a big
ovation. The RPO performed their parts pretty well, with respect to the
unusual touring stress.
Encores before the encores:
To me the orchestrated version of this song is its outstanding best! And yet
another example of how to philharmonize a rock song, release it as a
"Smoke On The Water"
IG said "this is up to you, Steve", when he started his 'radio show' recalling Led Zep, Jimi Hendrix, etc, performed by everybody, (even RJD knows his lyrics now...:-)), what a picture, scanning all 360 degrees inside the Palacio. What a finale...!
Encores: "Black Night", "Highway Star"
With the RPO having left the stage, our heroes came back to give us some
more hard rock. This was the better part of the 'slight changes'. Some of the RPO
waited beside the stage, watching DP, taking pictures (to unsettle the
security...;-)), the 'big' drummer and the curled blond background singer
(she's just rocking gorgeous!) danced right away...
Like me, people couldn't leave the place for minutes. It was just too precious, incredible, undescribable, what happened in front of our eyes and ears in the past 2 1/2 hours, to enter the world outside again. Outside a Palacio of music, the music of Deep Purple.
Now I know, what Stathis meant by saying "This is what Deep Purple is all
Long live Deep Purple and thank you, especially Jon!
Christian M. Siegler
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