Review of Deep Purple at Stockholm Globe Arena - Saturday October 7, 2000
"Concerto For Group And Orchestra"
At 8pm the group and orchestra entered the stage, the opener was Jon's "Pictured Within" which featured Miller Anderson on vocals, a solid performance of a good song. Then Ronnie James Dio entered the stage followed by a lot of cheers and applause, "Sitting In A Dream" and "Love Is All" are both great songs and with Dio's voice in great shape they sounded fantastic. For me it was great news when I heard that two Dio songs had been included in the set, "Fever Dreams" is in my opinion the strongest song on the "Magica" album and it sounded even better with Purple backing him up. Paice played absolutely fantastically. The following song was one of Dio's classics, "Rainbow In The Dark" and it also sounded good, with interesting sounds from Mr. Lord.
After Dio had taken his bows and left the stage the band played one of the true Purple signatures. A great version of "Wring That Neck" with amazing drum parts from Paice. The orchestra fitted in really well in the song too.
Gillan entered the stage and the first song was "Fools". I think it's great that they play some more unexpected songs, and "Fools" is one of the most overlooked Purple songs if you ask me. The following song was the highlight for me; having looked at the setlists from previous performances on the tour I expected "Watching The Sky", and although I like that song, I was thrilled when Gillan announced that they were going to play "When A Blind Man Cries". I loved the "Live At The Olympia" version but this one was even better.
"Ted The Mechanic" followed and it sounded quite good, all in all a great song. Then came, to me, the best song Purple has made since "Perfect Strangers" and one of the band's all time best: "Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming". Like "When A Blind Man Cries", this must have been the ultimate performance of this song! It was so great!!! Steve then joined the orchestra in a solo part that he called "The Stressed Guitar" (or something like that), it was really good. "Pictures Of Home" followed and the crowd got a bit noisier. The song sounded great with the fantastic intro from the orchestra that was also on the Albert Hall show.
Then what most of us had been waiting for followed, the main event, "The Concerto". I like "The Concerto" on album, but live it is even better. It sounded great. The conductor, Paul Mann, was one of the reasons for the excellent performance. What an actor! He really made it look like he was in a major battle with the band, especially during the "First Movement". The only negative thing was some small parts of the audience that hadn't understood what they had bought tickets for. Some whistles and shouting things like "Play some rock" could be heard during the mellow parts of "The Concerto". It's sad that people can be that disrespectful.
After "The Concerto" Gillan walked over to Jon and asked him what he wanted to play next. The answer was the second surprise for me that evening: they had added "Perfect Strangers" to the set. This must have been my lucky day. The song sounded as great as always. The closer was, of course, "Smoke On The Water", and although it isn't my favourite Purple song, it was a great way to conclude a fantastic evening. It was also great fun to hear first Dio joining Steve in "Sweet Home Alabama" and then Gillan on "You Really Got Me".
All in all this was the best Purple performance I have ever seen. Due to the musical skills of the band, this is the perfect type of show for them. They also had the best sound I have ever heard at a concert, very clear and good. Steve played flawlessly and in many ways I prefer his playing over Ritchie's. Paice and Glover played as great as always and Jon really got to shine in these concerts and who deserves it more than him, what a fantastic musician. Gillan, Dio and Miller Anderson's voices all sounded brilliant and the selections of songs was perfect.
It doesn't get much better that this!