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

Stockholm Globe Arena October 7

I've just come back from the Purple/Dio/Orchestra concert with very mixed feelings. The performance from band, crew and orchestra was outstanding. The performance from some gerbils in the audience was not.

The show started with Miller Anderson singing "Pictured Within". After that Ronnie Dio came on. He did the two numbers from "Butterfly Ball". "Love Is All", especially, went down really well with the crowd. Then we got two songs from Dio's later career. "Fever Dreams" from the latest album "Magica", and the classic "Rainbow In The Dark". What can I say? Ronnie is a very privileged person to be able to perform his old material with the best backing group he could ever dream of. It was a hoot to hear Jon Lord play the keyboard lick in "Rainbow in the Dark"....

Ian Paice led the band in and out of the jazzy version of "Wring That Neck" with an outstanding performance from the little brass group, who, through the night, kept being referred to as The Belgians. Then Big Ian strolled on stage to the huge cheer of the crowd. "Fools" was an unexpected but great choice of song. "Ted The Mechanic", "Pictures Of Home" and "Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming" sounded great as always. They were spiced up here and there with contributions from the orchestra. Steve Morse had written a new song together with the orchestra. Big Ian apparently renames it every night. This night it was called "The Badly Dressed Guitarist", but is really called "The Distressed Guitar" or something like that. And so on to the main event....

All the advertisements had stated that this was a concert with Deep Purple AND the Romanian Symphony Orchestra. Jon Lord had said it in the beginning of the show... Ian Gillan kept telling everyone that this was going to be a special night with some mellow parts. The whole damn orchestra was up on stage! What more do YOU need to understand? Apparently this is not clear enough for people with one brain cell. Unfortunately, a nation is not complete without the odd moron, nazi, hooligan, criminal and retard. Sweden is no exception. These completely shit-faced, piss-drunk, fucking twats let their primal screams sound whenever there was the slightest mellow section in the "Concerto". I have tonight realised that a rock audience is populated by 40 % severe alcoholic mental cases. The only reason you don't notice them that much on a regular rock concert is the fact that a massive wall of sound is hammered out and drowns their drunken stupor. Then, of course you have the moral majority. The people who start answering the retards drunken screams with "Shut the fuck up!" It just makes the game more fun for the beer buttheads.

It can't be easy for the security people either. What are you gonna do? Throw someone out because he's screaming at a rock concert? No, having them committed to a closed mental ward is the trick. By the looks and sounds of the perpetrators, they were probably newly evicted or on the run from said institution. Halfway through the "Concerto", I was close to tears. It didn't really matter that the group had rearranged a lot in the movements. (There was much more heavy interaction by Purple, as well as solo performances.) As soon as the music quietened down just a little bit, the rantings and whistling started from the 10 or so Neanderthals. I felt so ashamed being Swedish. But then again... This can't be anything Purple did not take into account when planning the tour. To take the "Concerto" on the road is a very bold and daring task. There is bound to be illiterate, maniac crapheads that will go to the show expecting to hear "Smoke On The Water" and other rock anthems that they can drink their beer to, throw up to, and dance away another night in their miserable lives. The orchestra had probably been prepared for such disturbances.

OK. Enough of the rantings. [Yes. These morons don't really deserve the kind of attention you are giving them here. But then again, they do need to be told! Ed.] The group and orchestra seemed not to be disturbed by the idiots (even though most of us in the audience were...), and the performance was excellent. After the finale, Ian thanked all and everyone and turned to Jon Lord, "So, what would you like to do now, Jon?" Jon answered by pressing down the keys and started the mighty intro to "Perfect Strangers". After that, everyone came on stage. Big Ian grabbed little Ronnie Dio and said, "Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce... my son!"

And then... The classic closer... The anthem... The main reason the retards had come... Steve played around with legendary rock riffs before finally going into "Smoke On The Water". All in all, a wonderful night with magic moments. Very different and bold. A special note on the sound. BRILLIANT! Thanks a million to all the Romanian musicians, Conductor Paul Mann, the whole Purple Gang, and of course, the composer himself - Maestro Jon Lord. On behalf of almost everyone in the audience, I would also like to apologise for the drunken retards. Two fools born a minute...

Jesper Almén

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