Walkabout in Tokyo
Off I went to the International Forum for the second night. Looking around the hall, I was surprised to see a wide range of generations in the audience (something I didn't pay much attention to on the first night.) There are those in Purple T-shirts, with "I'm a Deep Purple fan!" written all over their face, as well as elegant, older people ("is he here for the New Japan Philharmonic?") and many others.
The show tonight began at 5pm. It opened just like yesterday, with Ronnie coming onstage for the second number, and the audience reaction was not much different from yesterday... but then, Ronnie jumps off the stage and starts walking down the aisle! He keeps walking down, all the while singing, all the way to the 20th row!! Of course the audience loves it! There are not that many security personnel around, and they must have been relieved that it hasn't led to a total chaos, despite several people rushing up to Ronnie to shake hands with him. I had a seat by one of the aisles yesterday, but my seat today is a bit further away, so I'm forced to look on jealously at those lucky fans... What a shame!
What I also found a bit of a shame was that the applause during the drum solo (which was pretty huge on the first night) was less enthusiastic tonight. But the overall sound mix between the band and the orchestra was much better than last night, I felt.
And what was even more great than anything else tonight was the encore (perhaps everyone in the band was in a mood to really rock, spurred on by Ronnie jumping off stage and walking around among the audience??): the solo leading up to "Smoke On The Water" included a whole parade of quotes, from Lynyrd Skynyrd to Jimi Hendrix. I shook my fist so hard all the time that I ended up with a stiff muscle in the arm the next day - it was fun!
I'm so glad to have seen this show with an orchestra, which we had feared would not be possible to stage here, due to the high costs of hiring a Japanese orchestra. It has been a precious experience for me, specially as I've heard these might be the last orchestra shows, and also because I've got to know how wonderful Ronnie James Dio is.