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

Second night in Tokyo

Perhaps they've had too much to drink last night, most of the members didn't seem to have come downstairs during the day, until they had to go to the venue. Except for Roger, who apparently went out once. And Steve was up early, practicing his guitar in his room, I was told...

And so to the show. Which started early, at 5pm to be precise, probably because it was a Sunday. I'm not sure whether that was a reason why the queue at the merchandising stand was much shorter today, so that they didn't have to send security staff down there to keep the line in order this time. (Or was it because most people came on both days, and they'd already bought their stuff the night before?)

Anyway, the show starts more or less at the scheduled time, and it's in two parts like yesterday.

The first song is "Pictured Within", followed by "Sitting In A Dream" and "Love Is All" with Ronnie, all as with the day before. But but but, here, something happens that we didn't see yesterday: Ronnie jumps off the stage and runs (walks?) around among the audience. Of course many of the people sitting near the aisles manage to shake hands with him, and there were several of them who made a quick dash to the aisles for this purpose (they could only do so because not all rows were 100% occupied.) I myself was sitting in a third seat from the aisle, and I thought I'd try extending my arm in his direction, without hoping too much - but then, Ronnie stopped, in order to reach towards me and shake my hand! What a nice person he is!

Two DIO numbers, performed here in even more superior renditions than by DIO themselves, are followed by "Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming". (Huh? What's happened to "Watching The Sky"?) Then the first part of the evening continues with "Well-Dressed Guitar", "Wring That Neck", and "When A Blind Man Cries" (which was in the second part of last night's show), ending with "Fools".

A short intermission, and now - of course - the "Concerto". I get the impression that tonight's performance is even better than last night's. Perhaps it's partly because it's easier to hear the whole sound mix from where I'm sitting tonight, on Steve's side.

"Perfect Strangers" and "Pictures Of Home" conclude the second part. Which means they've played one number less altogether than last night. As the band leaves the stage, Paicey throws his drumsticks again - and one of them ends up in the hand of my friend (the one who couldn't catch one last night)! So all three of us has ended up with one each. Isn't that amazing?!

One number less (in the main part of the evening) or not, the encore is fantastic! Steve's parade of musical quotes, which had been very brief on the previous night, goes on for at least five minutes tonight, starting with "Stairway To Heaven" (slightly shortened, but more or less the entire guitar solo section - as heard last year in Osaka), followed by the riff from "Sweet Home Alabama", intro to "Little Wing", and "You Really Got Me" - to which Gillan joins in with his singing! He sings a whole chorus. Then, after a quote from "To Be With You", Steve launches into the real encore number, "Smoke On The Water". Again, this is where the audience goes most wild. Well, perhaps that's natural, with Ronnie joining in to sing on this tour.

Even with one number less performed, the whole show tonight has lasted almost three hours as well. The performance throughout the evening was absolutely fantastic. Apart from Purple, Ronnie and the conductor, Paul Mann, everyone else who took part in this show was Japanese - and they did a perfect job! The girls doing the backing vocals, especially, really rocked :-)

Tonight I had to catch a train home straight after the show (as I live in Osaka). Well, having seen such a wonderful show and ended up with Paicey's drumstick, I think 9000 yen (50) for the ticket was well worth it!

Setlist:

- part 1 -
1. "PICTURED WITHIN"
2. "SITTING IN A DREAM"
3. "LOVE IS ALL"
4. "FEVER DREAMS"
5. "RAINBOW IN THE DARK"
6. "SOMETIMES I FEEL LIKE SCREAMING"
7. "WELL DRESSED GUITAR"
8. "WRING THAT NECK"
9. "WHEN A BLIND MAN CRIES"
10. "FOOLS"

- part 2 -
1. "CONCERTO FOR GROUP AND ORCHESTRA - MOVEMENT I"
2. "CONCERTO FOR GROUP AND ORCHESTRA - MOVEMENT II"
3. "CONCERTO FOR GROUP AND ORCHESTRA - MOVEMENT III"
4. "PERFECT STRANGERS"
5. "PICTURES OF HOME"

- encore -
1. "STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN" (guitar solo part)
- "SWEET HOME ALABAMA"
- "LITTLE WING"
- "YOU REALLY GOT ME" (with Ian Gillan on vocal)
- "TO BE WITH YOU"
- "SMOKE ON THE WATER"

Yoshihiro Higuchi

Translated by

Akiko Hada


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