Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, May 1st. A-Band-On Concert Review
It was a really kick ass show with a 15,000 or more audience. The sound system was superb to Malaysian standards. I went to the show with a few of my former high school buddies Purple fanatics. Surprisingly, my down to earth and typical "kampung" wife wanted to come along. The set list was a mix of 70's and 90's stuffs. I went to college in the US back in the late 80's but never got any real chance to see them because they never toured the Northwest area at that time. When I was 7 years old, I sneaked up some early dosage of "Highway Star" and "Smoke on the Water" when their albums first got out around that time. So, this show was a turn on for most of Malaysian veteran rockers like myself. Back in the mid 70's (during my childhood), Deep Purple with Coverdale came here. Gillan came here once under the Ian Gillan Band flagship. Deep Purple with Joe Lynn Turner came close to neighbouring Singapore in the early 90's but I heard the show had some "turn offs".
There was a mixed variety of audience, ranging from "bald headed, past midlife crisis" Purple die-hard adults to "Black, Smoke-lack" high school Purple rookies. There were shouts asking for Ritchie, but who the hell cared about him that night. I am a die hard Blackmore fan, but Morse really delivered up to his mark. He slipped in some short Hendrix, Sabbath, and Rolling Stones (I guess) riffs in between his solo arpeggios. It's a taboo breaking stint but really interesting.
I could not remember the full set list. The Mark 2 oldies covered were "Woman from Tokyo", "Black Night", "Strange Kind of Woman", "Pictures of Home", "Speed King", "Smoke on The Water", "Highway Star", "Lazy", and "Fireball". Only one track from "Perfect Strangers" which was the title song was played. I wish they could have included "Gypsy's Kiss" and "Wasted Sunset" as well. The melodic "Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming" and funky "Bloodsucker" were also quite awesome. However, you could sense that the capacity crowd did not respond as joyfully as they did with the older tunes. There were chants asking for "Stormbringer" and "Burn". Of course, I kept telling and yelling that there's no way Gillan would sing tunes recorded by other singers. Nonetheless, Jon Lord gave some consolation hitting "Soldier Fortune" piano notes in his solo while the crowd sang along. The memorable oldies were also sang along word by word by the crowd more prominently than Gillan himself. Although age has taken some toll on Gillan's high pitch screams and his moves especially, his vocal works are still the same old Gillan trademark. Unforgettably, "Speed King's" laughter towards the end of the song got a big cheer from the crowd.
It seems the band really enjoyed having Morse around as compared to their recent endeavors with Blackmore before they parted ways. Morse's playing was flawless and fluid but however in a typical American mood. Glover was awesome too. I have never really seen him performing his tricks before this. Then, I was surprised to see that Paicey did not solo his drums as long as his typical "yawn prone" virtuoso as in the "Made in Japan" record. Everything started at 9:00 with a good clear sky, great venue acoustics, 100% seated and disciplined audience, not much gimmicks and ended at 11:00 p.m. sharp. Hope to see them coming back here again some other time before either of us call it the day. Lastly, I just want to say "You don't need to be a young Child in Time and Black at Night to Rock, so Smoke it!!!!". Keep on rocking the Purple way dudes.
Mohamed "Bo" Abdul Samad,