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

Stockholm 3.10

After a very boring night in Turku town (nearly having to escape from some violent Harley-Davidson guys etc ;-) I boarded on Silja Line's Amazing Bingo&Karaoke Ferry. Fellow Purple maniac Juha Heikkilä (juhah@cs.tut.fi) and I didn't have any trouble to locate each other, us being the only participants of the amd-p trip to Stockholm. We had very good time listening to senior citizens playing bingo. The karaoke list included Smoke On The Water, but neither of us had the guts to sing it. Despite bingo and karaoke these 10 hours went rapidly and we had good time eating luxuriously and talking about (surprise) Deep Purple.

Fortunately Juha's friend kindly drove us to Solnahallen, because we were a bit in hurry and neither of us knew Stockholm very well. We had some trouble getting into the hall with our rucksacks and we had to hide our tax-free beers in the nearby woods... Outside the hall the pirate T-shirt salesmen seemed to make a lot of money.

If the Helsinki Ice Hall is not an optimal venue for world-class concerts, then Solnahallen seemed even more inappropriate at first glance. Weird, Deep Purple playing at a small local basketball hall. It didn't matter at all however. Actually the house was full of happy people and the atmosphere was very warm and excited. We managed to hear three or four songs from the opening act Hammerfall and in my opinion it was a very good melodic speed metal band. Almost as good as our Stratovarius. ;-) We didn't manage to meet any amd-p folks although I thought I recognized Svante somewhere. I might be wrong.

Purple started playing at 20.30. The set list didn't differ from other concerts, which is the only negative thing I can say about the whole gig. That was magical, breathtaking, fantastic! Gillan's voice was even better than last Tuesday. Jon Lord shined and played a couple of extraordinary solos. And Steve Morse, this time he was brilliant. The solo spot was truly beautiful and migrated flawlessly into Cascades ending. No Rock Anthems this time, except SOTW. :-) Pictures of Home was really great in LATO style. Actually I can't name any particular highlights, because everything was so great. Paicey and Glover were excellent as always. Once again, I am very proud to be a Deep Purple fan. They are nothing less than the best hard rock band in the world!

(I guess this doesn't look like an objective review. Somebody could even suggest that some kind of beverage doping at the Bingo&Karaoke Love Boat is the reason for such raving, but that isn't true. Well, if somebody thinks negative comments might increase objectivity, then I'll throw them in: I really, really would have liked to hear Fireball and No One Came. They were sooo great in the _|_ concerts! And I think the setlist could change at every gig...)

After the gig we waited outside the hall to meet the band. After about one hour of shaking and freezing in a kind of cold Scandinavian Night, Gillan and Glover came out. I had my Abandon CD autographed. The other Purplemen didn't show up after the gig. Both Gillan and Glover are very kind and warm persons!

We didn't find any proper rock'n'roll bar from the city, but well, after shaking hands with Gillan and Glover you won't complain about minor things. Now it only seemed that being a Finnish Deep Purple fan generally isn't a very positive credit amongst young Swedish ladys, but I guess that is a global phenomenon ;-)

Tomi Korpela

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