Spodek, Katowice, Poland
3rd December 2003

1 hour 38 minutes long…too short, never before had I ever had the impression of time running so quickly during a concert. The audience: about 9,000 – 10,000, almost sold out.

Highway Star / Strange Kind Of Woman / Silver Tongue / Knocking At Your Back Door / House Of Pain / Lazy / Bananas / Contact Lost / Doing It Tonight / Space Truckin' / I Got Your Number /
The Well Dressed Guitar / Perfect Strangers /
Smoke On The Water
/ Hush / Black Night

The set list – no difference to the previous dates. Another show, another really excellent show. After having read many reviews from this tour I thought: "great set list". And it was the excellent mix of the classics and the fresh energy of the new ones, which really, really gave such a "wonderful explosion" on stage. The band actually put more enthusiasm into playing new "Bananas" tracks than the classics. Definitely, absolutely; they all were loud, clear, tight and powerful. Silver Tongue, House Of Pain, Bananas, Contact Lost as a quiet moment, Doing It Tonight, and I Got Your Number just after Space Truckin'. The new stuff gave the space needed for some improvisation. Among the oldies Space Truckin', Perfect Strangers, and Smoke On The Water …should be highlighted. And what about the "old stuff" they got rid of recently, I mean songs played this summer and last years ? Probably …… they ...… are ...… bored …... with them ..….? More new songs instead of some of the old stuff was a good move anyway.

The audience was so enthusiastic that, I think, Deep Purplewere really, really surprised (the reviews of Prague show say that was stunning as well).

A live recording of this show would make for a great live album (official of course!). There were great vibes between Deep Purple and their aficionados. A 'Perfect Machine’ said one of my friends just after the end of the main set!

review: Dominik Bednarski

I've never seen a concert this big and loud before. It was the first time everseen such big stars.
It was the first time I've seen DEEP PURPLE live!

I knew they are good, but what I saw was simply breathtaking. "Spodek" is a big hall and I was afraid it would be quite empty in some places, but when we got to Katowice and saw all the people heading to the show my fears were gone. I was pleased with the organisation- it didn't take much time to get in.

The stage wasn't as big as I thought it would be, but it served Purple well. The night kicked off with a Polish band called Corruption. Five young guys, they played good,solid, and very very heavy rock, although they lacked finesse and catchy melodies. The 30-40 minute set was worth listening to.

20 minutes after Corruption, Deep Purple were on stage, launching into Highway Star - what can I say? Gillan screaming, Steve riffing like a maniac, Roger happy and smiling, Paicey.... only he can play it like that! And Don... He remained very much in the background, he was just too low in the mix to play along with Morse. His solo lacked something and that thing was loudness!!!! But all in all a great start.

The crowd went wild. Purple were stunned with their fans' reaction, and the fans were stunned with Purple. When Gillan introduced Strange Kind of Woman a wave of 'bravos' shook the hall. I think that this version is the best since Made in Japan, but better than every other), it's more bluesy, smooth. Everyone went mad! Unbelievable! Don got louder as the technicians realised he couldn't break through the guitar sound, and from that moment everything only got better!

House of Pain started with a nice harmonica solo from Ian Gillan, which was brutally, but very funnily, interupted by Paice. Lazy, another evergreen, was good as always. Bananas brought exciting solos from Morse and Airey, and Contact Lost - Doing it Tonight worked very well. The peak of the first half was Space Truckin'. The band couldn't believe their eyes and ears as whole "Spodek" shouted along ecstatically "C'mon, c'mon- let's go Space Truckin'!!!"

I Got Your Number is one of the best new songs, and was a break between the crazy rockers, but what a break. The only word is b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l!!!! In Don Airey's pre-Perfect Strangers solo included two tunes written by Fryderyk Chopin, the Star Wars theme (oh great, it's back...) and ended with the Polish national hymn! The audience were by now shouting, screaming, jumping, crying... I've never seen anything like that in my life! Stunning. After that he started the intro to Perfect Strangers, which I think was the highlight of the show. I can't English well enough to describe what happened when the rest of the band joined in. It was so powerful that all of the new metal groups could learn from Purple how to crush people with music. And what a crush it was!

We had two encores: Hush and Black Night (again with a mad sing along!). Hush had a nice Paice solo, and in between was Roger's bass solo. I think they wanted to start Hit The Road Jack, but the audience kept on singing the Black Night theme and didn't let them!

It's a pitty that the show didn't last longer, and there weren't any tracks from the marvelous Purpendicular, but they played with such energy and power that it couldn't have been better. Gillan is in wonderful shape, they have the best rhythm section in the world, and two stunning solists. DEEP PURPLE ARE THE BEST!!!!!

review: Pawel Sajewicz, Poland

Should I congratulate the promoter for choosing a death metal as support group? Never in my life...

It was a ridiculous choice and though the Corruption group tried their best, the end of their set was welcomed by the audience with huge relief.

In spite of the fact that it was the shortest Purple concert in Poland ever, the quality of the show was great. For the first time in ten years, a Polish DP concert began with Highway Star, which was wildly appreciated by the crowd. Another tricky move was to bring back classics Knocking At Your Backdoor and Space Truckin' The improvisational part of the latter is dearly missed by many - pity that Airey and Morse don't recreate the idea of doing an organ-guitar duel in it. The Purple set would then have at least one jam-driven track.

The new material was accompanied the classics very well. House Of Pain was brilliantly introduced on the harp by Gillan. Contact Lost lead nicely into Doing It Tonight, a track which divides purple people as to its merits. The song was probably the most enthusiastically welcomed 'newcomer'. Personally I never want Purple to take this Caribbean musical direction again, but I have to admit that the song really swayed along nicely. Musical doubts were reduced by the final passage of Picture Of Innocence to close the track. Silver Tongue is also worth mentioning here as it has scored a little extension near the end. Although it was the one and only attempt to jam during the whole night, Morse's part there was - to put it mildly - slightly chaotic.

Now let's talk oldies... Strange Kind Of Woman was for me sadly slaughtered by the re-arrangement of the middle section. To my ears the they tried to play it as if it was Demon's Eye, but the result killed the great shape of the song. Smoke On The Water has scored a nice face-lifting with the Hammond solo on the end bringing back the 1972 spirit. Paice, who rumbled through on the double foot pedal made the finishing part of this track a nuclear rocket ready to wham the hall into bits and pieces. It was fabulous. All in all, Smoke was better than on the earlier tours which doesn't basically change the fact that it could take a holiday and leave the setlist at least for a while.

The stars of the night were Messrs Glover & Airey. Words just can't describe how well Glover played. And he must have been truly moved by the audience applause, because at the very end of the show he has climbed up his PA, four meters up from the stage level (just in front of me) and threw the picks into the crowd. Elsewhere, hats off to Don Airey. He was ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC. The opening solo in Highway Star signalled technical problems rather than forthcoming glory, with the organist completely lost in the mix. But right from the Strange Kind… the keys were rumbling away in a great groove. The introduction to the Lazy was amazing - baroque organ evolving into Jimmy Smith-like boogie. In his solo spot he weaved together the likes of a Bach fugue, the intro to Mr. Crowley'and the Star Wars theme (a new thing to most, so welcomed with a big cheer) with a solid Frederic Chopin portion - the well known sounds of the Polish composer drove everyone nuts. Airey then played the Polish National Anthem and this just hook the roof off the hall. It was unreal - a true pandemonium of applause.

There was plenty of material more - both old and the new stuff - crying to be done to make the show up to two full hours. Why the members cut so short every improvisational chance during the set - I will never understand. Still the opinion remains the same: Deep Purple deserve a big THANK YOU for another excellent show.

review: Martin Karski, Wroclaw, Poland

deep purple 2003 reviews