HUGHES / TURNER PROJECT
Nosturi - Helsinki, Finland - 30th March 2004
You gotta be feel a bit proud to have names like Joe Lynn Turner and Glenn Hughes visiting your country twice in a short period. That's at least how I felt, following both of their careers from a young age and watching Joe Lynn Turner on stage with Yngwie Malmsteen as well. So this night was special of course, even though just witnessing them live in Helsinki over a year ago and at the same place too, even with a setlist that hadn't changed much from the last visit, but that didn't spoil the fun and excitement from this experience. Nosturi was packed of course and most of the crowd was in their thirties and past that. The age limit was set to 18, but I'm sure it didn't spoil many people's evening concidering the age of their usual fans and the age of the guys in the band. And of course the people present were as excited as I was to see this show. There were lots of finnish musicians in the crowd and some of them wearing really worn off Deep Purple shirts. As a female and not looking that old (or so they say) an older guy tried testing me out about Glenn Hughes, but left looking quite pissed off from my knowledge. Well, the crowd had quite a male-advantage, so surely someone got interested what's a female doing in this territory.
The rest of the band on this tour was Thomas Broman-drums, JJ Marsh-guitar and Kjell Haraldsson-keys and the guys put up a helluva show, though not as great as on their earlier visit vocal-and soundwise. As the band stepped on stage the noise was impressive, with hands in the air. And the band was quite noisy too and had some technical problems on two songs. Apart from all that the band sounded good. Turner and Hughes took the middle of the stage, singing in turns and during the first half of the show both of them were having trouble with their voices. Hughes was screaming his voice out, but not like he usually does, he sounded like he just had been screaming too much lately and was about to lose his voice for good. That didn't give high hopes for the rest of the show, when Turner was having same difficulties, the high notes just seemed too hard to reach. "Hold On" and "Can't Stop Rock'n'Roll" were in the beginning of the set as in many other countries, the setlist hasn't changed much in over a year. USA seems to be the only country with some difference there.
During "I Surrender" Hughes should've left all the singing to Turner, as he really spoiled the mood while screaming in between while Turner had the right spirit going on. But then again in some songs Hughes' voice worked better than Turner's. Somewhere along the way their voices probably warmed up though, 'cos the rest of the show went much better. Other songs heard were "Alone I Breathe", "Street Of Dreams", "Death Alley Driver", "Stormbringer", "Gettin' Tighter", "You Keep On Moving", "Devil's Road", "Mistreated" and "Spotlight Kid". The band also celebrated JJ's birthday here, but had nothing spectacular in store for the fans about it. The band was moving alright on stage, they weren't boring to watch like so many other bands, but mostly it was Hughes and Turner that took the space, like the stars they are. Hughes always seems to really enjoy his time on stage, as his endless, playful screaming, vocalwork and his confident appearance and way of moving on stage shows. But Turner is right there behind him, with a little softer outcome in both his voice and appearance.
Watching them is a real pleasure, this is just the right place for them, in front of an audience. The band seemed to be on a good mood too, smiling a lot and waving hands to the crowd and having eye-contact. The front row were rumbling the gate in front of them, you could see it from their eyes they were experiencing something unforgettable. Turner kept a speach as usual and it was quite long too, this time it was about politics, but I couldn't figure out much from it, his voice came quite blurry over where I was at. Otherwise there wasn't much talking involved. We couldn't get any photos for you, as there unfortunately was a mixup with out passes, sorry people.
While playing those good old Rainbow and Deep Purple songs, you have to give credit to the guys for not playing "Smoke On The Water" though, that song has gotten way too much airplay in any place on earth and would've sounded ridiculous really. But "Burn" was just the right song wrapping up the night in an encore, though the show still seemed too short and so many great songs were left out. Now, you can always dream right ? Well, one thing these guys could do after they're done with their HTP is to go on their seperate tours and concentrate on full Rainbow and Deep Purple sets. Though Hughes would need David Coverdale on his side on stage. Could Coverdale still sing those Purple songs he used to sing though...But Joe would do fine alone with his Rainbow set, though Graham Bonnet still could join next Joe for sure, singing "Since You've Been Gone" with his unique, rough style. Check out Elektric Zoo for news about him and of course the forthcoming HTP shows wherever they are, it's a treat.
Satu Reunanen, email@example.com