Concert Overview: DEEP PURPLE’s “The Long Goodbye Tour” Concert in Sofia, Bulgaria (14/05/2017)

Some things in life you gotta do while there’s still a chance. One of those must-do things for me was to attend a concert of at least one of “the three big” rock bands – Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple, of course. I couldn’t say goodbye to Black Sabbath and any hopes of a Led Zeppelin reunion went down the drain years ago, so I was left with just Deep Purple. I knew that those guys still have it in them and will pull out something special from their sleeve. In 2017 we got it – a new phenomenal album and a tour! There is a reason why those guys are one of the most influential rock bands of all time – they just keep on going, never stopping, never disappointing.  

Well, finally, after SO MANY years, I can proudly tell the story of how I attended Deep Purple’s “Long Farewell Tour” and crossed it off my bucket list. I can now say that I witnessed how classic rock songs that defined generations of musicians and completely changed the history of rock music materialized on a stage in front of me. This is just so big!! (at least to me) …

The moment I found out that Deep Purple will include Bulgaria in their “Long Farewell Tour” and most importantly, I will also be in my home country at that exact time, I didn’t even blink! The tickets were bought in that exact same second (even managed to score a sweet discount because I got them very very early). To be honest, one of the reasons why I was so excited to visit Bulgaria (I was living in South Korea) was to see Deep Purple and say goodbye to them. My wish came true and with excitement, happiness and smiles I am ready to share my experience with you and show you some photos.

The promo poster for the Bulgarian concert from Deep Purple’s official website:

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The tickets:

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It was Sunday, May 14th; the weather, along with the mood, was GREAT!

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Concert selfies (from outside and inside the venue)
(I bought a T-shirt of my favorite Deep Purple album, “Stormbringer” before the concert)

concert selfie

That’s how the venue (Arena Armeec) looked from the outside [it was still quite early & the fans were just starting to come]

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deep purple concert venue outside

To get to my seat, I had to take the elevator (man, I’m such a diva, never missing a chance to take a photo….)

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and this is how it looked from the inside (the crowd started filling in the arena…)

arena armeec inside deep purple concert

Part 1: Monster Truck

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In addition to seeing Deep Purple for the very first time in my life, I also got the chance to witness the incredible performance of the opening act, Monster Truck – Canadian rockers who actually played in front of a Bulgarian audience for the very first time! I didn’t know much about them but heard only nice things so naturally, I was equally excited to check them out. I was never disappointed by a Canadian rock band and this wasn’t gonna be the first time! Those guys totally blew me away and restored my faith in modern-day rock music. Monster Truck delivered one hell of an act. I was so impressed with them that the moment I got home, I immediately researched and listened to anything I could find on Spotify. The song that attracted me the most was “She’s a Witch” – that riff electrified the entire arena and don’t get me started on the vocal delivery! I have a new favorite band and I’m so happy!

What truly made Monster Truck’s performance so memorable was the guys’ sense of humor and enthusiasm. With that right attitude and refreshing positivism, they made a lot of new fans that night, I’m sure!

monster truck collage

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Part 2: DEEP PURPLE

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After the explosive rock spectacle, delivered by Monster Truck, the stage was already hot enough and every single member of the audience was ready to welcome the giants! We took a little break after the opening act but we didn’t wait that long to welcome Ian Gillan and the rest of the legends. The crowd went wild the moment the lights went off and we heard the opening robotic monologue from their new song, “Time for Bedlam”. Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Ian Paice, Steve Morse and Don Airey settled comfortably on the stage and the party started! It was unbelievable…the great Deep Purple were in front of my eyes, performing a song from their latest album I just reviewed, “Infinite” and other eternal classics! I was lucky enough to witness how one of the most influential voices of heavy metal, Ian Gillan (who by the way is 71 years old) sang “Fireball”, “Bloodsucker”, “Strange Kind of Woman”, “Space Truckin’”, “Hush” and of course, my dearly beloved “Perfect Strangers” which I patiently waited for. Of course, they couldn’t just miss the song that defined the history of heavy metal and encouraged millions of people to grab a guitar and learn how to play it; Yes, I’m talking about that “little” track, “Smoke on The Water”, containing the simplest, most instantly-recognizable riff that was and ever will be created. Needless to say, we sang along, clapped, jumped and everything you do when such a BIG song starts playing.

A couple of memorable and highly impressive moments (at least for me) included the phenomenal keyboard solo of Don Airey who definitely stole the night! I have a soft spot for keyboard players, ever since I became a huge fan of Keith Emerson so naturally, I was all eyes in ears, diving into the breath-taking playing of Don.

Another moment I was waiting for was Roger Glover’s thrilling bass solo. One of my many dreams in life is to learn how to play the bass and seeing him crafting magic on that bass guitar so effortlessly really made me think that it’s high time I did something about that dream of mine. I always respected that guy – there’s just something so charming about him and he definitely has a good aura which spread through every corner of the arena.

The concert ended suitably, with “Black Night” (1970).

It was a delightful, unforgettable evening, full of extraordinary rock music – the kind of rock we don’t really get anymore these days. A couple of things I wanted to share, though: Ian Gillan obviously had no idea which country he was playing in (he never said “Good Evening, Bulgaria” or something like that), he only said that he was feeling “positive vibes”; also, the Bulgarian audience standing in front of the stage was a little bit too stiff (or maybe I was too wild)… I bought tickets for the sitting area which wasn’t that close BUT I was still having so much more fun than some of the people down there who were literally centimeters apart from the legends. I think it was because the audience in front of the stage was mostly composed of old-school fans who didn’t know the songs from the latest album and probably didn’t  have the energy to physically participate in the show (like they used to). One more thing, I was disappointed to see that not many young people actually attended the concert. The majority of the attendees were 40+ year old people – it is understandable, of course, but still raises questions related with the musical attitude of today’s youth. Last but not least, as much as those guys looked like (& were dressed like) our friendly grandpa neighbor who always says hi and smiles, they are still relevant and deserve all the respect they can get from every generation out there. They still have it, believe me! Long gone are their days of prime but that doesn’t mean anything when you have it inside you…

I was there, I loved it and I had the time of my life! Thank you, Deep Purple for the memories and for everything you did and will keep on doing! Till next time…

deep purple collage

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Setlist:

  1. Time for Bedlam
  2. Fireball
  3. Bloodsucker
  4. Strange Kind of Woman
  5. Johnny’s Band
  6. Uncommon Man
  7. The Surprising
  8. Lazy
  9. Birds of Prey
  10. Hell to Pay
  11. Keyboard Solo
  12. Perfect Strangers
  13. Space Truckin’
  14. Smoke on the Water

Encore:

  1. Hush
  2. Bass Solo
  3. Black Night

P.S. All the photos are taken by me. Please be kind and considerate and make sure you don’t just save and use them without my permission! Rock on!

Scorpions Rocked As Hard As Ever On Their 50th Anniversary Tour Concert in Sofia, Bulgaria

ScorpionsTour

 

What a life, what a career… I cannot believe those guys have been rocking for 50 years! In honor of their 50th anniversary, Scorpions went on a grandiose one of a kind world tour that begun last year and will end this December. They performed all over Asia, South America, North America and of course, Europe. On the 17th of July, it was time for Bulgaria to celebrate the long and productive career of those rock legends and welcome them on the stage of Arena Armeets in the capital – Sofia. The news about them including Bulgaria in their world tour came as no surprise, as the band is quite fond of the country and Bulgarian people have a very special relationship with Scorpions. Fun fact, Scorpions is actually one of the bands drawing the hugest crowds at their concerts among all the other rock bands that come to perform in Bulgaria. This time, around 15,000 people came to listen and rock with their favorite band, for probably the last time.

I was extremely excited and have been looking forward to this event since the day I bought my ticket in March. The anticipation and the idea of seeing them perform live for the first time in my life, kept me alive for my entire spring semester abroad – I simply couldn’t wait to come back to my home country and attend their concert. Finally, the day came! The whole experience took me a couple of days since I don’t live in the capital, however it was totally worth it! I was so happy to see people of all ages and all generations coming together, all wearing rock band T-shirts, smiling and ready to rock! This is the kind of atmosphere I really thrive in! Anyhow, huge kudos to the team who organized the event and made sure that given the current events, the security was at its finest and we could all enjoy ourselves, without worrying. I was very impressed by how easy and fast we were able to safely get inside and find our seats and by how smooth and distressful, 15 000 people managed to get out of the arena when the concert finished! There were no unpleasant scenes or people who wanted to darken the bright moment. Once again, it was all thought of brilliantly.

Now, let’s talk about the concert itself and the great Scorpions! With no “warm up” bands, no further dues and not much talk, Scorpions came out on the stage and rocked as hard as ever, right from the beginning with “Going Out With a Bang”. Needless to say, the crowd went wild! Klaus Meine, the frontman, then greeted the fans in Bulgarian. He said “Добър вечер, София! Как сте?“, which means “Good evening, Sofia! How are you?” Of course, the crowd went absolutely wild after this respectful gesture of the band! After that, we went on memory lane with Scorpions and listened to the superb performance of some of their greatest hits from the 70s and 80s, such as “Make it Real” and “The Zoo”. I was mostly touched by their gentle, yet empowering performance of “Send Me an Angel”. I felt like at that point, the soul of each and every person of the audience was filled with so much warmth, hope and happiness that the whole arena became one huge bright star, shining on that dark night sky. One more thing I would like to point out was the fantastic, out-of-this-world drum playing of Mikkey Dee from Motorhead. His violent drum beats, which by the way made the whole arena shake as if there was a crazy earthquake, left us completely speechless. I am glad there were so many young people and even children among the audience so that they could truly feel and appreciate the precision and skills needed to become a drummer. Not many people actually realize or have the chance to hear a storm like the one we witnessed yesterday, in the face of Mikkey! After that, the band went on with “Blackout”, “No One Like You” and “Big City Nights”.

The concert ended with the timeless classics “Still Loving You” and “Rock You Like a Hurricane”, which was actually quite predictable and we were totally ready for the splash! I honestly had the time of my life! I do hope I have the chance to see them again! Their spirit, attitude and dedication inspired me and I can only wish to achieve as much as they did and be as awesome as they are at that age! Thank you, Scorpions!

Check out some photos from the event!

  1. The arena from the outside

2. Me (because of course I would put on a Def Leppard T-shirt, regardless of the band whose concert I was about to see)

3. When we got inside, there was this merchandise shop, where you could buy T-shirts and other things, such as drinks and food.

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4. We found our seats! I cannot really stand up for such a long time so I decided to buy tickets for the seating areas. It was maybe a bit far but I still loved it and the view from above was just perfect! As you can see the arena was a bit empty since it was still quite early.

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5. However, soon after, everyone started coming!

6. The concert begun…

7. And after one hour and a half of heavy rocking and rolling, it’s over… 😦

 

Thank you, Scorpions!

That’s me with a Scorpions headband I bought at the concert!

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P.S. All the photos are mine. Please be kind and make sure that you don’t just save and use them without my permission! Rock on!

Axl Rose’s First Concert With AC/DC: Videos, Setlist

AXL with ACDC

axl with acdc

On May 7th, Axl Rose had his first live performance alongside his new bandmates of AC/DC during their concert at Lisbon, Portugal. The concert marked the beginning of a series of European dates which are scheduled into next month.

Rose replaced Brian Johnson, after the long-time frontman was advised not to perform live events due to his serious hearing issues.

The band began their set with “Rock or Burst” and continued with some of AC/DC’s ultimate hits like “Back in Black”, “Thunderstruck” and many more.

Setlist from Axl Rose’s Debut Concert with AC/DC:

“Rock or Bust”
“Shoot to Thrill”
“Hell Ain’t a Bad Place to Be”
“Back in Black”
“Got Some Rock & Roll Thunder”
“Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap”
“Rock ‘n’ Roll Damnation”
“Thunderstruck”
“High Voltage”
“Rock ‘n’ Roll Train”
“Hells Bells”
“Given the Dog a Bone”
“Sin City”
“You Shook Me All Night Long”
“Shot Down in Flames”
“Have a Drink on Me”
“T.N.T.”
“Whole Lotta Rosie”
“Let There Be Rock”
Encore:
“Highway to Hell”
“Riff Raff”
“For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)”


 

Watch the videos below:

Thunderstruck

Back in Black

Hells Bells

You Shook Me All Night Long

Highway To Hell

Shoot To Thrill


 

AC/DC posted a video on their official Facebook page, featuring Lisbon fans talking about their experience. Watch below:

 

Credits:
See Video, Setlist from Axl Rose’s First AC/DC Concert, retrieved from http://ultimateclassicrock.com/axl-rose-acdc-first-concert/?trackback=tsmclip

AC/DC Invites You To Their Lisbon Show, Alongside New Frontman Axl Rose

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Axl Rose appeared on camera for the first time with his new AC/DC bandmates. Prior to their concert in Lisbon, the band released a video, inviting people to see the show and expressing their enthusiasm and excitement about it.

“Lisbon, here we come,” says Young. “We’re really excited to be here in Portugal. We’re here to give you a great rock show, so we hope to see you all there.”

“Absolutely,” adds Rose. “We’re very excited to be there.”

 

Update:
Angus, Cliff and Axl on Brian Johnson’s departure.


In a recent interview with BBC 6 Music, Axl also revealed: “I’m not here in any way out of any disrespect to Brian. I can’t take anything away from his singing at all. He’s a great singer, and it’s really challenging to sing it. I’m just trying to do it justice for the fans,” says Axl.

You can read the whole article here: Axl Rose says AC/DC shows will be ‘respectful’

Previously, Angus Young joined Guns N’ Roses on stage during their performance at Coachella festival last month.

Watch the live performance below:

 


Credits:
Watch Axl Rose appear with AC/DC bandmates for the first time ahead of Lisbon gig, retrieved from http://www.nme.com/news/acdc/93384

Axl Rose is AC/DC’s New Lead Singer! (WHAT?)

rockorbust acdc

AC/DC’S ROCK OR BUST WORLD TOUR RESUMES WITH AXL ROSE ON VOCALS

AC/DC band members would like to thank Brian Johnson for his contributions and dedication to the band throughout the years. We wish him all the best with his hearing issues and future ventures. As much as we want this tour to end as it started, we understand, respect and support Brian’s decision to stop touring and save his hearing. We are dedicated to fulfilling the remainder of our touring commitments to everyone that has supported us over the years, and are fortunate that Axl Rose has kindly offered his support to help us fulfill this commitment. AC/DC will resume their Rock Or Bust World Tour with Axl Rose joining on vocals. The European stadium tour dates begin on May 7 in Lisbon, Portugal and run through June 12 in Aarhus, Denmark as previously announced (see below for full itinerary). Following this European run of dates with AC/DC, Axl Rose will head out on his Guns N Roses, Not In This Lifetime Summer Stadium Tour. The 10 postponed U.S shows will be rescheduled and announced imminently, also with Axl Rose.


AC/DC European tour dates:

May 7 Lisbon, Portugal Passeio Maritimo De Alges

May 10 Seville, Spain Estadio De La Cartuja

May 13 Marseille, France Stade Velodrome

May 16 Werchter, Belgium Werchter Site

May 19 Vienna, Austria Erns-Happel Stadium

May 22 Prague, Czech Republic Letnany Airport

May 26 Hamburg, Germany Volksparkstadion

May 29 Berne, Switzerland Stade De Suisse

June 1 Leipzig, Germany Red Bull Arena

June 4 London, England The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

June 9 Manchester, England  Etihad Stadium

June 12 Aarhus, Denmark Ceres Park

( Credits : http://www.acdc.com/news?n_id=278 )

 

There were tons of rumors and numerous speculations on whether or not Axl Rose will be chosen as AC/DC’s new lead singer for the rest of their 2016 tour. The speculations ended today, when AC/DC made an official statement on their website, as well as Facebook page. As announced, Axl Rose will in fact be filling in for Brian Johnson on their “Roc or Bust” tour. The European tour dates kick off on May 7 in Lisabon, Portugal and will run through June 12 in Aarhus, Denmark. The U.S. summer dates that were postponed will be rescheduled with Axl Rose as frontman. After completing his engagements with AC / DC, Axl will be focusing on the reunion of his own band – Guns N’ Roses for their ‘Not In This Lifetime’ summer North American tour.

 

 

The statement was made and now everything is official and in order. However, I wanted to ask you guys what do you really think about it? Are you supporting AC/DC’s decision to replace Brian Johnson with Axl Rose or you think it’s a big mistake? Well, I wanted to share my own opinion regarding the situation ….

First of all, I would like to say that I’m a huge fan of AC/DC and even though I won’t be attending their European tour, I am (will be) keeping close track on what it happening during the concerts. The health issues of Brian Johnson came as a huge shock to most fans, including myself, because it’s so difficult to imagine the band without him – they simply go together and that’s it. Now, all of a sudden, the complete image and legacy of the band were threatened and fans became so concerned with its future. Then, all of a sudden, we get these paparazzi photos of Axl, leaving a rehearsing studio with AC/DC and everyone was like….What? No, that cannot be true!!! The majority of fans were just rejecting any possibility of this being true – to many, including myself, it just seemed too ridiculous. Now, however, we finally know – it’s true and it’s happening! I was expecting it, to be honest but that doesn’t mean that I have accepted it! My personal belief is that instead of going with Axl Rose, AC/DC should’ve just cancelled the tour, supported Brian in his recovery and basically gone out with dignity and respect. Instead, they chose to continue the journey with a frontman, whose singing abilities are quite questionable and extremely unsuitable for any AC/DC song. AC/DC were, are and always will be true legends in rock music. As such, I believe they should’ve made a better decision – fans will never stop loving you or listen to your songs if you just choose to retire. I am trying to understand and support their decision but I just can’t. I feel like this whole thing was made for one reason one – marketing and of course money. Everyone on the internet is going nuts over the news but at the end of the day it’s going to be a historical moment. After all, collaboration between those exact rockstars was never even thought of before. Naturally, everyone is going to be so curious and believe me, people might be angry but they will buy the tickets! I also think that it’s a little bit disrespectful towards Brian Johnson who basically helped turn the band into what it is now – one of the best (if not the best) rock bands in history! After so many years of hard work and dozens of breath-taking concerts, I think Brian deserves better…

Also, I wanted to say that the press release, announcing the news was extremely cold and superficial – I was not expecting it to be like that. Brian Johnson is AC/DC and there’s no AC/DC without Brian Johnson. He did so much for the band and he can never be replaced. Fans love him, adore him and respect him with all their hearts. I think he deserves so much more than 2 trivial sentences and a “best of luck in your future endeavors”, don’t you think? Well, all I can say is THANK YOU, Brian for everything you did – We salute you!

Anyhow, I will be waiting with extreme anticipation… I don’t have high hopes but I’m curious and ready to experience this “one of a kind” event… Let me know what you think??

Cheers.