On This Day (March 31)…Deep Purple in the Middle Kingdom

Deep Purple performed on this day in 2004 at the Gymnasium in Beijing, China.

Poster for the show. Retrieved from here.

Deep Purple were at this time on their Bananas World Tour, undertaken to support the album of the same time. It was the first time they had ever performed in Mainland China; they had only ever performed once in Hong Kong prior to this. While the group performed two followup dates in China on this tour, they have not been back to the mainland date. The last time they performed in Hong Kong was in 2010. Though they have not been there much, the band’s visit to China is actually fairly historic; according to coverage at the time, they were one of the first Western rock ‘n roll bands to perform there owing to governmental disapproval of rock ‘n roll.

At first I thought it was too loud, but later I got used to it and I could see which guy was making what sound…I never thought that such a few people could make so much noise.

Chen Lanfan, 19-year-old student who attended the concert. Retrieved from here.

The band was celebrated in a review for its high level of energy. The same review claimed they were fairly popular in China, where fans apparently had waited for this concert for a long time. However, a report in China Daily five days before this concert alluded to the fact that they were “unfamiliar to Chinese fans”. The same report noted while cheaper tickets for this concert sold reasonably well, it also noted that this may have had something to do with the band’s supporting act, Chinese rock star Cui Jian.

The full concert was recorded for Chinese state TV. It can be found online in full.

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