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The Highway Star

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UK reviews 2002 (rescheduled)

Sticky date in Dubai

The band played last night under a full moon (I think!) at the Dubai Aviation Club Tennis Stadium. Around 3000 to 4000 people were attending, it wasn’t sold out but the audience participation and enthusiasm for the gig prompted IG to comment on the "good vibes flowing from the audience."

The standing crowd in front of the stage were really up for it and wholeheartedly got into the whole event - myself included! Who wants to sit down? The audience must have been the most diverse the band has ever played to in this most cosmopolitan and multi-cultural city of Dubai. The weather was hot and humid, the temperature was in the mid 30’s centigrade.

This was my first DP gig ever so the set list (exactly the same as the UK tour) was in my view perfect, mostly oldies which the crowd wanted to hear, however the crowd still went wild for Steve Morse and his showcase Well Dressed Guitar even though nobody had heard it before. Again IG thanked the audience for their tremendous reception they were giving the band.

Highlights for me were, When A Blind Man Cries, which I was playing in the car on the way to the gig and brought out a great vocal from IG as well as another superb Steve Morse contribution. Space Truckin' got the whole audience singing along! For the encores, the crowd went crazy for the classic trio of Hush, Black Night and Highway Star. Smoke On the Water, of course, was another highlight, with mass audience participation, this was preceded by SM’s guitar riff crowd pleaser.

By the end of the gig the band and the crowd were drenched in sweat and IG looked pretty knackered as he left the stage after Highway Star. I guess consecutive gigs in Switzerland and Dubai must be exhausting. The band were in their usual great form, although he sound system was a little bit weak in my opinion and IP’s drums were mixed a bit too low for my tastes.

Overall, a fantastic gig where you left with a smile on your face that you could relive some of those great rock classics from the 70s. I was so glad that I had a chance to see DP on a hot and sticky night in Dubai.

Geoff Stout

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