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[ d e e p P u r . p l e ) The Highway Star

Newsgroups: alt.music.deep-purple
Subject: Buenos Aires Review...Part I
From: Julio Errecart
Date: Mon, 03 Mar 1997 15:29:24 -0300

Well, after 11 years of fandom i finally had the opportunity to see the greatest band ever live at Obras Sanitarias (Bs.As.) last saturday.

The show kicked off at 22:10 and lasted through 24:00 with a attending crowd of i guess 4 thousand or so (Also, no support band). The setlist was something like (not exactly because i didn't take notes):

  • Hush
  • Fireball
  • Black Night
  • Vavoom: Ted The Mechanic
  • Pictures Of Home
  • Cascades: I'm Not Your Lover
  • Woman From Tokyo
  • Smoke On The Water
  • The Aviator
  • Rosa's Cantina
  • No One Came
  • When A Blind Mn Cries
  • Speed King


  • Perfect Strangers
  • Highway Star

In my opinion, i have to say that the show they offered was mostly average, or, nothing more than OK.

I attended the show from about 2 meters from the fence right in front of Jon's mighty Hammond (and hence pretty in front of Steve also).

They opened with "Hush" (not the greatest of openers IMHO) and had the crow going instantly. After a few words of greet by Ian they gave a good performance of "Fireball" which i think rivaled the original with all the great solos from everyone and the now-traditional Into The Fire coda. Good one!

Like it has been already described TNMIB (Ian wore black T-Shirt and shorts) stood centre stage with Steve far left and Roger at right while Jon and Ian were back on plataforms left and right of centre respectively (all this from fans view, not artists').

We then got "Black Night" which got the crowd really going (it seems to be quite a favourite between the argentinians as they even chanted the riff football-style in the previous moments to the show!) though i didn't get too much from it for apart from the incredible 'Powerhouse' version it tends to do nothing for me. Same reaction got later "Smoke On The Water" which fortunately came midways through and didn't really have the singalong as it was also been noted in the NG already (And yes, Rog did play the Rick' bass only on that one).

After OK renditions of "Vavoom" (with the people grooving along) and "Pictures Of Home" Ian introduced '...a new song called "Cascades"...' which for me was one of the very few highlights of the night. Tightly played and with wonderful interplay (at last some moment of magic) by Steve and Jon it also featured the Morse solo he does with his Digital Delays, quite good it was.

We also got a complete :-) :-) :-) and very celebrated "Woman From Tokyo" and also "Rosa's Cantina". Then they threw "No One Came" to my delight even if the rendition was somewhat uninspired, that is until the final section when came a very very good mostly tapping solo by Steve with the band cranking and strobe lights flashing. Nice ending! It must be noted also that the crowd didn't get what that was!!

Another of the few nice moments came with "The Aviator", with a relaxed Ian G. (sat with SM at the edge of stage) and the chime of Steve's six-steel-string and later solo. "When A Blind Man Cries" came and went by and the set was drawn to a close with a take on "Speed King" that really couldn't hold a candle to the 'In Rock' classic we all love and know, sadly. It nevertheless included SM-JL and SM-IG duets...

After "Speed King" the band left very briefly to then come back and play "Perfect Strangers" which was much well received. After that it grew more and more the chanting of "...HIGH-WAY-STAR....HIGH-WAY-STAR..." which was the very last tune of the night including respective average leads from Jon and Steve.

The band then left and it was over.

* Forgot to mention! Jon's solo came after SOTW but it was very brief!! Now that sure was sad. Also Ian Paice had an even shorter break during (i think) SK.


As i said earlier, the show sadly wasn't something really special. Why? Because there wasn't really fire there, there was professionalism, commitment etc. but the tunes didn't really come alive (except some of the new ones - more on that later). There wasn't magic, much less Purple magic.

Jon is Jon and he is indeed *Lord*, an awesome musician and the only reason i'll never forget the evening. Roger was, is and will be the DP backbone, the rythm anchor, the tyres of the machine, etc, etc. He was flawless and had a lot of enthusiasm. Ian P. mantained the implacable sound, feel and precision of the TBRO tour that way, but, the discipline is still boxing him...and there's no one else to blame that on now.

Ian Gillan was and is DP, you just see him there and you instantly feel alright, but in terms of his voice...forget it, he can't really sing, or may i say, he couldn't really sing that particular night i attended, which of course is understandable given the insane touring schedule they've been carrying on since the release of TBRO almost 4 years ago!

And then Steve Morse: great looking guy, with a totally upbeat attitude, all reliablility, and he executed the notes in a very clean and flashy manner. The impression he left on me though, was one of him being a hired gun. The guy almost never let himself go off. He did his thing here and there and even though he has a very positive attitude, he was like a kid carefully going by the guidelines given to him by the big men.

This is not to speak bad of him. Great guy, but the cheminstry really wasn't there as far as what i saw/heard at performance.

But don't get me wrong, there were good points, like:

  • The enthusiasm and freshness which suddenly emerges when they go into "Cascades" or "Rosa's" or the really nice "Aviator".
  • "Aviator" again featuring Ian Gillan singing in tranquility. When he does that, his unique voice *does* appear and begins to shine.
  • Some few incredible moments like in which Steve played an ultra fast run and immediately after his last note Jon Lord would repeat it exactly note for note and so on and on, all this at TOP lead speed. This ocurred a couple of times and is unlike anything previously heard on Purple lead improvs.
  • And about Mk9: Guitarist smiles, plays consistently, all guitar parts played, shows up in every song *and* encore ;-), very relaxed group ambient, etc, etc.

The lasting impression: A professional and 'disfrutable' gig by a seasoned band. But Purple magic? No, not there, or at least not *then*.

Actually, i don't give a fuck. I'll ever love them!

Best regards,
Julio César

*** apologies for the 'DP can do no wrong' commitee but i wanted to tell the real experience ;-) ***
[The DPCDNWC are currently investigating how we are going to punish Julio for this review :^) - Svante)

As a last note, some words about equipment (not much tough)

SM - Music Man signature model, 3 Peavey 5150 stacks (heads not shown) and the cabinets used horizontally (!?) onstage with just one of the 12''s miked, 3 volume pedals (presumably Ernie Ball) to control Digital Delay and perhaps distortion.

RG - 3 Trace Elliot stacks (heads not shown) and his 4-string of recent years. Rickenbaker bass apperars only on SOTW.

JL - Black painted Hammond organ, Korg synth and the electric piano at the side. White Leslie cabinets as seen on CHOHW.

[For more details about the equipment check our equipment section. - Svante)

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