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

Selina's (Coogee Bay Hotel) Sydney, Sunday 25th April 1999

Well it's only a few days ago that I saw the first Sydney Show, I suppose you would call it the "official" show because although very good it followed the format of all the shows so far on this leg of the "Abandon" tour and having been an avid reader of the "Highway Star" for a very long time I suppose it took a little (just a little) bit of the excitement away because I knew what to expect and what followed what.

Tonight I witnesses the second Sydney show, and I suppose you would definately call it the "unofficial" Sydney Show, this was real "Abandon". IG said at the beginning of the night that "this was a night off for them and anything could happen" and it was and it did!!

Doors opened around 6.00pm, support act on around 7.00pm went for about 35 minutes. Deep Purple came on at 8.00pm and finished at 10.00pm. The set list for tonight was as follows:

Ted the Mechanic
Black Night - including guitar solo at end
Pictures of Home - a bit more jamming
Rosa's Cantina
Woman from Tokyo
Into the Fire - yes the FULL Into the Fire!!!
No One Came
Watching the Sky
Guitar Solo, then,
Smoke on the Water
Keyboard Solo, then,
Perfect Strangers
Speed King - organ vs guitar, bass and drum solos, Gillan v guitar

Seventh Heaven
Highway Star

Selina's is a large beach side hotel and is probably one of the biggest "pub" venues in town, probably holds a couple of thousand people at the most.

Got to the pub at around 5.00pm, got myself a couple of drinks and stood in the queue (doors opened just after 6.00pm, no reserved seating). There's two levels, the floor in front of the stage and the "gallery" upstairs. I went up and got a spot right at the front. Very good view, I could see everything clearly.

The sound system was a bit crappy at various times during the night, but seemed to improve for the second half of the night, Steve was having trouble with his guitar, Jon had some trouble with his speakers, Roger stuck his head up to his amps and speakers a few times, Ian Paice seemed to get through OK, but the best line came from Ian Gillan: "I'm going to beat this FUCKIN' echo" (he said it not me!).

Even though those problems came and went, it was still a VERY VERY good show and the band seemed to enjoy it very much. There was a lot of extra songs that hadn't been played for a while, Ian Gillan used the lyric's book quite a few time, he even stuffed up a few things, but they were all laughed off.

The solo's were also completely different from the "mainstream" shows (I've spoken to some people who were at the Perth, Melbourne and Newcastle concerts). I think that those of us that were there tonight were very lucky to see the band in a venue like this because It really was something different and I don't think that many will be lucky enough to see Deep Purple in similar surroundings.

Bruce Payne, Deep Purple manager, had a video camera with him and was stalking around the stage at various parts of the night filming the guys, hope it's not just for himself and some of it will end up on the video released mid year!!!

So there you go, we had to wait 15 years for them to come back and I saw them here a few night apart in two concerts that were totally different. I think that Sydney (and myself) was very lucky.

PS, let's hope it's not another 15 years before the next time!!!

John Newman

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