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

Deep Purple Concert
21 April 1999, Sydney Entertainment Centre
Attendance > 9000

What can I say...this was the BEST concert I have ever seen. DP must be the best live act going around at the moment. Except for the "pop" support act FOXC (sorry guys), the night was truly amazing: DP kicked off at 9.05 pm and did not finish (including encore) until 11.10 pm - 2 hours of solid rockin!!

They started with "Ted the Mechanic", then "Strange Kind of Woman" (an incredible punchy version) and finished off with "Black Night" and "Highway Star" for the encore. In between, there were many, many songs (too many to remember them all, especially the order), such as "Lazy", "Bloodsucker" (wow!!), "Almost Human", "Watching the Sky" (beautiful!!), "Perfect Strangers" (electrifying!!), "Pictures of Home", "Smoke on the Water" (truly smokin..., especially the intro by Steve who mucked around with at least half a dozen riffs until he found the right one - original!!), "Fireball", "Speed King" (powerful stuff), "Woman from Tokyo" (absolutely incredible - really got the crowd going), "Sometimes I Feel like Screaming" (superb!!)...and several solos in between.

Jon's organ was howling the whole night - you either felt it in your guts or down your spine - powerful stuff. Steve is blending in better all the time (eg comparing with the Olympia CD) and I must say that Steve's intro to "Highway Star" was the highlight of the night - simulating engine revs. Some of his solos and duels with Jon, Ian P and Ian G were amazing and will never be forgotten. Roger was consistent as always and pushed out some powerful riffs and solos through the night. Ian G was extremely good and pushed out some incredible registers throughout the evening. Ian P was powerful and I must say the mix overall was very good, including Ian P's drums. One amazing thing also (that I thought that I would never see) was Steve and Roger doing some back-up vocals - and in tune!!.

I only have 3 criticisms: having to sit down through 2 hours of the best rockin you'll ever hear; the disappointing air conditioner start-up at the beginning of "Fireball" (Ian G blowing a raspberry or similar); and the night ending. NOTE at the end of the concert, an additional gig was announced for 25 April at Selina's in Sydney - the tickets went on sale at 9.00 am on 22 April and I already have my tickets. Can't wait.

Keep rocking on DP and please, please come back to Australia.

Peter Wypych

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