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

Deep Purple Live in Rio de Janeiro - March 24, 1999
(But where is "Highway Star"?)

Well, I will start from the only negative thing about the show. They DIDN'T PLAY "Highway Star" in the encore and the audience got very frustrated because the show was simply wonderful and "Highway Star" would be the "grand finale". Believe me, it was a monster performance. I didn't believe that they could do a better job than they did in the last show in São Paulo, because that show was a fantastic one, but Jesus Christ, they did!! They played with a power that devastated the audience. There is no way to explain how the feeling was during "Speed King" (by the way, Gillan introduced the song as a menuet), the best version I have ever heard, with a battle (yes, a battle) between Ian Gillan and Steve Morse that made some people get hysteric and brought tears in some faces. After that, the encore. Almost everyone knew they were going to play "Black Night" and "Highway Star". As usual, the audience started to sing the riff of "Black Night" (that "oh oh oh oh" thing) and the guys entered the stage again and played a powerful version of the classic. At this moment I turned to a friend of mine who was attending his first Deep Purple show and said: "Man, be prepared to fly. Now is time of Highway Star". I had just finished to say that and the band left the stage again, what is not usual as they always play "Highway Star" right after "Black Night". Then I thought: "Well, the show is so awesome that they are planning a final apotheosis, so they will come back only to play "Highway Star". At this moment the audience was crazy and shouting in unison: "Highway Star! Highway Star! Highway Star!". The public kept shouting for 2 or 3 minutes and suddenly the lights were turned on and many people said: "What's going on?". Then the roadies entered and started to dismantle the stage. That was it, the show was finished. I will never know what happened, but I think it was a serious thing in the backstage. I'm sure it was nothing with the band as the the guys seemed to be enjoying the show, all of them smilling all the time and joking and Gillan in particular was very funny this night. The audience was also fantastic and the band was feeling that, as they seemed to have fun with the public reactions.

Well, I don't know, there must be a reasonable explanation for this, but it's not up to me.

Apart from this, the show was fantastic. Gillan seemed to be a little tired since the beginning, but sang well. Roger made an amazing job, mainly during "Lazy" and "Bloodsucker". Paice, Steve and Jon were playing in the limit, it's hard to say who had the best performance.

Hightlights: "Speed King", drum solo, "Pictures of Home", "Bloodsucker" and "Woman from Tokyo".

The set list was the same as the shows in São Paulo.

Luiz Bezerra

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