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German reviews 2002

Sound engineer sets things straight

Yesterday was yet again a wonderful experience of how live music should be played. Not being as foolish as some other people, I arrived at the Amphitheater at 5.30pm. Hell, those tickets were printed ages ago and back then, The Planets and Dio weren’t confirmed yet. So with a bit of common sense I just knew that The Planets and Dio had to start early. And they did…

At 6.15pm The Planets were announced by a German speaking guy who mumbled bits and pieces into the microphone and left. The Planets try to put on a nice show but the sound engineer couldn’t get hold of everything. The guitar player - I didn’t hear him at all. The sound was definitely going to be the major problem tonight (at least at 6.30, I thought). The Planets played about half an hour and did approximately the same numbers as they did in England in February. It was a good performance, but the sound was awful.

At 7.15pm Dio kicked of with Killing The Dragon. Just as the reviews of the American shows I’d say they better skip the solo parts and play two more songs. This would be much better for the crowd, a crowd that was definitely into Dio. Again the sound wasn’t what it should be. Very thumping and loud bass, and the guitar player was again lost in a wilderness of booming bass. I don’t blame the technicians, but Dio himself said something about the sound halfway through the set and things got a bit better afterwards. Nevertheless a rather good show, in spite of the awful sound. RJ Dio stands out, that’s for sure.

At 9.00 pm we finely got what we came all this way for. Deep Purple and they rock, as always. Purple's sound engineers must have had a few problems at the beginning of the show too, but things were straightened out by the third song and rest of the show went on smoothly. Yet again there was too much Glover in the mix, but not as much as with the Planets and Dio.

After winning the bet (Fireball was the opening song), all was going to be alright (we obtained five after show badges). Nevertheless, the fine European climate changed things a bit. After about one hour of showtime, all hell broke loose and it started gushing and pouring and we got soaked all over. Gillan saying: ‘You’re crazy’ with a few flashes of lightning in the background, was indeed a good point of vue.

The set list was the same as they played in America I think. Knocking At Your Back Door was in there along with three encores (Hush, Black Night and Highway star). The riff raff thing before Smoke was very different from what Steve used to do before the American tour. Rog did an awfully good bass solo, Don was better than ever, playing Singing In The Rain just after it started pouring down, and Steve and Ian² were also extremely good - as always. Don’s Star Wars theme was in place. Just very good.

Indeed, Purple is at a live peak for the moment. So go see them, and get there early. Just as the tour in America, the support acts start early. And thanks again to the band (Gillan and the new lady in charge most of all) who were very friendly and down to earth. I just hope to see them in Belgium again in the near future.

Tom Verduyckt, Belgium

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