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Europahalle, Karlsruhe, Germany
June 13, 2003

The Summer Tour 2003 is off to a great start.
The show at Karlsruhe was the initial show that featured Lynyrd Skynyrd with Deep Purple. Both bands mentioned how much they enjoy working together. I didn't expect the Europeans would be very familiar with the southern rock legend of LS, but if Karlsruhe was any indication, they will be very well received.
My friend was originally going to bring his oldest son, but school finals became the priority. Too bad, I think he would have learned something that you cannot find in the books, but he may get another chance in August.
This was my fourth DP concert at a European venue, and it is always so much fun to see a show here because the European fans seem to have a deeper appreciation of the Deep Purple experience.
The play list was the same as the earlier shows this month. I would really like to know more about the band's rational for selecting the play list. With so many songs in the inventory, virtually any of them would be worthy of consideration. It was the first time in seven shows for me that they haven't included anything from Purpendicular or Abandon.
What we did get though was superb. I particularly thought that Speed King and Fireball were exceptional this night, incredibly fast and tight. I thought the two new songs were very good, with a hint of familiarity and a lot of excitement. I can't wait for Aug 24th. I was pleased as always to see Machine Head well represented (five songs) and one from WDWTWA. I always love Hush but it was unusual to have it at the end instead of the beginning. No matter, I'll take 'em any way they want.
Ian's vocals were strong and in perfect pitch. I just don't know how he does it, over and over again, night after night. Steve was masterful as usual, my friend (being a guitar afficionado himself) was very impressed. Don was great and I loved the solos, and the keyboards all sounded fantastic.
I couldn't see Roger nearly as much as the rest because of my location, but I sure could hear him all the time. No other bass player can compare to Roger's driving bass lines and tonal quality that is the foundation for every song. He makes it look so easy and relaxed, just having fun. Being an amateur drummer myself for 35 years, Paicey is always my favorite and has never disappointed. Once again his timing was flawless and his bursts of speed were awesome. I saw an earlier review that complained that Paicey only did the absolute minimum - yet in my opinion he articulated every key drum passage that occurs in the recordings, he just makes it all look so damn easy. I would love to see a drum solo every show, after all he is one of the best drummers in the world - how about it Ian?
Overall, an excellent show and I am sure DP will be scheduling a US tour after the release of Bananas, and you can believe we will be there.
Jim Wells
Michigan, USA

"Cold" DP delivers very hot show
Lynyrd Skynyrd, after a local band, opened the show, and in my opinion, were more than good enough to heat up the 35°C warm Europahalle to 42°C. We all enjoyed them a lot, and I am very happy having seen them for the first time although I have always enjoyed them, too.
Then DP came up with "Highway star" as opener, which was really great. Two songs of the soon coming new album, the first one being a slow one that I did not enjoy, and the second one ("got your number" or so), which seems to be a real big new DP song. Looking forward to the new album!
Of course, classics as "Smoke on the water" as well as a superb "Black night", but also a non-lazy-at-all performance of "Lazy", helped to heat up an extremely excited crowd. I think that temperatures went up to 50°C (no joke! it was extremely hot inside).
In my opinion, DP did not have a real good day. The DP-power-soul was missing. They did not put enough heart into the show, and finally stopped after short 1h40 or so, despites a real fantastic crowd.
I was missing Jon Lord, the best musician, composer and keyboard - and Hammond - live performer worldwide. He always gave that little piece of "Sir Jon Lord", very Britsh to me, but without any compromise on his Hammond or Piano. I therefore found it very respectful that Don was placed in the middle of the stage, not on "Jon's left side". This underligned that this is another DP now. This shall not be a remark against Don Airey, because he did do a very good job, and replacing Jon Lord is not possible. In fact, I was even positively surprised by some parts that I loved really a lot - but...
Ian Gillan, whom I had sometimes seen having problems to perform, was singing in a great way. His voice was top top top !!!
Rolf (now 35- years old DP fan)

It's always nice seeing my "old friends" playing music together. Nobody does it better (exept for themselves sometimes).
The Europahalle was hot and crowded. Lynyrd Skynyrd were very special guests and treeted like a headliner. They still sound the way they always did.
It got even hotter.
Deep Purple played the same setlist as they did on the shows before. I dont think they've done themselves a favour with this set. Some songs still don't work out live. The only song since 84 was Perfect Strangers. And - excuse me Steve - the dramatic String part everybody was waiting for was anything other than groovy.
But where the hell were the songs from Purpendicular? Fantastic songs like Ted, Rosas Cantina, Hey Cisco...? These songs put DP in the 90s and further. I remember they had a gitarist who complained about "nostalgia".
I'll be seen them in November and I hope they can focus more on the presence than on the past.
But either way: Deep Purple is still in motion. Keep it that way.
Stefan Dehmel

I did it again! I catch as many Purple gigs as I can (afford).. and this was one of the greatest! Number one of course would be the gig on Kleine Scheidegg in Switzerland during a snowstorm.. But that's another story!
It was very hot outside on Friday and the show was indoor. The hall had a roof made of glass - it was like a sauna!
Lynyrd Skynyrd were really good and they played mostly old material. I enjoyed the show very much, what I didn't enjoy was what the temperature and a certain kind of fluids did to a certain kind of people. The mood was very aggressive in places and I hoped that they would calm down during the show. And they did!
At 22.15 clock it was Purple time. They kicked off with Highway Star. Ian was wearing a new white pyjamas and walked barefoot again. Maybe that was the reason why they cleaned the stage with a vacuum cleaner before the show. Roger was wearing sunglasses and the rest looked great as usual. In my opinion Highway Star is the best (if not the only) way to start a Purple show. The energy level went from 0 to 100, but the aggressiveness was gone. We were all friends and shared the same love for the band in front of us.
One of the first things I realized was that there were no congas on stage. And I was right: Ian didn't play congas during the whole show. Instead he had a tambourine which was clearly heard. Does anyone know the reason why he doesn't play congas?
Later we were treated with I'm Alone. I think this obscure b-side as Ian introduced it was maybe the only weaker song in the whole set. It was nice to the guys play new old numbers nevertheless but there was lacking something. I'm not complaining.
Without a break we were straight into Pictures Of Home. What beautiful song! They left out the second guitar solo, but it was great anyway.
Now my anticipation was very high as I knew that now was the time for the first Bananas number. Ian introduced it as one of the faster songs from the album and it turned out to be a very soulful bluesy song a la When A Blind Man Cries. Well, it doesn't quite reach When A Blind Man Cries, but it was very good. It has a catchy tune and a very good melody. I know that it will sound great on the new album
After the song Ian told us that they would play an even slower song next and he couldn't finish what he said and little Ian counted in Speed King. The song was shortened very much no bass solo, no drum solo and no rock 'n' roll medley or fooling around. After the guitar/organ duel which was very good they carried on with the guitar/vocal duet and finished the song. The new arrangement worked very well, the song was tight and powerful.
Next came The Well-Dressed Guitar and we all stood in awe.
After a short organ intro it was time for Lazy, which was the regular arrangement. Maybe it would have been better to include another old song instead but it was alright.
Then we could catch another glimpse into the new album in the shape of I've Got Your Number. At first I felt that the song was lacking something, but when they repeated the riff and the chorus after the quiet middle section I thought yes, that works!
Perfect Strangers was the musical highlight of the show and the whole evening. How can anyone write such an unbelievable number? It features everything a good rock song must have..
Steve teased us with some Zeppelin (Whole Lotta Love and Heartbreaker), ZZ-Top (La Grange), The Beatles (Here Comes The Sun) and some other tunes. Then the inevitable Smoke was played. Well, I listened to that song a few times too often in the last fifteen years..
Another highlight came in the shape of Space Truckin'. This number really rocks! Little Ian played like a demon. Maybe I'm wrong, but I had the feeling, that one of the reasons of his extraordinary performance was the fact, that he didn't have to spare his power for the drum solo. He really was amazing and the star of the evening. (At least for me). I never saw him play with such power and energy! The drum break in Space Truckin' was the most memorable moment of the whole show.
The show was over after 90 minutes. Too short? Well, I think 90 minutes is a good time and I didn't think the show was too short.
Go and see them!
Harald Liesk

Deep Purple delivered the best concert since almost 10 years (exceptions: Albert tour and the Purpendicular tour '96). The "integration" of Don Airey is now really completed. And this meant that many solos and duets so far played by Steve alone are now parted or completely taken over by the keyboards. Don accommodates the DP style and sound, but he doesn't try to copy Jon anymore.
Helge and Sebastian
read Helge and Sebastian's complete review (also available in German)

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