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Fõnix Sports Hall, Debrecen, Hungary
December 8, 2003

1. Highway star
2. Strange kind of woman (a song about Ian's first wife with three legs...)
3. Silver tongue
4. Knockin' at your back door
5. House of pain
6. Lazy
7. Bananas (great 7/8 and 5/4 song!!!)
8. Contact lost
9. Doing it tonight
10. Space truckin'
11. I've got your number (great solo from Don)
12. Steve's solo/ The well-dressed guitar
13. Don's solo/ Perfect Strangers
14. Smoke on the water
15. Hush
16. Black night

Incredibly the 2003 European Bananas tour did not end in Belgrade as planned... After a fantastic show in Budapest we could all just dream of the band coming back to such a small country some day in the distant future. Then suddenly I saw a small notice about an extra date added to the tour in Debrecen, an East-Hungarian town. The show was not really advertised, still the house was full (a relatively small one for only 8500 people). The organizers found one of the best Hungarian rock bands (Pandora's Box), who were really worth playing the opening part for the masters of rock. (A very weakly performing group called Hooligans had been employed at the Budapest gig to open a couple of weeks before, nobody understood why.)
The Debrecen show was the last in a sequence of four without the band having a day off, so those who don't know the band could have thought that it would only be an exhausted group to finish a long and tiring tour - but DP were as energetic as usual, doing a unique and unforgettable job. Although the solos were not so long and complicated as some fans expected, the band drove the audience nuts. They came out on stage with fantastic ease and delicacy, still Highway Star and the other songs thundered as ever in the past.
In addition to their brilliant proficiency in playing, the members of the band presented us with extremely high spirits. Every one of them was smiling all the time and enjoying what they were doing. They kept looking out at the audience and made eye contact with lots of people as far as they could see in the crowded hall.
Not only were they playing the best rock numbers in the world one after another, they were playing with you and for you. Especially Steve was at his best at showing what he could do between the lines of well written songs with just a few notes of masterly improvisation, smiling at you as if this was as easy as pie. (Ritchie Blackmore may be a virtuoso, but he is quite spiritless - Steve Morse sure can show him how to play the stars off the sky while also touching people's soul the way his Fender sounds.)
The whole performance gave the impression of a group of happy people sharing their happiness with a few thousand others. Ian's magic voice challenged everybody in the hall to sing together with the band. (Steve and Roger sang quite a few lines apart from their vocal parts just for themselves, for fun; and it is worth noting that most of the audience, from teenagers to fifty year old people, knew the lyrics of both the older and the newest songs.)
Monica & George

After the concert in Budapest Arena, the band decided to do another Hungarian show, and they ended the tour in my hometown, Debrecen. Thank you guys!
The concert was held in the new Fõnix-Hall, nearly full house, 6-7000 people. At 19.45 a local band hit the stage (their name was Pandora's Box). They said it was great pleasure for them to play before they heroes, and their show was OK.
At 20.30 Purple started Highway Star, and the crowd went nuts. Gillan's voice was superb, better than in Budapest last time, and it was good to see, how the band enjoyed themselves, they were smiling all the time. The crowd loved the Bananas material as well as the classics, everybody was jumping and singing all the time, total enthusiasm!
Highlights were Knocking, Perfect Strangers (Ian Gillan dancing during Don's solo), Smoke, and Hush, and of course Don's and Steve's solos! Steve was great, he played a short solo before Space Truckin' and a big solo before the Well Dressed Guitar. Don played a fantastic solo, including Liszt, Brahms, and Star Wars, he's Hammond sounded great! (I wish I could have one...)
Thank you guys, it was a great show, such an experience! (My girlfriend got one of Paicey's drum sticks!) I hope you'll come to Hungary next year too!
Krisztián Szabó


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