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Reviews, Europe 2003

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Philipshalle, Düsseldorf, Germany
November 2, 2003

Highway Star
Strange Kind Of Woman
Silver Tongue
Knocking at your backdoor (bass intro by Roger)
House Of Pain
Contact Lost
Space Trucking
I've got your number
Well dressed guitar
Perfect Strangers
Smoke on the Water

Black Night.

First of all, my over all impression: Bloody brilliant. This was my 8th Deep Purple concert since 1987 and the best yet.
The concert began with Molly Hatchet. To be honest I am not very familiar at all with their music, except that they are a southern rock combo. The crowd's initial reception was rather luke warm, but due to their very energetic and raw performance this reception gradually got better and better. The only bad sides to it was a very mushy sound and the singer was hard to understand. He seemed to swallow most of the words and mumble loudly more than sing. Still, it was a good performance.
Then came the boys. The seemed to be having a ball. Their performance was raw and full of energy. A hell for leather performance that often reminded me of recordings from various 70s concerts. I am not somebody to compare the current DP to the earlier 70s time period, as time has gone by and the band has evolved, but this concert was not only their usual perfect musicianship and their brilliant showmanship, this also kicked major ass, like I have not seen it before. Their selection of songs was also faultless. The new songs, Silver Tongue, Bananas, I've got your number, Haunted and Contact Lost acting as a prelude to the previous rubbed shoulders with Purple's 70s and 80s hits and sounded as though they could have been recorded back to back along with them.
They fit in with the classics like a glove.
Don Airey has definitely become part of the band and certainly added to the high energy performance. He attacked the ivory keys with a vigour like a dervish in full flight, which fired up Steve Morse to as yet unreached performances in each and every song.
I was totally gob smacked at quite a number of times. Goose pimples were running up and down me most of the time and that is a very good sign for a blooody good show.
The only down side perhaps, was that Bananas didn't continue into a vessel for more duelling between Don and Steve, but was more or less of the same length as the recorded version. On the other hand, I suppose they would have had to have ommitted one or two of the other songs to keep within the time limit and nobody wants that, do they... So it isn't a downer after all.
An absolutely fantabulous concert and I highly recommend everyone to go see them. They are in their prime and maybe even getting better...
Simon Goss

The concert in Düsseldorf was great, the atmosphere was very good and the concert took about 105 minutes.
Everybody played a solo: Ian Paice played a short drum solo in "Hush" (too short). Don Airey played a very great solo before "Perfect Strangers" (featuring "Maybe Next Time" by Rainbow!), Roger Glover played his solo in the beginning of "Black Night". Steve Morse played a great solo before "Lost Contact" and "The Well dressed Guitar" and a very nice introduction to "Space Truckin'".
And - for the first time that I've ever heard - Ian Paice did a big mistake in "Highway Star..." He played the break he usually plays before the keyboard solo between the first and the second verse, and everything went a little bit wrong. After the song he left his drums, went to Ian Gillan, bowed to him to show his backside to be punished, and Ian Gillan patted him - it was quite funny.
It was a very nice evening. I only missed songs from "Purpendicular" (Ted The Mechanic, Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming) and "Abandon" and perhaps some "new old songs".
Stef Ha

Last night my two sons and I went to see DP in Düsseldorf. Molly Hatchet opened the night and played a hellraiser show. Hell Ya.
After a 30 minute break it was time for the event of the night.
At 21.30 Deep Purple kicked off with a great version of Highway Star, followed by a 'different' version of Strange Kind Of Woman. Different from the version in a previous life. The song sounded heavier and had a short drumsolo.
This night they played a lot of tracks from the Bananas CD. The songs sounded tighter and heavier live as on the 'perfect' Bananas CD. At the Arrow Classic Rock festival I already heard I've Got Your Number and Haunted. The first one was as tight as I saw it the first time, a real classic track and the latter was now preceeded by Contact Lost and fitted in perfectly.
There was a lot of joking around on stage. Ian Paice coming to the front of the stage to show Ian G his back, Don's funny hat, Steve preventing Ian Gillan from singing by changing the melody, the strange guitar parts Steve played during the chorus of Smoke on the Water. A roadie holding up a card which showed the perfect score of 10.0, when Don and Ian Paice did a short solo.
Ian Paice and Roger Glover sat down behind the amps to watch Don Airey do his solo spot and Ian Gillan stood there with his arms crossed. All watching in admiration at Don. They we're all having a great time. I don't have to tell how good everyone was.
The only thing I missed were the famous purple battles between keyboards and guitar. Sure they were there, but much too short and far too few.
It was over much too soon at 22.55.
The encore was the same as at Arrow Classic Rock. First Hush, with a much too short drumsolo by Ian Paice and second Black Night. In between they played a fun version of Hit The Road Jack.
Thank you for a great show. And a special thank you to Roger Glover who was kind enough to spend some time with us.
Theo, Vincent & Philippe Moonen

The concert in Dusseldorf was a bit disappointing. The very first song "Highway Star" was a bit of a mess. Steve Morse broke a string and wasn't able to play his solo. That was quite disappointing. Sorry...And they didn't even play "Speed King", Fireball" or "Pictures of Home". I love to listen to Deep Purple, but any other band would love to have these songs...
How about "When a blind man cries", Mean Streak", "Nobody's home"...?
I really love you guys.
Simon Wystrach

I think tonight was my 20th DP show - and what a show. So many years since ABandOn finally some really new songs were put in the show. Not that I was bored with the last shows, oh no, not at all! But I think Bananas is in the top 5 of the best albums ever DP made and I was looking forward to hear them live. Oh yes, and it was even my birthday (nice birthday present).
They opened with Highway Star, pity that Steve Morse made a little mistake and they missed a part of the song and because of that the song sounded not as strong as it used to be.
The classic Strange Kind of Woman was next. After so many years this song still makes me happy. Even though it is a great song, it could easily have been replaced by a new song, (Sun Goes Down or Razzle Dazzle for example).
Lucky for me they continued with Silver Tongue. SM surprised me with a kind of a futuristic guitar solo and IG loves to sing this song, judging by his way of singing and acting.
Knocking at Your Back Door sounded different to a few years ago, much more powerful and the crowd went wild, just like me.
Again it was time for a new song, one of my favourites of the new album, House Of Pain. Thinking back, it was one of the highlights to me. It is such a powerful song that it is impossible to stand still.
Bananas was followed by Contact Lost, IG introduced it sitting on the stage and giving it the emotional meaning the song has. It flowed into Haunted which has grown since I heard it first in Belgium at the Schwung Festival.
SM lead us into Space Truckin' and after 30 years this song still rocks the roof off. I Got Your Number was next, on the album not one of the best songs but live it's great and the band love to play it, especially SM, who was out of control according to IG's words. The Well Dressed Guitar showed up again and gave a very good performance and it went faster and faster with more and more power. Don Airey came in with a very good solo and it was nice to see that backstage IG and SM and out of my sight maybe RG and IP too were looking at him with a satisfied smile. As usual the solo lead into Perfect Strangers and they closed the show with Smoke on the Water. The encores were Hush, with a never ending rhythm and a solo from RG and IG singing Hit The Road Jack, and Black Night.
Then it was over and out, so soon? No, it was not that soon, but time passed away so quickly.
Best moments of the show were House Of Pain, Knocking At Your Back Door and the joy they had on stage. After so many shows together it is so good to see that they are still a team. Just look at Ian Paice how he hits the drums, what a rhythm, just like Roger Glover, he is always playing a solo, but it fits into the song. Don Airey is maybe not as a large personality as Jon Lord, but he plays in his own way, and what a way, and last Ian Gillan, what shall I say about him, just 'thaaaaaaaaaaaaaank you'.
Peter Rossen, Netherlands

Wow, the fourth time this year to visit a concert of our DP gang. Lucky us!
First some minor points. Rather heavily priced T shirts (as always) but not a single Bananas tourbook for sale! However: big positive point: loads of Bananas cds for sale as other cds, DVDs etc.
Second point: sorry folks, but Molly Hatchet? Do we need American bands, who sound like amateurs next to Deep Purple and who worship the American president and the American army? Do we need those American political items in a rock concert in Europe? Well, no need to waste more words about that!
Then Deep Purple in Dusseldorf. First Item of Joy: Bananas, the titletrack is back! Hip hip for the band! Second item of Joy: they sounded fresh and fresh fruit brings the best flavours. New tryouts and alternatives within familiar old sounds, also very much appreciated!
Magnificent lightshow and bananas curtains behind the group: also appreciated.
Most delightful new track of the Bananas cd but NOT in the show: Walk on.
Some highlights:
Strange Kind of Woman (according to Gillan's about his 43-year-old wife when he was 9)
Silver Tongue (experimental with effects)
House of Pain (Gillans voice starts to sound good although he says somewhere during the show, "my voice is shot anyhow")
Lazy (new and fresh sounds)
Bananas (what a relief to have it in the show)
Contact Lost (emotional intro by Gillan and very sensitively played by Steve Morse)
Haunted (straight into the song from Contact Lost, good thinking)
Space Truckin’ (what a trio after Contact Lost and Haunted)
Well Dressed Guitar (great new intro by Steve Morse)
Don Airey’s solo (he knows his classics as well as the German favourites and the “space songs” keep attract one's full attention (great lights with it))
Perfect Strangers (one can hear Ian Gillan struggle with the heavy parts but he is working hard for it, applause for him!)
We liked the although short solos by Roger Glover (give him 5 minutes alone) and Ian Paice (he can play forever)
It was a pleasure to hear them again and hopefully till next year
Dirk de Hen

Although I belong to the setlist-sceptics I went home satisfied. First of all they did a nice Bananas which brought the total of new songs on 5. Out of 15 songs that ain't bad. More important is that the show didn't loose momentum as was the case during some of the Abandon songs and The Aviator a few years ago. On the contrary, the new songs were dynamic and fitted in the rest of the program very well.
Also the old songs got some little changes here and there which was a plus. The sound was very loud, especially the guitar.
Ian Gillan was coughing, but didn't sound bad. Don got more space in my opinion than a few months ago, he did well, especially in Hush and Perfect Strangers.
And Roger, thank you for the plectrum you threw in my right arm...
Frank van der Broek

As Gina, my wife, had some complaints about me going for a third Deep Purple gig this year, and for a 3 hours drive from Bruges to Düsseldorf. So, I had a cunning plan :-): I’ve matched it together with a one week holiday in Holland, next to the German border…
Michel De Pourcq - read Michel's full review


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