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Montreux Jazz Festival, Stravinskij Auditorium, Montreux, Switzerland
July 4, 2004

Silver Tongue
Woman from Tokyo
I've Got Your Number
Strange Kind Of Woman
Knocking At Your Back Door
Demon's Eye
Contact Lost
Steve Morse solo
Well Dressed Guitar
Don Airey solo (William Tell and no Star Wars!)
Perfect Strangers
Highway Star
Space Truckin'
Smoke On The Water

Roger Glover solo
Hit the Road Jack and Gillan's favourite nursery rhyme
Black Night

It was a very, very long night.
DP were billed as being on second which is what happened in 2000. This time when Cheap Trick left the stage we were momentarily confused at the stage set up we were watching until we realised the smart white cabinets signified that the Quo were on next. I was grateful for this as I wanted to see them but doubted my capacity, after the 2000 experience, to make it to the end. That was the only time ever I was praying for Deep Purple to leave the stage because my feet were screaming from standing in queues, being too competitive and determined to be at the front, from where there was no escape.
Status Quo were superb and it was obvious from the audience reaction and the number of Quo shirts in evidence that many had come purely for them. And they were amazing! Immaculate timing, loads of fun and those great songs to which I defy anyone to stand completely still. I am so glad I got to see them.
Cheap Trick were also very entertaining. Robin Zander is truly charismatic and posseses a real rock voice and personality and still has the hair. They did an hour, the Quo did an hour and a half.
DP were rather late on, it was after midnight! I briefly feared another 'Skynyrd effect' after the Quo's mighty performance - quite a number of people did leave before DP came on. But they did not let us down one little bit.
The set worked really well despite my usual misgivings about too much from the Mark II era material. At least there were four Bananas’ songs. I would still like to hear some material from Abandon or Purpendicular included.
The sound was superb and the screens on either side of the stage were a great benefit allowing me to avoid the crush and staying at the side this time. Much safer! In fact you could watch the whole concert from the safety of the bar on a huge screen if you chose to.
After ‘Smoke’ quite a few people left the Auditorium, either they had fulfilled their ambitions of seeing it performed in its birthplace or else their feet gave out.
As always the band looked to be enjoying themselves. Ian's voice sounded really strong, although he was having difficulty with the high notes in ‘Woman from Tokyo’ (he should take advice from Roger Daltry who still manages to sing all the Who’s back catalogue simply adapting it to the way his voice is now) and all their usual energy was there in abundance. I don't know how they do it after such a punishing schedule. Montreux obviously brings out the best in them.
This was the second outing for ‘Demon’s Eye’ and it is good to see a different song being brought into the set.
Don was on form, his playing gets better and better and at least his sound is given the prominence it deserves. I used to have to strain to hear Jon Lord at times. Don did a delightful jazz version of Smoke as an intro to the real thing, very appropriate for the festival. During ‘Smoke’ the lights at the back of the stage were turned into a smoke and flame effect. Earlier Status Quo had used them to good effect with falling raindrops to accompany
had a lengthy solo opportunity with Contact Lost which Ian introduced with the story of the loss of STS 107 Columbia. The Well Dressed Guitar is still in the set to the disenchantment of many it seems. I still love it’s simplicity.
Ian made his usual references to the vibes coming from the audience that are so important to them and it sounded sincerely meant. Ian also referred to a statue on the lakeside before he started Hit the Road Jack. I don’t know if the younger members of the audience would have understood he meant Ray Charles - perhaps they thought he meant Montreux’s rather more prominent Freddie Mercury feature.
Question - did they really only change to being third on so they could watch the football?
Well now I only have to wait 18 weeks or so to the UK tour. It's too long . . .
Elinor Bostock


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