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Sold out in Stuttgart

After half an hour break for rebuilding (it took quite a long time to take away the coffin, the corpse parts and the guillotine), which put he atmosphere down to zero again, it finally started. There were two big video screens at the sides of the stage, but only one worked, luckily the one at my side. So I could see our guys step out of a tour box and walk onto stage. Nice trick!

Pictures of Home
Things I Never Said
Wrong Man
Ted the Mechanic
Living Wreck
Rapture of the Deep
Before Time Began
Mary Long
Well Dressed Guitar /Steve Morse Solo
Don Airey Solo
Perfect Strangers
Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye
Space Trucking
Highway Star
Smoke on the Water

Speed King / r’n’r medley
short solo Roger Glover
Black Night

Somewhere there was a drums solo, but I forgot where. In the other setlists there was Junkyard Blues, but I can’t remember having heard that.

Finish was at appr. 23:15, so about 1 3/4 hours playing time.

The songs in detail:
The first notes of Pictures… were awful, something was totally wrong with the organ sound. The music was extremely bass heavy, also the guitar sounded strange. But after a short while the sound technicians got it right and then the sound was excellent. Sometime Steve and his technician fiddled at his amplifier also. POH is one of my favourites, but as an opener I prefer Ted or Highway Star.

Things I Never Said of course nobody knew (except the hardcore fans of course), according the atmosphere was very cautious. I found that not the best of a live song.

Wrong Man took off well, the hard riff obviously was the taste of the masses. Great live song for headbanging. I’d like to hear that more often in the future. Ted finally had a bit of recognition effect.

Living Wreck let the atmosphere cool down again, as it seems to be more unknown. Nice change, it came to my mind this could have been taken into the setlist as an allusion to Alice (sorry, Mr Cooper)?

ROTD got across very well, the promotion and TV appearances paid off. This song, together with Wrong Man might be heard more often. Before Time Began had an extremely weak beginning, especially Ian’s singing was rather lean. The second, harder part was very good again.

Nothing to say about Mary Long.

Steve’s Solo with elements of Well Dressed Guitar at the beginning and at the end was great. Afterwards he said, he would have played much longer, “…but the boys cut my solo down”.

Lazy was brilliant, great interplay of Don and Steve. Don’s solo was the regular, with classics and Star Wars and local colour. During Perfect Strangers the hall boiled for the first time. But it cooled down noticeably during Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye.

The classics Space Truckin’, Highway Star and SOTW were thrillers of course. On the video screens they showed pictures of water and fire during SOTW, but no smoke visible.

Short break, then it went on with Speed King, built in a medley of old Rock’n’Roll songs like Mary Lou. A (much too short) bass solo lead to Black Night, a breaker as usual.

Final conclusion: sold out hall (what was not at all the case with Bananas), thanks to extensive promotion on all stations (I have heard spots with IG, Don, Paicey and Roger).

Sound perfect (after initial difficulties), atmosphere indifferent, but all together very good. Maybe the impression was deceiving. As I was sitting for the first time, surrounded by elder gentlemen, for whom tapping with the foot was an extreme emotional outburst, I am normally used to something different, but the first row, where I can be found usually, maybe is not representative as well.

I found it a pity, that not a single song from Bananas was played, Haunted or House of Pain would have been nice, if only as a reminder that there is another album that most don’t have at home. A little bit of promotion in own case can’t be wrong.

By the way, from the gates of the Hanns-Martin-Schleyer-Halle were opened, it took a long time before I could pick up my tickets at the box office. The local management had no intention to considering the guest list and brought our tickets only after the hall was completely sold out(!), so I didn’t enter the hall till the end of the opening act MadMax.

Alice Cooper was musically quite ok, he played from 19:45 (with 15 minutes delay) until 21:00 h. The atmosphere was quite cautious at the beginning, only during the encores did the audience really get off. His show is a matter of taste, I personally don’t like this kind of glorification of violence.

Helge Mayschak

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