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Stuttgart: Very close to the definite setlist

I enjoyed a very pleasant Saturday! First I attended Steve’s guitar clinic at the club Samba and than I saw my favourite band in full action!

In the afternoon I took my car and headed for the small town Winnenden near Stuttgart to attend my first guitar clinic. Being a guitarist myself, this was about to be a real treat….First I was surprised of the people at the club! I was the only one showing my colours with a Purple shirt!

It was a very mixed audience of young and older, female and (mainly) male persons. Talkative as I am I used the time until the clinic started and talked to some of the guys. Well…. I was shocked: None of them was a Purple fan, they were much more into Steve Morse and one of them even told me, that he regrets that Steve spends such a lot of time with Deep Purple! Only one of them wanted to see the show!!

Well, now to the clinic: It was sponsored by Engl and a local music shop. You could buy all kind of different things and they even gave you 10% on each item. Anyway, at 4 o’clock Steve arrived and came on stage. He was very relaxed, joked a lot and even tried his German. Then he told us about his guitars and asked if anybody had a question. Someone said: “First play, then question!” Steve laughed a lot and said, that the message was clear!

He played several “songs” backed up by a tape. Then he explained about his every day practicing routine. It was very interesting: He showed us a lot of high speed runs up and down the fretboard. He talked about his equipment and the different sounds that he uses.

He finished after 90 minutes. Unfortunately I couldn’t wait for his signing session, as I had to go to the hall and it was getting late… I think most of the people stayed, but they had no plans for the concert anyway!

I arrived at the Schleyerhalle just after the doors had opened. I managed to get a good position with a good view and waited for the show. Gotthard, a band from Switzerland, opened for Deep Purple and I have to admit that I had a very pleasant surprise. Their blend of melodic, grooving hard rock was very enjoyable.

The singer has a very good voice, the sound of the band was very balanced and clear (something that is not always the case). They finished after 75 minutes and the woman next to me said, that it would get very hard for Deep Purple to match this show. I told her, that after the first chords it would be clear who is the “boss” in the house….

Well….how wrong I was! Deep Purple opened with Pictures Of Home/Things I Never Said and the reaction of the crowd was close to zero! It seemed for me, that I was the only one who was shouting and yelling.. What a big difference to the shows that I had seen before (two of them were at exactly the same place)! Usually it’s hard to get a view of the band during the first minutes because everyone is waving and putting their fists in the air…

During Into The Fire things good a bit better and after Strange Kind Of Woman everyone (well, almost) was on their feet! Rapture Of The Deep and Wrong Man cooled down the audience a bit, but after Contact Lost (dedicated to Pyro) and The Well-Dressed Guitar people were warm…. Ian has become very skinny, mainly around his legs, but that doesn’t mean that his voice is worse than before. He sang with such an energy and affection….he will go on doing it for a long time!

The band have changed the stage a bit. Most remarkable is, that little Ian’s drumkit is not put on a drum riser any more, but directly on the stage floor.

Next was Knockin’ At Your Back Door. This song is a monster and I really don`t know, why they don’t play it on a regularly basis. Maybe there is someone in the band who has a certain dislike of that song…. But I thought, that the last one who sometimes had little errrr “problems” with some songs left the band 15 years (my God! Has it been that long?) ago. Anyway, this song IMHO is one of the best live songs that they have ever written!

Next we were in for a fresh sounding version of Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming. Although this is definitely the most outstanding number of the new line up, it was only the second time for me to hear this song live (I have been to 12 shows since Steve joined the band).

The most funny part of the evening came next, when Ian told us that he had learned about the next song, when, as a child, he was sitting on his mothers knees listening to her old Purple records. Wring That Neck was given a ”4 minutes treatment”, but it was a nice idea to play that song again.

Next on the list was The Battle Rages On, which turned out to be maybe the highlight of the show. I’m quite sure, that the (quiet) people around me didn’t know the song, but they obviously were very impressed by the song. The Battle Rages on (together with Anya) is one – maybe the – most underrated song of Deep Purple. Unfortunately it was written during a very difficult period of the band, so I understand that they don`t have the best memories when they play this song. But hey, it was 16 years ago…

Don’s solo, to the enjoyment of the Suebians, included “Muß I denn zum Städele hinaus”, an old German folk song. Perfect Strangers was performed with all its majesty and power. Space Truckin’ and Highway Star were brilliant as usual and Smoke On The Water was the crowd pleaser (as usual).

They opened the encores with Lazy (I had hoped for Speed King) and they finished with Hush (no drum solo) and Black Night. The show was over after 105 minutes.

What can I say? Was it the best concert that I have seen so far? Well, after a show you are always intended to think so, but I am very cautious to use this term. But one thing is for sure: They played the most balanced set I ever saw them play! There were songs of almost each period of the band and they offered a lot of new or only rarely performed songs. They came very close to the definite setlist!

Catch one of their shows if you can!

Keep on rockin’
Harald



2 Comments to “Stuttgart: Very close to the definite setlist”:

  1. 1
    andre sihotang says:

    It’s a very good review, mr.Harald. Reading your article looks like I was being there too. Yes, an enjoyable and balanced setlist, wish that nobody will comment a bit negative agian about the set list, as long as the show is about to bring the house down. Knockin At Your Back Door is a wonderful live song. I think it’s Steve who didn’t comfortable to play it in every show, but maybe I’m wrong?

    I hope Deep Purple is getting better everyday so all of us will never be satisfied and asking for a lot of more again. I can’t believe all of them has turned 60 (exc. Morse) Long Live Deep Purple, definetly the best live touring band in this world.

  2. 2
    Steve Feedback says:

    Fine Review Herald.
    I was at the clinic aswell…and at the show! The setlist was pretty good, I agree. BUT: the mix wasn’t good. Keyboards and guitar were far too lound. Or let’s say, bass and drums were poor in the mix. That’s why there was a lack of groove in the hall. And I feel sorry to say, that Steve was playing infront of the others, so that way TBRO could have done better. But you would’t have heard those tiny unaccuracies if he wouldn’t had been so loud. I think they should play a couple of songs in a lower Key so Mr. Gillan’s voice can survive.
    It doesn’t sound like it…but I aside of these points I realy enjoyed the concert. And the clinic was a blast.

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