[ d e e p P u r . p l e ) The Highway Star

Deep Purple - Live in Helsinki - April 6, 2000

After a night on the ferry to Helsinki (were I met some nice Swedish DP fans), a day in Helsinki (were I met some nice Finnish DP fans), I was ready for another DP concert.

The place was the old ice hall [Jäähalli] where they have played several times before. The lights went down, in came Deep Purple and started the show with "Woman From Tokyo" which was a surprise for me. Maybe they started with "WFT" because they started the tour in Japan (just speculations from me). The next thing was "Fireball" which was the most mean and powerful version I have heard of "Fireball." Better than ever. I thought they would end it with the riff from "Into The Fire," but they played the complete "ITF." Great stuff. They followed it with "Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming" and "'69."

Ian Gillan was dressed all in white (like he was in Royal Albert Hall September '99) and wore red shoes, but after a while he went barefoot instead. Next song up was "Smoke On The Water" which started with Steve Morse's "rock radio" intro which he kept quite short this time. But we got at least a few, like "Whole Lotta Love" and "Iron Man."

Then came the highlight of the evening... "Fools." (Thank you Deep Purple.) I really hope they will have "Fools" in the setlist for a long time so other fans all over the world will have the chance to hear it live (I wouldn't mind to hear it myself a few more times).

After "Fools" came "Black Night," "Watching The Sky" and Steve Morse's guitar solo. Ian Gillan came back on stage, dressed in black and they continued with "Any Fule Kno That" and Jon Lord's keyboard solo which led into "Perfect Strangers."

Then came the next big surprise, "When A Blind Man Cries" was brought back into the setlist. They ended the gig with another killer version of "Speed King" which included "Fever" and a great solo from Ian Paice. After a few moments DP were back on stage for encores. They ended the night with "Lazy" and "Highway Star."

The sound was maybe not perfect this evening (which it is almost always) and perhaps a little bit too loud. Otherwise it was a really good show. My friend thought it was one of the best he have seen. I think the shows I saw last summer were a little bit better, but on the hand they didn't include "Fools," which was a huge highlight for me. A big thanks to Deep Purple and the crew - you made my day.

Benny Holmström

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