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

A not so short review of the Helsinki show: Hammond Hell-sinki - April 6, 2000

Let me first state: This was a GREAT show, one of the best I've seen so far. But there were troubles in paradise....

Unexpectedly the show started with Woman From Tokyo!!! Then onto Fireball. Even in these first songs it was obvious something was very wrong with the Hammond. It kept dying as soon as Jon Lord tried using the Leslie. And I mean dying. It stopped completely, leaving Jon stranded. A technician was crawling at its feet during the whole concert trying to fix the problem, but to no avail - in every song it dropped out. Jon kept trying and the beast kept dying. But nevertheless the show went on. Next: Into the fire - and it wasn't just the riff used as an ending to Fireball. The song kept going and in a very heavy version.

Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming was up next. Great Steve Morse solo and brave attempts by Jon at resuscitating the dying beast (whenever he could play something he did it as brilliantly as always). And for the first time ever I actually heard Ian Paice MISS A BEAT!!!? Wonders never cease!

Onto '69 and the eerie Steve Morse and Jon Lord jam at the end was beautiful. The Hammond actually didn't die there!!! But unfortunately it died during the end crescendo. :-(

If I'm to report every time the Hammond flipped out you'd be reading nothing else. Just take my word for it, Jon Lord could not play ONE SINGLE FULL SOLO on that thing, so any time I mention a Jon Lord solo, remember it stopped abruptly with a Hammond breakdown, OK?

Steve Morse started the now well known "Intro"-intro to Smoke On The Water; He went through Whole Lotta Love, Iron Man, Crossroads and You Really Got Me (amongst others) - then Smoke On The Water.

FOOLS next! YEEHAA!! Including a solo by Steve and a short jam by Ian Gillan, Jon and Steve. ;-)
Black Night was followed by Watching The Sky. Steve did a great solo which went into Cascades - (Jon was staying off-stage so long now that for a moment I believed he had totally given up. But came back on and joined in with a vengeance for the last rolling crescendo). Any Fule Kno That - heavy and rocking, yes!!

An (understandably) short solo from Jon lead into Perfect Strangers. Then a breathtaking version of When A Blind Man Cries (I love that song!). The set ended with Speed King featuring a jam between Steve and Jon - (Guess what? Yes, the Hammond broke down) - Jon had to revert to the piano, where he played a short snippet of the Laurel & Hardy theme with a sort of "this is so stupid I just have to laugh at it"-feel. Great solo by Roger Glover - and Ian Paice leaning his head on his hand doing an ultra-fast drum roll :-)

Steve and Ian Gillan jammed with Ian being a blast. He started off "Fever" then jammed along happily until choking on something and restarting the jam again!

Lazy was the first encore with a piano intro by Jon, who by now was slightly annoyed. ;-) Highway Star ended the gig in style.

As I said at the start, despite all these mishaps, this was a great gig. Whenever the moody Hammond f*cked up Steve was there to kick in, and the songs kept rocking. Great work on all hands, Guys!!! Impressive!!!

By the way it was not JL's standard Hammond giving all that trouble. It was a borrowed beast; "You don't need to take your own, we have one here, that will work just fine".
The problem was a missing pin in the cable to the Leslie, according to JL.

Karin Wieslander

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