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

Tour Review: Deep Purple World Tour 2000 in Kleinen Scheidegg, Switzerland, April 15th, 2000

"Superb!" as Ian keeps saying at every venue around the world since DP came back with Steve Morse on guitar. Indeed it was!

As Swiss time was running out I knew we'd never forget... watching Gillan in Hawaian shirt there in the Swiss mountains (2300 m) with the snow falling during almost the whole set, yeah! It is something you would have loved to witness. Being a fan for 25 years I've not been this emotional for a long time.

2,30 pm (weird innit?) and we were about 6,000 fans up there, frozen but smiling and singing along (I personnaly balanced between laughter and tears of sheer happiness) thru' a rather short set one could describe as "professional" but honest and rocking as well.

What a strange kind of atmosphere up there with that favourite band of mine I know so well!

I adored every minute of it and I thank them all for: Their cautious coming in a red caterpillar snowtrack; a shorthaired well-fed Ian Gillan short of breath but happy and delivering as ever (he'll always remain our crazy elder brother sharing fun and good stuff with us); Roger and Steve warming their fingers around some stoves by the stage, between and inbetween songs; brigadier Jon Lord (the silver angel) saluting the audience with humility and nobleness as only the true maestro he is can do; Gillan videofilming the audience, jumping in the crowd and consequently nearly missing the beginning verse of Smoke on the Water or shaking hands with Steve after a "superb" rendition of "When A Blind Man Cries" or shouting his guts out in "Speed King" and "Highway Star"; Roger being Roger: cool, friendly, clever and bass boosting his band; Paicey holding it all together with precision and inspiration (he truly is unique! the gov'nor as old Cov' used to say); Gillan again, confessing he had never sung among small red trains climbing up on the sides of the mountain in the 30 years of his career... or then mocking himself for coughing in an attempt to duetting with Steve's guitar.

Well it all was delightful!

They played mainly old stuff: "Woman From Tokyo", very appropriate "Pictures of Home", "Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming" (so did I), "Bloodsucker", "Fools", "When A Blind Man Cries", "Smoke On The Water" ( + bits'n'pieces of "You Really Got Me", partly sung and "Purple Haze"), "Black Night", "Speed King", solos by everyone, kind of a Steve's song, some old rock'n'roll tune I couldn't quite get. Then "Lazy" and "Highway Star" as encores. Unfortunately they were back too soon in the trax and gone to who knows where.

It's a pity they didn't give us a chance for a second encore because we wanted and deserved it, but the trax' engine was already running during "Highway Star", so off they went... "Professional" as I quoted above. I also missed "Ted The Mechanic", "Rosa's Cantina", "Perfect Strangers" or "Fireball" of course but mainly I regret that they nowadays use to play "Smoke On The Water" as just another song among others, because it just IS NOT an ordinary song for the audience and one can feel some disappointment in the audience anytime they do so. That they are fed up with the very 'convenu' [Huh? Ed.] and would-be dramatic routine of playing it as an encore is understandable and thank you for breaking the monotony folks (I'm proud of you). BUT we all, millions of fans around the world, NEED to share that magic moment (wonder-riff and wonder-chorus) alive with you in a better frenzy. You know, oldboys should not banalize the magic you are, after all, responsible of! Nuff said. You are all great (dare I say superb?) anyway, anyplace (especially in Kleine Scheidegg, what a name!) and anytime. Long live to you!

Joël "Dork" Michiels (half-Belgian, half-Swiss but fully Purple fan)

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