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

Frankfurt gig, 15 October, 2000

Hi folks,

First I would like to thank the boys who are able to give us, in every show, the feeling that this show was the best experience of our lives. I have never been so close to the band! (Third row, in the center, the band only two meters from the edge of the stage.)

I won't give you a full review, but I'd like to tell you some points I noticed:

The Festhalle was nearly sold out. When the tour was announced, it was planed to sell tickets for the ground floor only. But the first balcony was seated too! So I think there were about 6,500 people.

On the right (as seen from my seat) side of the stage there was a mobile recording unit! I think I recognized Darren Schneider behind the faders! So can we guess what is going on? [That wasn't Darren Schneider, it was Rob Hodgkinson, Deep Purple's onstage monitor engineer. He's always there - and not because he's recording the show either! Ed.]

The setlist was (nearly) the same as Hamburg. Steve's solo number was like a classical tune with the orchestra - fantastic!

Miller Anderson was superb but a bit confused by some idiots who disrupted his song.

Dio got a warm response from the crowd.

"Fools" was a thrill.

There were several changes to "The Concerto", but first I must listen to the records to remember. Steve's big part in the "First Movement" was completely changed, I think. But then came little Ian's time: I have never really heard a drum solo like that. After a thunderstorm of drumming, he slowed down and stopped, making a puuuuh-like noise and then started the thunderstorm again - but only with his right hand!!!!

Singer Ian was in a really good mood and told us several times about the good vibes he was receiving from the audience. Jon was the grand master of the evening and RG had everything under control. The orchestra and Paul Mann were fantastic, as were the backup girls who were having a lot of fun grooving and singing. And the orchestra boy at the big drums did some cool rocking gunshots which were applauded by Jon himself!

The audience was caught by a fire. When "Perfect Strangers" started, Security wasn't able to stop the crowd! All came close to the stage, singing and dancing. After "Smoke On The Water" (with a different intro), the band left the stage but the storm didn't wane a bit. We sang that famous tune of "Black Night" for minutes and the band came back and joined in! And to end, "Highway Star", with about 6,500 people knowing every word of the song.

So what can I say?

Thank you!

Gerald Heinrich

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