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



Actually not a support act as their show lasted 75 minutes. A Swiss band playing some kind of glam/pop/rock music, rather entertaining at first then a little boring. Not a bad singer, a bass player well... dressed in a perfect gay style who leapt around the stage throughout but who really had the groove, a good drummer, a guitarist far from exciting and an organist who wasn't that good. When they came back for their encores, some Purple fans in the first row, thinking it was enough, began to chant the Black Night riff. Overall, the kind of music which after three songs seems to be always the same.

MAIN ACT: DEEP PURPLE At 22:45 the band hit the stage with a massive ovation from the sold out and rather young (or not so old) crowd.

Here is the set list of the show:

"Woman From Tokyo" Strange opener but one of the favorite of the crowd. Gillan looked amazed at the audience reaction during the whole song.

"Ted The Mechanic" Let's face it: Now a classical song and I won't complain about it.

"Into The Fire" It was unbelievable to hear all the people screamig the chorus with Gillan. I was really glad to have once again a live version of this song.

"Pictures Of Home" An old favorite of mine. Good version but a very messy end: After the final riff Steve Morse was probably about to start improvisations but Glover and Lord played the usual instrumental ending.

"Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming" I'm now sure this is along with Perfect Strangers the best reunion song. I really missed the song since the '96 tour.

New Song I'm sorry I didn't manage to catch the title of the song. Anyway a solid piece of rock with an 'AC/DC like' riff and some nice bass lines plus harmonica from Big Ian.

"Smoke On The Water" Just before the song Gillan introduced as a special guest the banjo player. Then came on stage... a pretty young guy (about 15 years old) who played the song along with Steve Morse and even did a great solo. He only forgot to stop playing the riff at the start of the last verse. This guy really impressed me and I wonder whether he is this amazing young guitar player I was told about some weeks ago. He received a lot of cheers from the crowd.

"Fools" Maybe better than expected if it's possible. Two major differences with the studio version: The guitar solo is substituted by an organ solo (exactly the same) and there are some complex vocal/organ/guitar breaks to end the organ solo and the song itself. I really wish every Purple fan to witness this song live.

"Watching The Sky" Isn't this the heaviest song Purple has ever wrote? Great to see the people enjoying this song.

"'69" First time for me live and I wasn't disappointed. Good work from Lord. Snippets of THE MULE with a short instrumental la MADE IN JAPAN.

"When A Blind Man Cries" Such a beautiful song... Gentle intro from Steve Morse. Interesting to note that the guitar solo so often the highlight of the song thanks to Steve Morse has been substituted by an organ solo.

Jon Lord's solo Very very short, it only introduced the following song.

"Perfect Strangers" Everything has been said about this one. Another marvellous version.

"Speed King" As usual a highlight. Very powerfull version with to my pleasure an endless bass solo followed by a fantastic drum solo (only Big Ian explained to Little Ian that he could have done better!). Same R'N'R snippets as TOTAL ABANDON. A lot of fun from the band all along the song.

Encore #1

"Lazy" Just R'N'R! So close to the 70's version (I mean played at the correct speed and in a full version) and much better than any single reunion version featuring Blackmore.

"Highway Star" I'll never forget who wrote the solo 28 years ago but I have to admit that Steve Morse always plays this one like a god. Very amusing to see the guys next to me in the first row headbanging in a perfect timing with Glover and Morse. A shame Gillan forgot almost all the words of the second verse!!!

Encore #2

"Black Night" This time Gillan wondered where his nephew was to introduce our young guitar hero. As previously he played the song with Steve Morse and did the solo (once again good but he forgot to stop soloing when Lords turn came). At the end of the song Steve Morse decided to interpolate with him (I'd really like to know his name) and believe it or not he found an answer to every lick Steve Morse played!

The show ended at 00:45 (which was the time the ROLLINS BAND was due to play; Wonder how many people remained). Needless to say a two hours gig was more than expected. Overall a stunning performance. Gillan a little low in the mix, Glover fantastic throughout (I definitively love the Vigier), Paicey in a very good mood, Lord as usual brilliant and Steve Morse grinning from start to end. When they play like this there's no doubt about it: They are the greatest band in the world. In fact, it seems the more they play the younger they seem!

The whole show was filmed as four years ago,and was broadcast live on Swiss TV. As a conclusion I'll just say that it was worth the 1300 kms trip.

Mathieu, France

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