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

Deep Purple in Vigo, Spain (24th july 2000)

When I saw at this tour dates site that Deep Purple would perform in Spain, in Vigo, I could not believe how fortunate I was, sorry, we were. We are four friends that have never missed a Deep Purple performance in Spain since 1996. We see one concert per Spanish tour, I mean because we haven't got enough money.

So this was the fourth one where we could enjoy the best live band nowadays. Luckily, the day after was free, so we didn't have to go to work, and in this way we prepared the assault. The journey by car was horrible because it was rainning on our way through the Galician roads. Everybody said that it was possible the concert could be cancelled, but Ramon (one of my friends) kept asking why we were all thinking about the possibility of a cancellation.

Finally, we arrived in Vigo, we left the car, and it was still raining. Tragedy was in the air, but by a miracle, when I bought my ticket, the rain stopped. All of us entered in the arena and witnessed the last part on Mago de Öz (a Spanish metal band that have Celtic influences).

We had seen the order of artists on the ticket and we thought that the next artist would be Manolo Tena (spanish pop musician with a strange-drug past), but Clemente (another friend of mine) recognised Ian Paice's drums. Deep Purple weren't the headliners! In that moment all of us begun to elaborate theories about the order of appearance and the reasons why. Nobody could believe that any band or musician dared to play after Deep Purple, it is like suicide. But Manolo Tena did!... And the boys were back in town...

They opened with "Woman From Tokyo" (they never repeat their openers), and the great Deep Purple hymns sounded in Vigo again. I can't remember all the set list, but these ones impressed me: "Into The Fire" and "Fools". I had never heard them on a live recording, or at a perfomance. The sound was perfect. We were placed a few metres in front of the sound controls (I don't know if it is the right word). The weather was warm and quiet. When "Perfect Strangers" started, my blood ran cold, it's my favourite, and I could't avoid dropping a tear. The whole band was perfect, I can't ask for more.

When it all finished, it was like a dream, and we were awoken by the voice of the speaker saying, "Don't go because the rock continues in Vigo with Manolo Tena". All the crowd broke into laughs and yells against this 'brave' musician who dared to play after Deep Purple. Can you imagine the rest....?

PS. Sorry for the length of the text and of course for the mistakes and faults. [It's OK - please write again. We prefer in-depth reviews. Ed. ]

Alfonso de Castro Martínez

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