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

Antwerp 30-09-2000

Dear people,

It was a long time since I have seen Deep Purple perform, but this concert was a relief to experience. The last time I saw the band was in Den Bosch (Holland), in 1994, I think. At the time Joe Satriani replaced Ritchie, before Steve made his move to join the band. The concert yesterday was one of a different kind. The band was joined by a fully staffed orchestra which made the concert unique.

Jon started this gig with a song from "Pictured Within", after which good old Ronnie Jamies Dio joined the stage. To see him again was fabulous. To see one of the best rock and roll singers perform with DP was great, really great. At one moment the feeling grabbed hold of me that perhaps Ian Gillan would not appear and that Ronnie had replaced him. But after three songs ....there he was...dressed in black with a white jacket. I felt fantastic. To see this great rock band with such a rock-history perform again made this evening unforgettable. To see Ian Gillan again, with all his humour, and to hear his voice again, made me shiver.

Being joined by the orchestra made me think that this concert would not be a regular rock concert. Before the concert started I looked at the stage and the PA-system was not as big as I had expected. But it was one of a kind. I heard songs being performed live like "Fools", "Love Is All", "When A Blind Man Cries" and of course "The Concerto For Group And Orchestra" which I had never heard performed live before - this fact made me realise that I was looking at a rock legend. It was the first time I've seen Steve perform with Deep Purple and he made a fabulous impression. The orchestra did a wonderful job and performed as could be expected. The performance of "The Concerto" was unique.

Ian then joined the stage again, took off his white jacket and Jon played the first notes of "Perfect Strangers", I almost cried. I realised that these guys have made such beautiful music that will last for a very long time. This was, is, and will be, the best rock band I have ever seen and will ever see. My wife and I danced as never before. Good old "Smoke On The Water" made the roof go off. Such oldies are still such good and solid rock songs, the kind of which are not being written by the modern rock bands of today.

Conclusion: It was wonderful to see the guys again and the choice to take an orchestra on tour was a good one. I will always be a true DP-fan.

Rob Doddema

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