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

Paris, October 25th, 2000

I just came back from Las Vegas where I was on a business trip and right after my landing I headed toward the Palais des Congres where the Deep Purple Show was to take place.It was kind of unusual in the first place to go to a normal concert hall to see a band like Deep Purple. I was extremely tired but so exited. Deep Purple has been, over almost 18 years, my absolute favourite. And even if I'm a total Blackmore fan, I think that Steve brings a wonderful new musical dimension to the band.

The hall was full and the crowd really enjoyed the show during the whole set (3 hours). It started, as usual, very slowly but the sound check was really aggressive. It got much better after a while but who wouldn't say it's difficult to power an entire orchestra. The band seemed to really enjoy the show and Steve gave us an overwhelming recital. This guy is so inspired and with him the other members give their best. It seems to be a new challenge for them. But at least they love it. You do not have the impression they're just doing another gig.

The parts with the orchestra were great and I loved the arrangements with the regular Deep Purple songs. For me it's kind of the ultimate you can find in rock'n'roll. Cultures gathering, rock, jazz, blues and classical. And each part is done in the most professional way.

When Ronnie came on stage I really felt awesome, so many memories came back. He did very well.

To tell you the truth, at times, when I realised what I was hearing, I was so emotional, tears almost came from my eyes. When the sound became perfect, and when you could hear distinctively every part, it became magic. Steve really played with the orchestra and tried to adapt a violin style with so much dexterity you almost could not believe it. Deep Purple is for me and even more now, the ultimate rock band which is inspired and who now plays music because they enjoy it. Each of the members are astonishing musicians and the five together with the orchestra gave us a chill we'll never forget.

The last part of the show was played will a standing ovation from the audience. Ian was in a great shape and boogied the night. Thanks to Jon who is so inspired. Thanks to Roger who is the indestructible part and of course, thanks to Ian, he is one of the greatest drummer in rock history.

Too bad I never could meet these guys, just to show them my respect as a musician and as a fan.

Long live Deep Purple and don't miss this show.

Stephane Ansel

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