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

Ahoy 30-10-2000

I just came home from the Ahoy concert (Rotterdam, Holland) and, to quote Ian Gillan, it was superb. There are those musical moments that make you think yeah, this is it, and tonight was full of it. Starting with Jon's piano in "Pictured Within", the great voice of Ronnie James Dio, the amazing "Wring That Whatever..." but there is no neck, lots of Purple songs and then, "The Concerto". To be there is even better than the Royal Albert Hall record. Then finishing off with an orchestrated "Smoke On The Water", and returning for a straight (if such a thing can be with Deep Purple) version of "Black Night" and "Highway Star".

Set list:

"Pictured Within"
"Sitting In A Dream"
"Love Is All"
"Fever Dreams"
"Rainbow In The Dark" (I think Ronnie's voice was at his best in "Sitting In A Dream", when you can hear the power in it. "Fever Dreams" is a good song, but a bit over the top, not showing the control he can have over his voice.)
"Wring That Neck" (Jon Lord: "A song written in 1968, but we rearranged it a bit.")

Suddenly, a man in black clothes appears, no guitar, no hat, short hair, who says, "We'll talk later, this song is called "Fools"". "Fools", what a great song, and so good to hear the slow middle section played by the orchestra.
"When A Blind Man Cries" Yes, it is back.
"Ted The Mechanic" (Gillan: "Let's have some rock 'n' roll.") In the middle section it had a slight trade off between Lord and Morse, like is done in a major way in "Speed King" (but no "SK" tonight).
"Sometimes I feel Like Screaming"

Gillan: "This next song is written by Jon Lord, it is about a battle between a group and an orchestra, how they oppose, and later get together (and some more). Ladies and Gentlemen, "The Concerto"."

"Movement One"
"Movement Three" (No "Movement Two", no vocals by Gillan, but it was so great, so amazing, first the battle, later the exchanging of music, yes, this is how you can make the whole more than the sum of the parts.)

Big applause.
Gillan: "Did you want to say something, Steve?" But as we all know Steve only talks with his guitar.
Intro 1 - ????, but I could hum along.
Intro 2 - the solo from "Stairway To Heaven".
Intro 3 - "You Really Got Me", including vocals by Gillan.
Intro 4 - the real one, "Smoke On The Water".

Off went everybody, but not us fans. So they came back to play the song we already were singing, "Black Night". After that, stars were projected in the back, and of course, then came "Highway Star".

Oh yes, somewhere in between (right before "Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming"?) was an instrumental song by Morse, called, I think, "The World's Best Guitar". Gillan: "He's writing it as I make this introduction, sheets are being handed out to the orchestra right now, tomorrow, he will be playing it before he has written it."

Other remarks: The house was full (must be 7500), after some initial screams I heard no idiots shouting through quiet passages, the total concert lasted almost 2.5 hours.

The Albert Tour is almost over, if you were there, yes, you must have had a great time, if you weren't, buy the RAH record, or hope for an Albert Tour CD.

Oops, I completely forgot about "Perfect Strangers", which was played after "The Concerto". Well, what can I say, the evening was loaded with "Perfect Music". I also forgot to mention "Pictures Of Home". It had the same kind of intro as on the RAH CD, and that was the song that had a lot of trading licks between Jon and Steve. And finally, what I meant to start this review with, is how the concert started. Jon introduced the man who made this all possible, Marco de Goey. A great applause of course. Thank you, Marco.

Thank you very much, Deep Purple.

Rob Slegtenhorst

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