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

Fila Forum, Milan, 23 October, 2000

Hello Purple people,

I was looking forward to seeing the concert in Milan at Fila Forum. In order to understand every part of the program I meticulously listened several times to the CD recorded at the Royal Albert Hall. The word "fantastic" doesn't describe exactly what I saw and heard; I was sitting in front of the stage very close to it and I perceived how all the musicians were happily inspired; all the members of the Romanian Philharmonic Orchestra gave an extraordinary Performance, not only in the classical environment, but also in the Purple territory. In particular I was amazed by the brass and percussion sections, and Paul Mann is a perfect amalgam between the group and the orchestra.

Obviously people loved the rock 'n' roll rhythm, and at times the silence was broken by screams and whistles. (For this reason, and from past experience, they cut the "Second Movement" What a pity.) I enjoyed all the songs but one of my favourites is "Wring That Neck". This was very funky and well played by three guys on wind instruments who were in the upper corner of the stage. They were greatly supported by Ian Paice, who Jon Lord described as the "best drummer in the world". After this beautiful song I would ask you: When will you play "Take Five" or "The Pink Panther Theme"? (I'm dreaming...)

The entire program is a mix of classical orchestral tracks, Ronnie James Dio's songs and the milestones, including some fragments of ACDC ("Back In Black"), Rolling Stones ("Honky Tonk Woman") and Jimi Hendrix ("Purple Haze"). The encores produced a standing ovation for Deep Purple with everyone swinging, dancing and singing "Black Night" and "Highway Star".

Thanks to Jon Lord, Paul Mann, and Marco de Goeij for their tireless effort to rewrite all of "The Concerto"'s score. Thanks to the Romanian Philharmonic Orchestra. Thanks to Deep Purple for the great performance - the Italian people love you.

Renato Rossetti

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