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

Antwerpen, September 30th 2000

Sunday morning, 1st of October. I just woke up after one great concert in Antwerp.

It was at least one and a half years since I saw a Deep Purple concert. I was very curious to see them working with a philharmonic orchestra. It was the first time in my life I would watch and listen to an orchestra of that kind.

I went into the concert hall on time. Normally, when I go to concerts I stand in front of the stage. This time there were seats everywhere. The ones close to the stage were too expensive for me (poor fellow), so I went up the balconies.

The beginning of the show was very strange as we heard Jon making some announcements about the orchestera etc. and introducing a guy (I forgot his name and have no idea who he is) who started singing. We didn't see anyone else of the band.

Then Ronnie James Dio came up and that was really wonderful. Great songs ("Love Is All" was an extremely funny and nostalgic moment). It was a great warming up, but to me he might have sung some more songs. It was great to see you, Ronnie!!

The rest of the concert was just perfect. We had a mixing of good old (and recent) hard rock songs and orchestral music. Some highlights to me were "Wring That Neck", "Ted The Mechanic" and of course "When A Blind Man Cries". This last one has always been very special to me. Try to play and sing as blues as you can. Not too much sharp guitars.

The "Concerto For Group And Orchestra" really made me shiver from time to time. This is something i never saw before. I knew the "Concerto" from CD, but live it is a completely different experience. (for some guys in the public the orchestra parts were too long) and I enjoyed from beginning till end. I think the applause and standing ovation from the public says enough.

Did I mention Steve's Guitar Strings? Although, I do not believe you wrote this in the dressing room. How did you get the whole orchestra in the dressing room for rehearsal?

As a conclusion I just can say the concert was fantastic and unique. I hope you don't wait too long to come back to Belgium. You're still the greatest band on earth.

Frank Vercruysse

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