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

Montreux Jazz Festival Concert

Saturday night, the 22nd of July. It was the closing of the 32nd Montreux Jazz Festival and Deep Purple was, of course, the highpoint of the night. I am Chilean and I have just arrived into Switzerland to live for a while.

Yeah, of course I was present at the infamous concert DP played in Santiago on the 27th February 1997 (when the sound tower broke down), so this was my revenge: I just knew it was going to be great. And it was!!

According to Claude Nobs (founder and producer of the festival), it was the best DP concert he has seen (all of the local press agreed too). They opened with "Woman From Tokyo" and went through the repertoire of the Abandon tour with slight variations. They were really enjoying themselves, very relaxed (Ian Gillan and Roger barefoot). Ian had his voice in best shape ever. Roger just excelled, playing second to none. Ian Paicey gave his best too. Regarding Jon, he offered some superb solos which would make many keyboard players quit their job. He is just cool!!!

Paragraph apart to Mr. (with capital letters) STEVE MORSE. I couldn't help wondering how well he has done to DP. Such a gentleman too. It was really a pleasure to see him play. One highlight of the concert was the duet Steve had with 14 year-old guitar player Narud. He excelled himself with "Smoke On The Water" and "Highway Star". The audience received the new material very well. "Sometimes Feel Like Screaming" was beautifully played, same as "Ted The Mechanic" and "'69". Resurrected oldies such as "Fools" were most welcomed too.

But in fact it was my lucky night: After struggling a bit, I managed to reach the first row, so I had them at three meters distance. Just great. When they ended "Highway Star", guess what: Ian Paice threw one of his drum sticks and I got it!!!!! I am 36, have 120 plus CDs of DP and I have been a fan since the seventies, so you can guess my excitement. Thank you DP for so many years of good moments and keep it on!!!

Ricardo Cortes-Monroy, Blonay, Switzerland

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