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

Deep Purple live, Sydney entertainment centre 10 March 2001

Hi purple people,

Last night I saw Deep Purple at the Sydney Entertainment Centre and just like in 1999 they were great.

The set list provided lots of great surprises for a long time fan such as myself. These included "No One Came", "Fools", and "Mary Long". The sound was very good although I have to say that the sound in 1999 in the same venue was marginally better. The band was also supplemented by a three piece horn section as well as a three piece (female) backing vocalist section. Unfortunately both backing sections were fairly hard to hear so consequently didn't alter the sound of the band at all.

I tried to tape the gig on minidisc but was caught by a security guard so I only ended up with a distorted "Woman from Tokyo" (the opening number) before I was found out. This is disappointing because I find that taping the gig on minidisc then listening back to it the next day usually provides me with a much more objective view of the gig and the mix. I never sell the recording or profit by it in anyway other than to enjoy the experience all over again at home.

I am a long time Blackmore fan (I saw them in Sydney in 1984 at the same venue the night that George Harrison got up and jammed on "Lucille" with them, I also have a tape of this concert) but I must say that Steve Morse has obviously had a very positive effect on the rest of the band. I keep hearing comments from people around me that they obviously enjoy doing what they do. And it shows. While I still miss Blackmore's playing Steve Morse more than makes up for it in his capacity as a player and the life he's brought back to the band.

Ian Paice played particularly well and the overall sound of his drum kit had me drifting back to the "Made In Japan" days in his sound and mastery displayed last night. I think he's playing better than I've heard him play in a long time.

Ian Gillan with shortish hair looks fitter than he did here in 1999. Singing well as usual it was such a treat to here those songs previously mentioned. I personally have never heard any of them performed live before from any Purple incarnation. [The thrill of the changing set list - please take note, guys! Ed.]

Of course they did "Smoke On The Water", "Black Night", "Highway Star", "Ted The Mechanic", and "Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming". They also did that song about Cisco. I'm sorry I don't know the proper name of the song but I'm sure you know which song it is. ["Hey Cisco". Ed.] They also did "When A Blind Man Cries", and "Hush". Excellent.

All up an excellent gig from an excellent band. If they keep coming back to Australia every couple of years that will suit me just fine. I'd just like to request that next time they're here could they do "Smooth Dancer", "Flight Of The Rat", "No No No", and "Hard Lovin' Man"? I know I'm asking a lot but to hear those previously unheard gems last night was brilliant.

Anyway, thanks to Deep Purple for another excellent night's entertainment.

Yours sincerely,

Brenton Dehn

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