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

The Boys Are Back in Town!
Deep Purple - 7th June 1999, Zlin, Czech Republic

This was my third time to see Deep Purple during the last year. That's what I call "a life". However, almost everything has been already said so I will try to be short this time.

Deep Purple entered the stage at Zlin ice hockey arena in a famous line-up. Jon Lord - LD, Ian Paice - RD, Roger Glover - RW, Steve Morse - LW, Ian Gillan - C. Everything as always except for two small remarks regarding the equipment. Roger Glover has abandoned his set of six boxes of various kinds and bought a brand new set of four Ampeg boxes. I am not sure about the type but it is that big Ampeg box featuring eight 10 inch speakers. Good move IMHO. The sound of the bass was smoother, not that "scratchy" as it used to be in the Trace Eliott era.
Steve Morse has a new guitar. Well, new. In my opinion it is exactly the same Music Man model he has been using till now but this one is black (the only difference I was able to recognize).

Now for the show...

DP opened with a famous Thin Lizzy tune: "The boys are back in town". Well, it was not exactly true because they have never played in Zlin before but in general it was a good idea. People got quite confused by that. The band seemed to like the crowd's confusion. :-))
Then we had "Pictures of Home". My all time favorite. I especially love that stop-time in the third verse. This version was longer than th one on LATO. It featured some interplay between some members. This was NOT a good idea in my opinion. I think that the band should "make noise" for a couple of tunes before they get into slower improvisations.
"Ted the mechanic" - very 'eavy very 'umble :-)
"Strange kind of woman" - Pretty short guitar interplay. However, interesting because (if I remember well) Steve played against Ian Paice!!! Not very common but very good.
"Bloodsucker" - Ian's voice was incredible on this one.
"Sometimes I feel like screaming" - introduced as "Watching the Sky" by IG.
"Watching the sky" - introduced as "Watching the Sky" by IG. :-))
"Space Truckin'" - The best of the show IMHO. Shorter (non-Japanese) version.
"Woman from Zlin" - "This is a song which has a lot to do with 'Ted the Mechanic'. However it is not about a woman and she wasn't mechanic either." Jon's piano solo was incredible!
"69" - Heavy. Very heavy. Liked it.
"Lazy" - What to say? :-) Just stay in bed. :-) Cool.
"Smoke on the water" - Nothing special. People went nuts as always.
"Perfect Strangers" - Jon's solo was superb.
"Speed King" - If it goes this way a little further, the song will be longer than 20 minutes. Included several solos, interplays, duets, improvisations and "Mean Woman Blues".

"Black Night" - Just that...
"Highway Star" - Even in this last song Ian's voice was clear, he hit every note perfectly...

Solo stuff: Jon Lord featured a piece of Dvorak's "New World symphony e minor No. 9" in his solo. We also had a few moments from "Pictured Within". Great piano stuff. Steve's solo was incredible as always. Very soft begining turned out into a real rocker.
The man of the show was IMHO Ian Paice. Very inspired and really enjoying playing. He presented a new technique. A roll on the snare with only one hand. Sorry for getting into a drummer's stuff, but Ian is damn fast in a two hand roll. Well, this roll is a bit slower but it is approximately as fast as a roll of an average rock drummer. But played with ONE hand only. I still don't fully understand that.

When it all was over we found the Deep Bus Purple Thing just outside and waited for the band in a group of approx. 20 fans. Steve was already in the bus. When he realized that there were fans waiting he appeared and autographed several items (including two passports :-))). Then one after another the remaining members appeared. Everybody was willing to shake hands with the fans and to autograph things, but Jon Lord. Jon got onto the bus immediately and didn't appear again. :-( However, he is a person that chats with the audience often so he must have been tired or something.

Overall, it was a great show. I don't know what I will do during the upcoming DP "pause" caused by a new album recording. :-(

Long live DP.

Dan Dvoracek

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