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

Deep Purple - Concert Bad Mergentheim 18.6.99

Nice little venue in the heart of the city, maybe 3000-3500 people, all very enthusiastic.

Setlist same as Gelsenkirchen which means BN and HS as encores.

From my position (first row, directly in front of Steve and Jon) the sound was unbalanced, whenever Steve played Jon was non-existant.

There were some technical problems, for the first couple of songs there was no Hammond, only after some fiddling onstage inside(!) the Hammond Jon could start playing, just in time for "Space Truckin'", so Steve had to work hard to compensate for the loss.
Steve (who seemed to be a little bit tired to me) was during the first half of the concert constantly talking to the crew, it was obvious that he was unhappy about something, sound or something else.

But not only technical problems hindered the band, also Gillan was not in good shape, nearly no screaming in the songs, no "I thaaannk yooouu"s between. Compared to the shows before he was clearly holding back.

All in all I'd say it was the weakest of the six shows I attended this year, although Steve played a brilliant guitar solo and Jon really worked his keyboards (although the visuals were more impressive than the acoustics...). Roger and Paicey were perfect as always and Ian was doing his best, which unfortunately wasn't very much this night.

OTOH it can't have been that bad, the audience loved the band, singing and dancing, Steve got lots of applause for his solo spots and BN was a really a hit with a guitar/audience duel :-) so I'm maybe a little overcritical.

I'm off the tour for the next couple of days (will be back for Cologne and Plauen, though) so it's time to say "Hi!" to all the nice folks I met along the way, especially Gerrit and Blanka (see you in Cologne), Philippe (have a good flight home), Jim, Lynn and Nick ("very good beer here in Germany"), Jörg and Thomas.

Hopefully see you somewhere along the road again, I wish you well...

Christian Rutz

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