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

5-Oeren, Copenhagen June 13th 99

As you might have read out of my review of the Sweden Rock Festival (SRF) performance, I was not convinced after that show. It was my seventh Purple concert since Oslo 93, and despite a more jamming aproach at SRF, I felt both the Copenhagen and Oslo shows last october were better. My friend Lene did not share my opinion.

Sunday we found ourselves in Copenhagen, pretty tired from the big party the day before. 5-Oeren was a beautiful place in the middle of a park. In the circular open place inbetween the trees about 10 000 party minded peolpe had gathered.

Our boys were very well recieved. Setlist as the day before, but we got "Black Night" in addition as the first encore. Concert lasted 2 hours.

It started as before with the first verse and chorus of "The Boys Are Back In Town".

They launched directly into "Pictures Of Home". Today the new middle section came across very well and the song was longer than at SRF. The sound was not always the best, but improved during the evening. It was a bit windy, so the sound blew away from time to time.

"Ted..." next. Morse gave me goosebumps during his solo here.

"Strange Kind Of Woman" revealed a Lord at his best. Today he was very much present and played overall longer and freakier solos than at SRF. The Dr. Who theme also showed up during the guitar/organ duel here.

"Bludsucker", solid as always. It's from now on clear that Gillan's voice is not as good as the day before. Again, very scary sounds from Lord.

"69" was just fantastic today. The middle section again with hints and themes from "The Mule" and "Paint It Black". Morse sewed the whole thing together in an amazing way, and Lord followed up. Very nice. Very nice. Also this one longer than at SRF. The high point of the show to me.

"Woman From Tokyo". Nothing special. It's time to let this one go.

"Sometimes I Feel Like Going Down To The Bar And Have A Few Drinks With The Boys And Discuss It". So good to have it back. Great Morse. Lots of nice details from Lord.

"Watching The Sky". Don't understand why they still choose this one. Gillan had problems. The song is a bad contrast to the rest of the songs in the set. The weakest of them all. Why not try "Don't Make Me Happy" instead?

"Space Trucking" had Paice fooling around at first before Lord picked it up and gave us a great intro. The rest of the song never quite took off, Morse cut off his solo very abrupt, and Gillan couldn't pull it off. Too bad. This one was the high point at SRF.

Morse had about 10 000 people stare and listen in disbelief during his solo. The crowd actually was very quiet. He also fooled the rest of the band when he continued to improvise for a few bars more when they thought it was time to kick in with the "Cascades..." ending. A confused Paice got big smiles and the "Hah! I got you" look from Morse. Great.

"Lazy". The intro differed a lot from SRF, and it was longer. Lord could probably scare the shit out of some of the kids in the audience with his playing here. Morse showed off big time and Gillan came through great. For the rest of the show his voice became better and better.

The intro to "Smoke..." again contained riffs from Cream, Hendrix, Zeppelin, Kinks, Black Sabbath and lots of others. But tonight Glover and Paice played along on almost all. This made Steve stop by each riff for a longer time, and we got much more of a jam than just a guitar parade. The "Voodoo Child" and the "Heartbreaker/Whole Lotta Love" passages included pretty much of the respective solos from the songs in addition to the riffs. When they jammed on "Iron Man" for quite a "long" time I almost thought Gillan was going to sing it. That would have been something to write about.

"Smoke..." was great. Again Lord drove the crowd crazy with some very powerful and freaky sounds. Boy, he was in for it tonight.

Longer solo from Lord than at SRF followed. Again based around the "Smoke..." riff, but also with classical references I've never heard him use before. He also played a known Danish song, can't remember the title ["Wonderful Copenhagen" - Ed.].

A new pretty weird situation happened when he ended his his solo, recieved the aplause and started looking for the rest of the band wich still was nowhere to see.

He had no other choice than to start the intro to "Perfect Strangers" and improvise until the others came back. I love it. Gillan was now amazing. I've seldom heard him more powerful on this song.

"Speed King" was last before the encores as always the last three years. Nothing special, they launched into "It's Now Or Never" after a fantastic drum solo. Paice showed us his single handed drumroll. I must say his solos are becoming very powerful these days.


"Black Night" started with a 2 minute blues jam.

"Highway Star" brought the proceedings to an end.

Despite not too good sound and a Gillan with problems during some of the songs, this was the best of the two Scandinavian Nights this summer. It may seem that when Gillan has trouble, the rest of the band get their act together and play their best.

Anders Hustveit

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