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

Heppenheim, Freilichtbühne 04. Juni 1999

Yesterday I've been to the concert in Heppenheim. Heppenheim is a small town between Frankfurt and Mannheim. A little strange village to perform for a band like Deep Purple. But a very nice open air Amphitheater on a hill. Opening act was the local German band "Paddy goes to Holyhead". Certainly a nice band, but not perfect to open for Purple. They started with the riff of "Black Night" before they turned into their Irish stuff. The guy next to me called them: Better go to Holyhead...

At 8.15 PM Deep Purple entered the stage during heavy rain. Now bet for the opener! Any ideas? You are certainly wrong: "The boys are back in town" from Thin Lizzy!!! Everybody was quite surprised, believe me. But this song was like the feeling of the whole show: The boys are back and in good mood. Next was "Pictures Of Home". Very good performed, followed by "Ted". Heavy version, became a real classic song meanwhile. The song dedicated to the management was "Bloodsucker". Highlights were "Space Truckin'" (ya, they did it!) and SIFLS. Very funny were also the interpolated bits of "Paint It Black", "Iron Man" and other stuff!

I have seen them now very often since 1985 in every line up and I'm a fan since 20 years. I am not one of those for whom Deep Purple is automatically great. So, last year I wrote a quite bad review of the Karlsruhe show (for which I good very unpolite and stupid mails from other - "fans"?). But yesterday's show was absolutely fantastic! Only two wishes left: When will I hear "Into The Fire" live and I was missing a long(er) solo from Jon which has always been a highlight of the show.

The boys were back in town - thank you for being there. See you again!

Ralf "Ray" Ulmer,
Schwetzingen Germany

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