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

DP at the Pistoia Blues Festival 17.7.1999

Yesterday I went to the Pistoia Blues Festival to see my 4th DEEP PURPLE concert (the other were: Forlė 25.9.1993 w/Ritchie, Lonigo 21.6.1994 w/Joe & Bologna 10.6.1996 w/Steve) and...as usual it was GREAT!!!

Before them, there were a couple of groups:

LUCKY PETERSON - I saw just half of his concert, he's a good guitar player, the bass player was very good, he ended with a medley including Hendrix's Voodoo Chile!

JONNY LANG - This guy is good, but the band is nothin' special...

...and finally around 23:30 THEY came out!
They're all in great shape with Steve seeming a lot more in touch with them than when I saw them in Bologna three years ago!
He's absolutely awesome and nobody can miss Ritchie (by the way I saw Ritchie in Cesena 2.7.1999, and he did a great concert, finally he plays the music he likes with somebody he likes... Candice is terribly good looking!).
By now you all should know the track listing, but, as they were performing in a festival, they left out some of the new material, playing only "69" off the new album...so this is the playlist:

The Boys Are Back In Town
Pictures Of Home (w/ the amazing bass & organ outro)
Ted The Mechanic (a "new" classic!)
Strange Kind Of Woman (...welcome back!)
69 (the only extract from Abandon...)
Woman From Tokyo (wonderful as ever... I'd like to hear also other extracts from "Who Do We Think we Are!" like "Rat Bat Blue", "Smooth Dancer" or "Mary Long"...why did they play these songs only in a few gigs in England?)
Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming (I absolutely love this song!!! This was different from three years ago; then the intro was played by Steve & Roger with acoustic guitars, while now Steve introduces it with the electric guitar!)
Space Truckin' (short version, similar to Machine Head, but very powerful!)
Lazy (Gillan's great on harmonica, great interplay between Steve & Jon!)
Steve Morse's intro (plenty of great rock riffs, he started w/"Heartbreaker" solo, then he went through "Fire", "Back In Black", "Day Tripper", "Black Dog", Iron Man", and maybe more before starting the world's most famous riff)
Smoke On The Water (luckily a short sing-along...)
Jon Lord solo (based on "Smoke..." theme, included "La Donna é Mobile")
Perfect Strangers (anybody else noticed that Roger made an error?)
Speed King (this was great as ever with that astonishing interplay between Steve & Jon!)
Black Night (everybody kept on singing the theme as they left the stage, so...what could they do but play it?)
Highway Star (a timeless classic ended a wonderful night!!!)

What else can I say? Long live to Deep Purple as I can't wait to see 'em again in Italy!
Ah, yes! We're all waiting for a new record...

Valerio De Angelis

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