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

Concert Review of Deep Purple
Wednesday 16 June 1999, Gelsenkirchen, Germany

Hello you fellow Deep Purple fans!

Yesterday I attended my fouth Deep Purple concert, and again it was super. I just woke up and I am listening to the concert right now - I recorded it with my minidisc recorder - the quality is better than any bootleg I've EVER heard! Well cut the crap, let's talk about the concert.

The venue was awesome; the stage was right beside a river and ships were floating by behind the stage all night. The venue was a real amphitheater, so if you were in back of the audience you'd look DOWN on the stage. I estimate there were 1000 or 2000 people in the crowd, it was small and cozy there. And at the entrance there was no such as a body-search, only big bags were checked. So everybody had taken a photo camera (there were even people with VIDEO camera's!!!).

Well, Dio started their thing, very good and solid. I really enjoyed it this very, very good band. But there was no real magic in this band, not like Deep Purple. I saw Dio at Dinxperlo Open Air in The Netherlands last Sunday too, so that's twice in one week! He still has his strong voice like in the 70's. They played for almost an hour and the set included Rainbow's "Stargazer"! In Dinxperlo they also played "Man on the silver mountain" and "Long live Rock 'n' roll". Great songs. While Dio was playing, we saw Jon and Roger and a little later also Ian Paice "back stage". There was no real back stage so "back stage" was moved to the left side of the stage. A lot of fans ran to the side (I didn't) and got signatures and made pictures. Roger Glover walked to the stage and stood at the back of the stage to watch Dio.

Deep Purple started around 21:30. I'll stick to the highlights of the show. I included the playlist below.
They kicked off with "Boys are back in town" which led to "Pictures of home". They added a quiet part in the middle of that song. "Strange kind of woman" was indeed longer than last year, as it should be. "'69", the new song in the set was not as good as the "Abandon" version but the middle part made it really good. "Space truckin'", also new in the set, was not short here but full length like on "Machine Head". It had a beautiful short "spacey" intro and from Jon (and Ian Paice) before it burst out. Big Ian even did the high screams in the middle and the end like on "Made in Japan"! The outro with Jon and Steve - which sounded a a bit like the intro to "When a blind man cries" on "LATO '96" - led to Steve's guitar solo. The solo ended like the end of "Cascades", with the rest of the band. "Lazy" was also full length like on "Machine Head".
A great intro to "Smoke on the water": Steve played a riff of a known song of other bands with the band joining in, then made some noises and then playing another riff with the band. They played parts of a few songs (non-Deep Purple songs) which all sounded familiar to me. I recognized the ending part from "Stairway to heaven" from Led Zeppelin and the riff of "Good times, bad times", also from LZ. "Speed King" was introduced with a soft piano tune - "in a Chinese restaurant..." said big Ian. In second version of "Speed King" I saw Ian Paice miss a beat! MISS! So he CAN make mistakes. I thought he couldn't. The rest of the solos were as long and as perfect as ever. They included a part of a very nice rock 'n' roll song ("Rockin' at the High School High" or something like that). They ended with the usual encores "Black Night" and "Highway Star". Steve perfectioned the fast car sound more.

  1. Pictures of home
  2. Ted the mechanic
  3. Strange kind of woman
  4. Bludsucker
  5. '69
  6. Woman from Tokyo
  7. Sometimes I feel like screaming
  8. Watching the sky
  9. Space truckin'
  10. Lazy
  11. Smoke on the water
  12. Perfect strangers
  13. Speed king
  14. Black night
  15. Highway star

It was the best Deep Purple concert I have seen, and I have seen three more. I didn't believe the other reviews saying "they get better every time" but actually it's true.

See you next time, Deep Purple!
Greetz, Gerard Alberts
The Netherlands

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