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

Wednesday July 23rd: Regensburg, Oberpfalz.

    What an amazing difference from one year ago in Neuenmarkt, Oberpfalz!

    Last year, Purple played a concert in Neuenmarkt with little spontaneity and many technical mistakes to an audience with little enthusiasm. Yesterday, they played an outstanding set with all the enthusiasm and energy of a bunch of twenty year-olds combined with the experience and confidence that can only be gained from thirty years on the road.

    The set list was essentially the same as at the previous shows. But few people mention that they start the set with two verses of Thin Lizzy's "The Boys are Back in Town" before slipping into "Pictures of Home". Playing another band's anthem is an indication of just how confident the boys are on this tour. The other change was that in the encore they started with "Seventh Heaven" instead of "Black Night". In between we had many snippets of Jon's recent album "Pictured Within" in solos, and many short pieces of other Purple tracks from Steve Morse who, as others have already noted, is playing much better this year and is back to the level of '96. His only slip was to trip on a electrical lead and nearly (but not quite) drop off the front of the stage.

    Neither have other reviewers mentioned that essential part of a Purple gig that has returned: the genuine Ian-type song introductions. Much of it went over people's heads, but here are some of the gems:

    "Bludsucker was written about our management of the time"

    "Sometimes I feel like screaming" was dedicated to the organisers of the current German Tour: "I could draw a straighter line by pissing in the snow while drunk".

    After the Welsh gaffer tape... "We met a lot of Welsh chaps in the hotel this morning. 'Morgan, Morgan...Morgan...Morgan'!".

    All in all, an excellent set that lasted over 2 hours. Not quite back to the level of LATPO, or the '96 Grenoble concert which to my mind was better than LATPO (I know - I was there). But damn close. Well done!

    Lastly, thankyou to Roger for the beer at the end. I needed it!

Ross and the guys from BGI (Cliff + Hanni)

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