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

Review: Deep Purple 16/06/1999 Gelsenkirchen

Lovely venue, the stage was a complete circle build into a small stream, the stage was divided from the audience by a water trench.
Unfortunately the distance was rather big, I had first row but was about 10 meters away from the stage.

Security was very lax, 'til around 4 o'clock pm I could walk around inside the venue and listen to the soundcheck, very nice. :-)

Support act was none other than Ronnie James Dio, he played for one hour, mostly old stuff like "Stargazer", "Heaven and Hell", "The Last in Line" and such like.
He was amazing, I'm looking forward to see him in Balingen again. Oh, and he lost Tracy G as guitarplayer, the replacement is much better imho... [The replacement is old Dio guitar player Craig Goldie. - Ed.]

Purple started around 21:15, so the light show was put to good use.

Setlist with one change, "Black Night" replaced "Seventh Heaven" as the first encore.

But songs played this night didn't matter much to me, what happened inside the songs was the most interesting part.
Nearly all the songs had long extended solos, Steve was in a very good mood, not one song were he didn't fool around with the solos, changing and extending bits here and there and going totally out of space in other places. Same goes for Lord, one of the best performances of the current tour and the understanding and interplay with Steve was incredible. Lots of improvisations from both of them, always held together by Roger and a totally amazing Paicey, who drummed as if his life depended on it. Paicey's drum solo was another fascinating tour de force and a good deal longer than usual, when the band returned on stage to continue SK, they had to wait another two minutes or so because little Ian wasn't ready to call it quits. Gillan preserved his good form from the earlier shows, some good screams throughout the show and a heavy "Bludsucker" among others.

Enough said, hope to see some of you in Bad Mergentheim.

Christian Rutz

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