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

St. Petersburg, Jubileiniy Palace of sports, 23 November 1998
Review by Konstantin Gorlov.

First of all excuse me for my English.
I'm a fan of Deep Purple since 1988 (I was 14), when I heard Russian pirate LP with a collection of their 1970-72 songs. Then I heard "A house of blue light" and decided that they are the best group in the world, and now I'm still thinking so. Thre was a period when I was disappointed and lost an interest - it was a Joe Lynn Turner period. He seemed to me a weak singer in "Rainbow", and I was shocked that Gillan was replaced by him.
So, when Steve Morse came into the band I was a big sceptic. But I was amazed by "LATO'96" and "Abandon". Big thanks to Steve, who have brought back clear and powerful sound, pure energy the way it was on the "In rock"! And now I don't want to shout "Bring Blackmore back!" I would like to see him with "Blackmore's night" - I think he has found himself now.
St. Petersburg is the second (after Moscow) city of Russia and I don't know why DP haven't been here yet. During 10 years I was dreaming about being at their show and it seemed to me unbelievable to realise this dream. Two shows of "Blackmore's night" was cancelled here in September due to political and economical situation in Russia, so I was afraid that DP wouldn't come to play here too. But show took a place, and WHAT A SHOW!!
Jubileiniy palace of sports is a typical ice hockey hall, it is smaller than "Olympiysky" in Moscow. (I don't know why organizers didn't spent the show at "SKK" - identical venue with "Olympiysky"). It was totaly sold out, I think it was about 10 thousands of people. Big thanks for the absence of support band. Crowd was going crazy 10 minutes before the start of a show. My impressions were so, that I hardly find the words to describe (not only in English, but in Russian too). It was one of the best moments in my life.
I've read all the reviews and can say that the set list was a traditional set list of this tour with "Black night" and "Highway star" as the encores. The show took about 2 hours. There was a lot of fun on stage. For example someone threw a bunch of flowers to Steve. He was holding it in his right hand and smelling it and his left hand was playing at this moment. After "Smoke on the water" a have lost one glass from my glasses (some shit person have pushed them away with his shoulder). And after this song crowd begun to throw things on stage, like a fur-cap or jacket. Morse took a jacket but Gillan has begun to pull it ("It is mine!... I think we'll open a store..."). The first part of "Black night" Morse played with the fur-cap on his head - it was amazing! After "Highway star" the crowd have got a lot of picks, Gillan's hat, lip harmonics, Paice's sticks.
It was my first and I hope not the last DP show, so I can't compare it with the other. But it seems to me that five guys were very happy playing in Russia. Gillan said before "Any fule..." - "We are in the right city in the right time! St. Petersburg is fantastic!" I hope that it wasn't an empty words and they will come back on their next tour. More "Smoke on the Russia!!"
Big thanks for Deep Purple!

Konstantin Gorlov

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