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

as good if not better than 25 years ago

The venue was the Zenith Arena in Lille. A nice concert hall with usually perfect accoustics. The hall takes 5000 places, we were 2500-3000.

The support act was Gotthard. I didn't know them before yesterday. They made a good impression on me. The singer has a good voice. And the 45 minutes of the show appeared very short to me.

Deep Purple took the stage at 8:15 pm. The show lasted about 2 hours. The sound was quasi cristal clear and not to loud, every instrument was clearly audible in the mix. Ian Gillan appeared with a big necklace he finally broke and threw behind the stage after the first verse of Ted. The setlist remained the same:

  • Ted the mechanic
  • Strange kind of woman
  • Bludsucker
  • Pictures of home
  • Almost human
  • Woman from Tokyo
  • Watching the sky
  • Finger to the bone
  • Any fule kno that
  • Guitar solo (and what a solo)
  • Smoke on the water
  • Keyboard solo (short and sweet)
  • Lazy
  • Perfect strangers
  • Speed king
    • - drum solo : average according to me wich was confirmed by Ian Gillan who gestured with his hand something meaning 'average Ian!'.
    • - epic battle between Jon and Steve,
    • - funny duel between big Ian and Steve,
    • - and a short version of Lucille.

  • Seventh heaven
  • Highway star

Ian GILLAN was in fine fettle. What a voice! Almost the same as 25 years ago. He reached almost all the high notes (missed just one or two in Highway star). He was in a very good mood, dancing, smiling, screaming and he was very present even during Jon's, Steve's and Ian's solos. It was nice to see him listening with attention to Steve's solo after "Any fule".

Jon LORD was also in top shape jostling his Hammond several times during the first songs. He was in a soloing mood. He offers us some great moments.

Steve MORSE was absolutly fantastic.

Roger GLOVER accomplished a great, solid and subtle job as usual.

Ian PAICE was solid but not much.

I've never heard a better version of this song. Steve's intro to the song is really cool. With his guitar, he imitates the start of an engine, and then the sound of a race-car. The rest of the song was perfect with big Ian accompanying Steve with his voice during the guitar solo.
FINGERS TO THE BONE: Great middle section with harmonica and piano, longer than on the album.
PERFECT STRANGERS: Solid, compact, a bulldozer, "Perfect".
BLUDSUCKER: Gillan amazing.

Everybody in the group seems to be happy. The atmosphere on stage is very cool. The only little critic (imho) concerns the setlist which is almost the same since the beginning of the tour. They did so many great songs that they could propose an alternative setlist. They could from time to time drop songs like Strange kind of woman, Lazy, Almost human or Any fule and replace them by other great songs, for instance Fireball, No one came, Somebody stole my guitar, Into the fire, Hey Cisco... But that's just a detail. Go and see them, you won't be disappointed.

Eric Fourcade

[ reviews | the highway star ]