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

Tour Review - London, Wembley,UK.

Wednesday October 14th 1998 - London, Wembley Arena

What a great day. Woke up to find the lads on UK Breakfast TV (almost unheard of to find great rockers like Deep Purple, whoops!! ...sorry, there are no great rockers like DP, on British Television). Having performed "Smoke", "Black Night" and "Smoke" again during the two hour show, it was a wonderful and most unexpected start to an exciting day. I have never before set my VCR to record a breakfast TV show. Ian Gillan's sketch as a hotel concierge was a hilarious moment to watch.

Later that night, at London`s Wembley Arena, the boys put on their customary brilliant show. Having just said to my wife (Vicky) that they`ll start the concert with "Fireball", they kicked off the show with "Ted". Shows what I know about it!
This was followed by "Strange Kind of Woman" and "Pictures of Home" before playing a series of songs from the (great) new album, Abandon.

A great personal bonus for us was our front row seats (not that we used the seats). We have never been so close to the action. The show featured a terrific guitar solo from Steve Morse, a truly great guitarist. Many of the greats were played, including "Smoke", "Bloodsucker", "Woman from Tokyo" and , as Ian Gillan stated, the lullaby "Speed King". Some lullaby!

Vicky`s night was really made complete when the boys played "Perfect Strangers", her favourite track, described by Ian G. as a song from the middle ages. That described many of the audience, including us. It was great to see so many middle-ages attending the show with their teenage kids.

Deep Purple, once again, showed that the nonsense written in the British media about the ages of certain bands from 20 or 30 years ago is just that: nonsense. The DP lads consistently prove that with each passing year, the master musicians that they are just get better and better. You just can`t beat years of experience - any fule kno that !

All too soon the show was nearly over. "Black Night" and "Highway Star" provided an awesome end to what was a great night out. The best rock show, indeed the best of any type of show, that we have attended since...well, the last Deep Purple show we attended, in 1996.
Out into the black night, surrounded by thousands of perfect strangers, we left for home, exhilarated after a sensational 2 hours of the best music on the planet. My wife clutching her Steve Morse plectrum, joyfully plucked out of the air when lobbed into the audience by Steve himself.

A truly memorable night - roll on the next tour. Don`t miss them !!

How about "Child in Time", boys??

Allan and Vicky Wilcox,
Herne Bay,
United Kingdom

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