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

Review Rotterdam, Oct. 12, 1998

Last night DP played for an enthousiastic audience in the just renovated Ahoy Hall in Rotterdam/the Netherlands. The support act (Saxon) did a good job warming us up for the main event. They started on time (I hate it when you have to wait for an hour before a band appears on stage) and played for almost an hour. I did know the band by name, but never saw them. It was more than nice! One critical note however: maybe the singer can buy a good dictionary so he can say something else than f*ck twice (or more) in a sentence.

After a short interval DP came on. You could see that they are not in the twenties anymore, they gained some weight, but who cares...they sounded as if they were in their twenties. Great bass rhythms by Roger Glover, heavy drum beats by Ian Paice, fast keyboard play by Jon Lord, great cries by Ian Gillan and best of all the superb guitar play by Steve Morse (sometimes it looked more like the Steve Morse Band than DP!). That guy is a more than excellent substitute for Ritchie B. The solo he played reminded of the guitar play of Steve Howe (of Yes, the best guitarist ever!). He produced sounds as if he was playing a keyboard. Who missed Ritchie, I didn't.

The setlist was pretty much the same as in Germany, for encores they played Black Night and Highway Star. You could notice that most of the audience didn't know the newer songs that well. Like me, most of the audience was over 40 years old. When DP played the older songs (like Strange Kind of Woman, Woman from Tokyo, Smoke on the Water) the audience went nuts, but with the newer songs they were less noisy.

Speed King was the highlight of the concert. The duels between JL and SM and between IG and SM were great and the drum solo was amazing too. The roof of the hall almost came down.

I really had a great night. Ian (twice), Jon, Roger and Steve - thanks a lot. I hope you will come back real soon.

Rene van Geest

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