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

Deep Purple Manchester 18 October 1998

Manchester Nynex arena provided an excellent venue for the world's premier rock band. Never Before had I been in such a large hall to see Purple produce an evening of brilliant individuallity and excitement. Where does Ian G find the power in his vocal chords to masterfully front all the raw energy that pumps into the auditorium, he was just as good last night as I have ever seen him in the last 27 years.

One point that did slightly dissappoint. Having seen the Purpendicular tour almost 3 years ago, Jon Lord was then very much the driver at these concerts. However last night there were times I wondered if he was actually playing anything as I could hardly pick out his organ. As Purple were delving back into Lazy and other 70's classics I would have thought Jon should have been more prominent. Something amiss with the mix maybe. Steve does well in place of Ritchie but I feel they just lack the final level of excitement they used to have with these numbers. Having said that Steve adds so much more to Purple's music when they play the Purpendicular and Abandon tracks. Love Fingers to the bone and Any Fule kno that.
One thing is for sure there is nobody around these days that can match Purple in their execution of Rock. Roger Glover is an inspirational bass player, he holds the band together with his ability to pull the individuality of Jon and Steve back into the main theme of the music with effortless precision.

All in all it was yet another great night of Purple Rock, but I hope the next time I am fortunate to see them they are back into Purpendicular in a big way, so Steve can really show off his true virtuosity and raise the excitement level up a couple of notches.

I felt the crowd were only there for the older stuff which is a great pity, as this line up has certainly developed a new and exciting sound with Steve Morse adding a new dimension to the music.

All in all an excellent evening and I look forward to the next 27 years of Purple music.

Keith Scoullar

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