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

Deep Purple Birmingham N.E.C. 15th October 1998

Well, you've done it again! Yet another excellent show.
After having enjoyed the performance of Orphic Soop, I have to say that the wait before Deep Purple took to the stage was far too long, seeming like an eternity.

The wait was worth it though, as right from the start with "Ted the mechanic", Purple were sounding amazing. I have never heard any rock band as clearly as Deep Purple sounded tonight. For the first couple of minutes, although everything could be heard clearly, it did sound as though we were listening in a tunnel, this was quickly sorted and the band continued to excel.

It was when they played "Watching the Sky" that things really began to take off so it was a shame that the atmosphere in the area where I was standing seemed to go off the boil a little during "Fingers to the Bone", but that was very short lived.

It was wonderful to hear Ian Gillan's voice with so little echo for most of the show, proving that he is still able to sing as well as ever!

Having seen Deep Purple on every tour since 1995, the performances by Jon Lord and Steve Morse were unbelievable. It was never this good with Ritchie Blackmore.

Just one criticism though, the bright lights pointed at the audience were over-used, to the point of being painful. I intend to take my sunglasses with me to watch the Manchester show on Sunday.

Keep up the good work and I hope that you continue touring for many more years.

Paul Carpenter

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