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

Review Düsseldorf, 09/10/1998

I just returned from the concert in Duesseldorf and wanted to share my impressions with you.

The gates were opened around 18:30.

I managed to get a place in the first row (2 meters from stage), middle of the stage. Perfect...

Support act was a band from Switzerland which called themselves "Florian Ast und der Florianstein" (or something like that), they played for a little more than half an hour.

Purple started around 21:15, the concert lasted about 110 minutes. They were starting late because Jon had been flying back to London in a private affair and had to struggle to get back in time. No further details were given.

From my positon the mix was IMHO OK, again a little bit heavy on the guitar, but with exception of Jon everyone was clearly distinguishable.

The lightshow was the same, with the /-\ background put to good use.

The clothes
Sorry, didn't pay attention to that, but nothing out of the ordinary, Jon was wearing shades I didn't see before.

The stage-setup (view from the audience)
Ian Paice:left background
Jon Lord:right background
the congas middle background
Steve Morse right foreground
Roger Glover left foreground
Ian Gillan theoretical in the middle foreground, in fact the whole stage

The setlist
Ted the Mechanic
Strange kind of woman
Pictures of home
Almost human
Woman from Tokyo
Watching the sky
Fingers to the bone
Any fule kno that
Guitar solo
Smoke on the water
Keyboard Solo
Perfect Strangers
Speed king (drum solo included and a christmas song!)

Seventh Heaven
Highway Star

So much for what happened, now to the more subjective part:

Let's start with my impressions on the individual performances:
Paice: Again outstanding. He was at his best this evening.
Glover: I really loved his playing.
Lord: Smoking. He was in an exceptional good mood.
Gillan: Back again. Brilliant show.
Morse: Breathtaking.

Some special highlights which keep popping up in my head:
- Paicey on drums. Very into it and great solo.
- Lord's playing in general: Very inspired and very into it. Solo longer than usual and the bridge to Lazy was a joy to hear and watch.
- Roger on bass: I paid this time more attention to his playing, Hats off to this man. The fundament of the band.
- Ian: Back for good. Much better than Essen, not much screams, but when he took off, than he really took off.
- Morse gave us at one time a little bit of "Sweet home Alabama" from Lynyrd Skynyrd.

One more thing: I don't think that it was a good idea to bring back "Fingers to the bone". It doesn't work live. It isn't the slow song which I think is needed and it is in regard of audience reaction in my observations the low point of the show.
I really don't like to say this, since FttB is one of the songs I did like from the start when the /-\ album came out, but IMHO it doesn't work live.

Well, that should be enough for now, only 16 hours to Erfurt...

Christian Rutz

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