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

Review Hanau

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

The gates were opened at 18:40, so that I could spend a little time standing in the rain (I was there around 17:00, it started to rain about 18:15 ;-)

I managed to get a place in the first row (3 meters from stage), on the right side of the stage. As it turned out, a perfect place for this concert.

Support act was a local band from Frankfurt which called themselves "The Boost" (or something like that), they played for half an hour.

Purple started around 21:00, the concert lasted about 110 minutes.

From my positon the mix was IMHO o.k., a little bit heavy on the guitar, so Jon was sometimes not clearly audible. But IMHO it was a little bit too loud, not that my ears are ringing, but I didn't feel comfortable.

The light show was the same, but they now use the /-\ background as has been reported from the US tour, which hasn't been used on the two concerts which I attended on the first leg of the tour.

The clothes
Sorry, didn't pay attention to that, but nothing out of the ordinary.

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

A little graphic:

            Ian Paice              Jon Lord 


Roger Glover Ian Gillan Steve Morse

The setlist
Ted the Mechanic
Strange kind of woman
Pictures of home
Almost human
Woman from Tokyo
Watching the sky
Any fule kno that
Guitar solo (including a little bit of Led Zeppelin's Stairway (or was it Kashmir??) and a little bit of Clapton's Cocaine)
Smoke on the water
Keyboard Solo
Perfect Strangers
Speed king (drum solo included and a verse of "Jailhouse Rock"!!)
Seventh Heaven
Highway Star

Negative incidents
Again someone threw a cup on stage and sprayed Steve and Jon. That is the second time in three concerts, I'm getting a little bit annoyed about this.

Can anyone tell me why this happens?? Maybe next time I'm close to one of this guys so I can ask him (or her) and tell him what I'm thinking about this...

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

Let's start with my impressions on the individual performances:
Paice: a good, solid effort (of course), but I missed the fire which I have heard on earlier occasions.
Glover: well, what to say?? You only notice him if he's not there.
Lord: Excellent, really excellent. Much soloing, very inspired playing.
Gillan: Superb. Amazing. Screams as if he were twenty again.
And the absolute highlight of the evening, Mr. Steve Morse: He was on fire. Started out really fast (someone told him about Yngwie the fastest one around for purple stuff??), went to very heavy playing and riffing, a brilliant solo like you'd expect from someone who did "Night of the living Dregs", and the trades between Lord and Morse and Gillan and Morse. Breathtaking.

All in all a brilliant performance, the best one I've seen on this tour so far, very heavy with enough room for everyone to shine solowise.

Some special highlights which keep popping up in my head:
- The start: Fast, really fast. How does Morse do this??
- The solos: Much more soloing than I'd expected and longer
- The screams: Don't know what happened on the US tour, but this time Gillan was in top form. He screamed as if his life depended on it.
- Morse Solo: Not from this world. Within two minutes he reduced the complete audience to silence. And I mean silence, no yelling, no whistling, no sound from the audience. Absolutely brilliant.
- Lord's solos: Someone wore a T-Shirt to the concert "The Godfather of Rock Organ". This evening he showed why he deserves this title: Awesome playing, from heavy to slow to classical.

But enough of praise, of course there are some things I missed (a DP-Fan is never satisfied :-)

I really miss a slow song in the set. Steve's solo makes up for a lot, but something like WABMC, performed right after Steve's solo, which puts the audience in the right mood anyway, would make a nice contrast to the overall very heavy feel. And this would be a good excuse to drop Smoke out of the set, I'm getting bored with it, especially since this is IMHO the song which is played with the least fire, IMHO just a crowd-pleaser, though it always works.

Christian Rutz

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