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

Manchester 18.10.98

I am not quite sure what it was but I was not really looking forward to the concert. Firstly, I must admit that I am not too keen on Abandon. The songs are not as strong as in the past and the whole album seems a bit boring and repetitive (Jack Ruby is a bad song). Secondly, the set list of the tour (the same standard songs, some new ones thrown in and no real surprises) did not help.

However, the concert itself was quite enjoyable, although I cannot understand the enthusiasm of some reviewers. The sound was great, the band seemed quite happy (though this seems to be a constant feature at the moment) and the individual performances were good particularly Paice, Glover and Morse, although Gillan did not seem to have one of best nights but he is still a great frontman. However, but there was something missing. I think the concert was lacking a bit of flair and there was certainly no real atmosphere in the arena.

I must admit that I would have preferred to see Blackmore, but there is no blame on Morse, and the ongoing feud is also boring. It was more that the setlist lacked dynamics especially when performing the new songs in the middle part, with the exception of Fingers to the Bone. I thought it was much better when they played Perfect Strangers and Highway Star, which seemed to display much more of the Deep Purple I like.

All in all, it was a solid concert, not really bad, but also not inspiring, exciting or brilliant (I liked the Polka before Speed King though). Anyway, I will be there next time but then I hope they play Knocking at your Backdoor.

And regarding Mark Welch's comment about Blackmore's Night being exciting, I saw them last year in Cologne, and it was not.

Jens-Peter Reinhardt

[ reviews | the highway star ]