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

REVIEW, Nov. 28 Sofia, Bulgaria

    The fans were all over the Winter Sports Palace and the crowd erupted in ovations and screams when Gillan, Paice, Morse, Lord and Glover appeared on the stage. It was one of the most exhilarating moments of the show. Thousands of arms raised up in the air, waving; people jumping; even middle-aged men were enjoying the songs. However most of the fans were young people, some of them carrying posters and purple strips with the name of the band.
    The songs that drove the public crazy were "Strange kind of woman", "Fireball", "Perfect Strangers", "Highway Star", "Speed King", "Black Night", and of course "Smoke on the water". It was clear the fans were most enjoying the old songs, but the applauds did not cease during the new songs as well.
    The band was really trying hard. No matter how good Steve Morse was, there was a feeling of something lacking that night... Blackmore's guitar. Glover and Paice and Jon Lord did their best. Gillan, however, was seemingly too old to perform any singing feasts. He had fits of coughing and spent too much of the time behind the stage. At one time the crowd was yelling "Burn, Burn", but they never played the song, not that they could. Despite the years that were obviously too many for Ian, he gave all he could and from time to time, there was the feeling in the air that was the one who sang the unforgettable "Child in Time".
    The end came after a two hour performance when Gillan thanked all the fans there, and Morse and Glover threw their picks into the public and Paice, on his turn, the drumsticks. They were enjoying it all greatly, so did I, but still it felt like that was the last "Deep Purple" tour ever [Guess again. - Ed.], and I was proud to have heard them playing live.

Anastas Petkov

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