My first DP encounter in 98 took me to Bocholt, a spot I've never heard of being the place for a Deep Purple show or any other major concert event before. It was an open-air show in a football stadion and luckily the day was the first in June with really good weather. Everything was well organized, but I am afraid they didn't knew that people get thirsty and want to drink a beer from time to time. There were only three places for getting beer and people queued up to 70 m.
DP hit the stage around 9:20 and played for almost 2 hours. Roger and Steve have switched their positions on stage, so have Jon and Little Ian.
The sound was excellent, especially Roger's bass sound was clear as I have never heard before. Every note could be heard cristal clear, it was pure delightment and showed one more time how important he is for the band. Both Gillan's voice and mood were in superb condition, so we had lots of Gillanism.
The show started with a cool and relaxed version of Hush and the first numbers werde done in a kind of laid back style that I liked very much, but Pictures Of Home and Bloodsucker did not have that intensity that it had in 1996.
The new songs were absolutely great. I hadn't expected things like Evil Louie or Watching the Sky and don't like those numbers too much on the album but live: Wow, sensational, absolutely great.
Reintroducing some numbers from the pre-Morse century certainly isn't great innovation, but Lazy is working great and Strange Kind Of Woman is always big fun, so why not!
My personal highlight beneath all the new songs was once again Speed King. Stunning interplay between Gillan/Morse and Lord/Morse, a drum solo with a superb light show (another colour on every beat).
During the encores the whole band sounded a bit exhausted and tired.
It was a great show and I left the place very happy, especially because I knew that I had my ticket for Hamburg waiting for me at home.