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

Review: Stuttgart 30. 6. 1998

It's now 6:27 AM and I'm finally back from Stuttgart, after 13 hours of the awful bus trip.
The concert took place in the Schleyer Halle, the same one where CHoHW was recorded, the hall doesn't look interesting at all from outside, I must say. The hall was shortened with a huge black curtain, and the remaining part was full, I heard someone mentioning 5000 people, I don't know, I didn't count. The weather that day was unstable, so I took an umbrella, and I fastened it to the button of my pants, it hung there the whole show, I think I looked rather strange with an umbrella dangling between my legs, oh well. Anyway, this was my first *ever* DP show, any of you who were in the same situation can probably remember that feeling of expectancy. All of you who claimed that all these reviews deprive us of surprises were wrong, read on.
Support act were some Dream Theater sound-alikes (so I was told), nothing exciting, they were almost tolerable, but they closed their part of the show with an *awful* version of Paint It Black.
Anyway, half an hour later, around 21:20 comes the big moment (I leave that part to your own imagination). The setlist went like this:

"We'll talk about my hair later, it's a bit frizzy, I didn't put enough conditioner"
Steve plays rhythm here in a rather different style, sounds interesting instead of duet with Gillan he tries to draw the audience into it, partial success
Ted the Mechanic
"Before he became a mechanic, Ted was an aprentice for a year or so", IG talks on about that and throws in a hair conditioner into the story
Pictures of Home
Fingers to the Bone
this is my favourite track of the album, but I didn't feel it went down very well, it sounds a bit empty somehow, however the middle section, piano-mouth organ thing works excellent, and Steve's longer intro is interesting
Almost Human
Steve does a longish intro that sounded a bit strange, song works very well, Jon's closing solo starts a bit haltingly but when it gets going it really goes! And here comes the surprise:
Into the Fire
it seems that Roger communicated the feelings on amdp to the rest of the group
Woman from Tokyo
Watching the Sky
this one is great, a true live classic, though Ian manages to mess up lyrics a bit somewhere around the Wild Man Fisher song closes like this: "... one, two, buckle my shoe, zip my lip, zip my lip, zip my lip, zip my lip, zip my lip, zip my lip..."
Seventh Heaven
"This one is called Seven Bloody Maries" this is one of my least favourite songs on the album, but it's a real killer live both intro and the solo were longer, I think
Smoke on the Water
Steve's solo served as a very long intro to the song. IMO volume controlled solo isn't a big deal to do, but to do it in a way this man does it would be very difficult, believe me
Evil Louie
"Anytime air-condition doesn't work, be sure there's a Louie behind that" Lazy Jon's solo before the song seemed rather short, he didn't reallly let go the song works well, except in places where SM tries to break a world record in number of notes played per second. Why does he do such things?
It seemed to me that Ian really changed the lyrics after the lunch-wrapper solo, not just messed them up. What was on the other shows?
Perfect Strangers
Speed King
"This is the air-conditioning song"
this is by far the best version of the song I heard this lineup do. Morse decides he could play some melodic stuff here for a change, and his interplay with Jon was great, they traded solos until Jon said "I can't play that" and shook Steve's hand like he accepted the defeat, they really enjoyed doing this! After that old grandma on drums goes nuts! I mean, to hear his solo on record, or even see on video is not even close to the real thing! Unbelievable.
Now it's time for a bit of hilarious interplay between Gillan and Morse, which goes into another surprise : Not Fade Away! They close the song afterwards.

Any Fule Kno That
Highway Star

When they came on stage to play the encores Paicey appeared in the German football mannschaft shirt, crowd naturally went wild, then he turned around and on it's back was printed IAN and a big number 50, Gillan started singing Happy Birhday, and audience with him. A really great show.

Ante Senjanovic

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