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

Review of the DP concert on Tue, 16. 6. 98 at the Hutbergbuehne, Kamenz, Saxonia, Germany

This is a review of a concert by truly A BAND ON Tour!!! The concert took place at the Hutbergbuehne, and the word "Berg" (mountain) was damn true. Reminded us of the words "up at a mountain..."
The venue was a kind of amphitheatre, a half-bowl with lots of trees all around the place. The German opener "Rage" was quite ok! After that we could detect a new order on stage: bass equipment on the left, drum set half left, Leslies plus organ half right, the guitar set on the far right and of course the congas in the middle.

9.20 p.m. CEST: Five gentlemen enter the stage, very much to the joy of the appox. 9000 (that's what the papers said!) in the audience. Jon hums a couple of notes on his Hammond, the others waving to the crowd, already in best mood. It is a peaceful and expecting atmosphere, and right in to this crashed the first notes of

"HUSH" - People were glad to hear this one, and celebrated the band from the beginning. The musicians were relaxed and obviously glad to be back on stage after a 3 days break - we had the feeling they really enjoyed their first concert in Germany. Concentrated. Appealing easyness and perfect work without forgetting to show they were having fun! Ideal start, also because of the perfect sound right from the beginning!

"BLUDSUCKER" - During this song we got an indication of what was to come regarding the Morse/Lord-interplay (and their "indivi-duell" play) that night. Much better than on /-\: fresher, clearer, more powerful, more brilliant. IG got all the high notes (and the low ones too, BTW!) perfectly. Between verses, he kept looking at a libretto behind his congas, came back front and continued singing. Will this man ever learn his lyrics by heart??? ;-)

"The next one is about a strange lady we once met..." - referred to "SKOW", of course. The crowd joined singing and swinging this long time missed hit. The performance of it was the best one of the opening trio. A symbolic scene after the well worked out ending: just like a conductor expressing his thanks to the 1st violonist, JL shook SM's hand! To us Jon was pleasure in person this night. Jon and Steve were talking and laughing during the whole concert...

Now for "THE" Gillanism of the gig:
IAN went to the very left of the stage, took a look at the band and said: "I'll make it short, to be honest, I only understand half of what I say, anyway. The next song is about potato soup with a lot of sausages in it, called Edward --- TED THE MECHANIC!" The song was well received, though fewer people seemed to know the tune...

"Now a song we wrote when we were in Montreux called...PICTURES OF HOME.. thank you". Much better than on LATO'96. This melody and the words caused shivers down our backs. The words "Emptiness, eagles and snow" fitted very well with the natural surroundings on the Hutberg - maybe they should shoot a Video clip up there sometime (in wintertime, naturally!)

Then sparkling guitar came up, a very nice intro for "FINGERS TO THE BONE", followed by those maximum heavy twin beats. Everyone was impressed. All new songs from /-\ were listened to carefully and were accepted with honest excitement and appreciation. The reaction confirms the band's decision to play so many /-\ -songs and so few from _I_ .

"ALMOST HUMAN"- Intro by a roaring guitar, much better than on the album, absolute winner on stage (from /-\ songs). IAN recommended to buy the /-\ album as soon as possible "You can go and buy this, soon, like..... tomorrow !"

The crowd went crazy identifying "WOMAN FROM TOKYO" - one of my favorite 3 life performed songs. What a blasting beat at the end of the interlude, followed by very dynamic reaction of the audience! Definetly the first maximum peak of STIMMUNG.

IAN asked the audience to take a look at the sky, and added "It was raining round here..." - "WATCHING THE SKY"

After that, Roger was supposed to announce the next song. All he could say was "The next song is about a bucket full of...", when IAN took the mic back and said "SEVENTH HEAVEN!"

After that Steve sampled some sequences and accompanied himself on the guitar. Pretty close to LATO...

"SOTW" was a home run - like always. I wonder how they manage not to get bored playing this song over and over again. When the first notes were in the air, it started raining a bit, but this did not disturb anyone at all!

"EVIL LOUIE" was relaxing - we could enjoy another live winner from /-\. These tunes really have a great beat, and they sound just fine performed live!

"LAZY" - with a long intro by Jon, who didn't play a "long" solo comparable to that on LATO, but I still didn't have the feeling I hadn't heard enough Hammond sound!

"SPEED KING" - or "Lord versus Morse" and "IAN versus Morse" - once again, IAN proved that he CAN sing, despite what some people say about him!

Of course we didn't let them get away after that. The audience wanted more, so they played these encores:

"ANY FULE KNO THAT" - We'd almost been afraid they might not play that one! The song's really a killer, and I understand why they had in the setlist during the House of Blues-tour.

"HIGHWAY STAR" - What need I say? Before the song, the lights projected some blurred stars on the rear of the stage, so everyone knew what was coming up.

"BLACK NIGHT" - That was the ending song of the concert, and I can't believe they didn't want to play that one, originally (as mentioned in the Turkey reviews).

As we mentioned, it was a long way down from the Hutberg, so we had to walk for about half an hour to get back to the car. The atmosphere was just great, everyone was relaxed and there were nice people all over the place, who had obviously enjoyed the show.
For us, it was a memorable experience, and the show was better than the two _|_ ones we saw in 96 - we will definitely go to Hanau in September, and maybe write another review then...

See you somewhere on the road!

Lars Wehmeyer & Christian Siegler

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