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

Review of Bocholt

I just returned from the concert in Bocholt and wanted to share my impressions with you.

Organization was o.k., they opened the gates on time at 17:00

I managed to get a place in the first row (3-4 meters from stage), a little bit right from the middle. Perfect........

The weather was really good, sunshine with some clouds, so it wasn't too hot.

Two bands played before Purple, first was a local band called Flyer, they won a contest or something and played for half an hour covers (ZZTop, Bryan Adams, Supertramp, Toto, etc.). Second was Rage, a Metal Band, who had also 3 violinists and a cellist on stage. It was interesting, although the classic section wasn't very audible.

Purple started around 21:20, the concert lastet something more than two hours.

The mix was IMHO o.k., maybe a little bit heavy on the guitar. At one time even the congas were audible!

The lightshow wasn't much, but since it was a very bright evening, they werew useless til the encores.

The clothes (for Svante :-):
Steve: Black trousers, black T-Shirt with white Eagle (and Glitter)
Gillan: Black trousers, black T-Shirt
Roger: Black Trousers, darkgrey T-Shirt (and Bandana or whatever its callled)
Paice: B&W T-Shirt
Jon: black/black

The stage-setup (view from the audience)
A little graphic:

   Ian Paice              Jon Lord              congas   Roger Glover   Ian Gillan   Steve Morse 

The setlist (sorry, not everything is in running order):

Strange kind of woman
Ted the mechanic
Pictures of home
Fingers to the bone
Almost human
Woman from Tokyo
Watching the sky
Seventh heaven
Smoke on the water
Evil Louie
Keyboard Solo
Perfect Strangers
Speed king (drum solo included)

Encores part one: Any fule kno that Highway Star

Encores part two Black night

So much for what happened, now to the more subjective part:

I'm a really big fan of MkII and I think, that DP was at the peak of their music from 70-72 and I compare everything to MiJ and the like from this era. And one of my biggest disappointment was the time I saw them on the PS-Tour. The show was good, it was well played. But that was all it was. No fire, no energy. And if you watch CHoHW.............

I saw Purple first time with Morse last summer in Lahr/Germany and again, good show, well played, some interesting music, but not even close to seventies Purple.

And I expected not much more for this one.....

Boys (and girls), was I wrong.

This one was brilliant. Not only good or well played. It was brilliant, outstanding, the best one I've seen until today (but I have a ticket for Hamburg this evening ;-).

I don't know what happened with Steve, but his playing has changed. None of his repetive runs, who annoyed a lot of people here, no holding back, what was my personal impression of his playing. His playing was not only good as always but innovative and surprising. I was blown away. And not only of his performance, Purple went on the stage and started a firework. They rocked, they rolled, it was too good to be true. This was the Purple I like to hear and see. The energy and fever I missed since the reunion was to some degree there.

Some highlights in no particular order:
Steve using this trick with the left finger on the volume knob the interaction between Steve and Gillan (really, really great) the understanding between Steve and Jon Steve's intro to Highway Star (I listen right now to this and it is good enough to blow most guitarists back in the middle ages) etc. etc.

But enough of praise, of course there are some things I missed (a DP-Fan is never satisfied :-)

IMHO Jon is to restrained. He wasn't that present during the songs and his solos were too short, although always to the point. The same could be said for Roger and Paicey, they were seldom visible, although always audible and important to the sound. It felt sometimes like The Gillan/Morse Band with special guests. Steve and Ian clearly dominated the music and the stage, not as much input from the rest of the band as it has been in the good old times.

Well, that should be enough for now.

Just one thing for the blackers:
Steve didn't smile that much and he didn't smile during the solo from Bludsucker. Hope you're happy now ;-))

Christian Rutz

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