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

Review of the show in Karlsruhe, 17. June 1998

Hm, hm, hm well what shall I say. Well letīs start with the positive things. First of all a big HI and THANX to Andy Thul and everybody else from the net for arranging the meeting with us, the readers of the Highway Star. See you again folks. Not in Stuttgart, maybe in Hanau. But more of this later...

This was my 11th DP show since 1985. Iīve seen them in all line-ups since the reunion. I enjoyed the 1996 shows and the purpendiular album very much. This time I am not too happy with Abandon and I was really very disappointed of the show. But step by step:

The hall
Schwarzwaldhalle - Black-forest-hall in german. First time Iīve been in this hall for a concert. And the last time. Now I know why it is called Black-forest-hall. For non-germans: the black forest people are considered to be a little strange from the rest of Germany... also the hall. The hall has a capacity of approx. 4000 people. Maybe 3500 were in, not sold out. Itīs a small hall with only TWO doors for all these people? Strange. So we stood in the line for quite some time. No chance to sit only standing. Very small and low stage. Strange.

Yes - there was sound, depending on what you consider sound is... Either shit-hopeless PA or the hall. It must be the hall. Sorry folks, but this was awful.

Ya ya, I go to DP for the music not for the (light-)show. But for 50,-- bucks one could expect more.

Hey, you DP-fans out there, like me. I am a big fan since something like 18 years. Sorry, but one word says it all: ABANDON. I donīt want to judge too hard and I donīt want to be unfair. But ... The setlist. Didnīt I read something about surprises on the tour. In some way this setlist was A surprise. The standards plus five trax from the new album. In 1996 I was so happy they started "to risk" something. It was an extraordinary setlist but this was just boring.

Also the band was not in good shape. Big Ian became really big (even I can apologize this, watching the mirror). But his voice was very disappointing. Roger was smiling (why?) all the time and played a reasonable set. Thatīs it. Was Paicey really there? Jon made the lead this nite, but 2 minutes and 28 seconds for his solo was surely his fastest (pole position???). Steve was really good, nice solo. But this was not the band I love! I donīt like Abandon very much, but the managed to play the songs even worse live.

Deep Purple has always been a live band. But maybe a little break would be good. It is hard to say, but maybe this is the time to abandon. Leave as the world champions. If it will go on the way it was last night the halls will become smaller and smaller and they will end like other former classic bands who are nowadays only a shadow of themselves. Deep Purple hasnīt earned this - put them in the Hall of Fame!

But I kneel and pray (whereīs that song BTW) this was only a bad night. I cancelled my plans to go to Stuttgart next week. And I will read your reviews in the meantime very carefully before going to Hanau in September.

Hope to see you there folks!

Ralf Ulmer

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