Philipshalle, Düsseldorf
November 2nd 2003

Going to my 20th (?) Deep Purple concert on my 39th birthday, what a present!

Highway Star / Strange Kind Of Woman / Silver Tongue / Knocking At Your Back Door / House of Pain / Lazy / Bananas / Contact Lost / Haunted / Space Truckin' / I Got Your Number /
The Well Dressed Guitar / Don's solo ~ Perfect Strangers / Steve's solo / Smoke On The Water / Hush ~
with Hit The Road Jack / Black Night

The show opened as usual with Highway Star. Steve made a mistake in my opinion and they missed part of the song, but they survived it well. At the end Ian Paice left his drumkit and Ian Gillan hit him on his back, Ian Gillan joked that they will finish the rest in their hotel (spare me the details please). During Silver Tongue Steve Morse surprised me with a totally new guitar solo, it sounded very futuristic. It is a great song on the album but even better live. Next was Knocking At Your Back Door which was different from a few years ago, it sounded much more powerful. And then one of my favourites of the new album came up: House Of Pain. What a great song to hear live. It sounds just like Fireball, such a high tempo and such a great composition, altough it seems so simple.

A few songs later Ian Gillan sat down on the floor and spoke about the lost astronauts, introducing Contact Lost and Haunted, great, absolutely great. During I Got Your Number, which I have heard before during the Schwung Festival in Belgium, Don Airey was making strange noises with his voice in combination with his keyboard and Steve Morse was, as to speak with Gillan words, 'out of control'. This number has really grown on me. While Don Airey was playing his solo I saw Ian Gillan and Steve Morse looking at him with much satisfaction on their faces, which was so nice to see.

The show ended with Smoke On The Water, without the sing-a-long part. The band came back with Hush and Black Night. During Black Night Roger Glover played a bass solo while Ian Gillan sang Hit The Road Jack. Then it was really over. A great show. The band really enjoyed playing. During songs they were posing for fans' photos, laughing and teasing each other. It was a really great concert and everybody was sent home with Haunted coming out of the speakers.

review: Peter Rossen, Netherlands

First of all, my overall impression: Bloody brilliant.

This was my 8th Deep Purple concert since 1987 and from my point of view the best yet. The concert began with Molly Hatchet. To be honest I am not very familiar at all with their music, except that they are a southern rock combo. The crowds initial reception was rather lukewarm, but due to their very energetic and raw performance the reception gradually got better and better. The only bad sides to it were a very mushy sound and that the singer was hard to understand. He seemed to swallow most of the words and mumble loudly more than sing. Still, it was a good performance.

Then came the boys. The seemed to be having a ball. Their performance was raw and full of energy. A hell for leather performance that often reminded me of recording s from various 70s concerts. I am not somebody to compare the current DP to the earlier 70s time period, as time has gone by and the band have evolved, but this concert was not only their usual perfect musicianship and their brilliant showmanship, this also kicked major ass, like I have not seen before.

Their selection of songs was also faultless. The new songs, Silver Tongue, Bananas etc rubbed shoulders with 70s and 80s hits and sounded as though they could have been recorded back to back along with them. Don Airey has definitely become part of the band and certainly added to the high energy performance. He attacked the ivory keys with a vigour like a dervish in full flight, which fired up Steve Morse to as yet unreached performances in each and every song.

To be honest I was totally gob smacked at quite a number of times, nearly all the time. Goose pimples were running up and down me most of the time and that is a very good sign for a blooody good show. The only down side perhaps, was that Bananas didn't continue into a vessel for more duelling between Don and Steve, but was more or less of the same length as the recorded version. On the other hand, I suppose they would have had to have omitted one or two of the other songs to keep within the time limit and nobody wants that, do they?...

So it isn't a downer after all. An absolutely fantabulous concert and I highly recommend everyone to go see them. They are in their prime and maybe even getting better than that...

review: Simon Goss

deep purple 2003 reviews