Nürnberg Arena
November 8th 2003

As much as I miss Jon Lord (saw one of his last shows sharing the position with Don in Bradford last September) the new line up has added a certain freshness to the band. Don's sound adds more power to the band and I feel that being "under the pressure" of replacing Jon he is more precise in his playing with very "thought out" structures -- the band just sounds very tight.

His solo is fantastic and I appreciated him ending it with Jon's little "jingle". Nice gesture. I guess the set list is the same pretty much everywhere except "Haunted" was replaced by "Doing It Tonight". Now both songs are favourites of mine off BANANAS and as much as I was disappointed in not hearing the one song the happier I was in hearing the other. I think "Doing..." should have been part of the setlist to start off with anyway... I do not know for sure but I have a feeling it was the first time they played the song on tour. It did sound very shaky... It seemed the band was struggling a bit to get things going -- there were a lot of looks of "uncertainty" going back and forth across the stage.

I would also like to mention Roger Glover's bass lines leading into the opener "Highway Star" -- fun to listen to his riffs. I am just glad Ian Gillan didn't throw him into the audience as a giveaway as he pretended to do when the band was tossing drum sticks and picks off stage at the end of the show. "Smoke on the Water" obviously a must in the setlist -- though I must admit I could sometimes do without it -- was a nice surprise. The band kinda-changed-a-da-rhythm and the song sounded new and refreshing. Great! Purple covering Purple.

Steve Morse's performance was great. In one review I read that he was a little "off" in his timing, so I was listening hard to find anything that was "out of sync" -- I don't think that there is anything to complain about. I just feel that during his solo he needs to find a different solution out of his "loop" solo into "Well Dressed Guitar". However, "Well..." was the best version I've heard so far (live as well as on the "Soundboard Mixes Series).

Ian Paice is just so fun to watch and I am happy he is not playing a 10-minute solo but nice little solos here and there. And then Ian Gillan -- need I say more -- the name alone is a guarantee for a quality vocal and entertainment performance. I will never forgive Ritchie for giving this man such a hard time. Ian did a nice little "solo part" between "Hush" and "Black Night" including "Black Betty" and... he even knew the words...

After hearing some bad "reviews" from friends regarding performances this summer in Berlin and Karlsruhe -- I think Purple had another peak performance in Nuremberg and I envy anyone going to the next shows. HAVE FUN AND ENJOY.

review: Peter Stickler


This was the best gig Iīve ever seen! Wait, hold on...there was of course the mindblowing Blackmoreīs Night gig this year, but that was only because he played songs he almost never played. Also there was that fantastic Whitesnake gig, but it would have been better with Coverdale alone. Maybe the best Purple gig?

Fantastic to see them hit the stage with Highway Star, then going almost as straight into Strange Kind Of Woman as back in the eighties with only a very small announcement. Silver Tongue is a brilliant live song and the extended ending fitted quite well into it. Knocking At Your Back Door was a real treat once again. House Of Pain was started by IG on the harp with the intro of the Purpendicular Waltz before Paicy started hitting the cowbell. Very, very good live song as well. Great to see that everyone in the front rows knew the lyrics and so we all sang along "Back to the house of pain". Brilliant!

Highway Star / Strange Kind Of Woman / Silver Tongue / Knocking At Your Back Door / House of Pain / Lazy / Bananas / Contact Lost / Doing It Tonight / 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

Lazy had an awesome intro by our dear Don who seemed to have a better night than ever before! But of course with only 5-6 minutes itīs far to short these days, for me. Bananas was announced by Gillan as "a little quiz, see if you get it right" which was followed by his description of the weird EU paramenters for bananas imports. During the - truly smoking! - solos of Bananas IG went back to get himself a folder which he laid on the drum riser. "Whatīs that?" I thought, "learning the lyrics for new songs while playing the percussion?" I was proved right...

Contact Lost was followed by an interesting bridge, which I expected to lead into Haunted, but was surprised as Morseīs soloing got faster, harder and more intensive: which wouldnīt fit if the intro to Haunted was to follow. It was something new, the live premiere of Doing It Tonight, which proved to be a very entertaining live song that sent good vibes to the crowd. IG sang the bridge very well and without taking a breath he managed to get properly into the third verse. At the point where it usually fades out in the studio it went on, and they ended it with the last few bars of Picture Of Innocence.

Space Truckin' was brilliant again. I Got Your Number is just designed for the stage in my opinion. I like the studio version but live the song can really breathe. The bridge section sent shivers down my spine. The Well Dressed Guitar had a very intersting beginning - hadnīt thought this song can still develop. Perfect Strangers was received even better than usual by the crowd. Shame they donīt use the green lights anymore during it. But still it looked good with the mirorr ball in the backround. Straight into Smoke On The Water, which was performed very well, I enjoyed it more than ever before, it was really VERY good.

Hush was also nice with a short drum solo (Iīm sure heīd have gone on if Morse hadn't interjected). Quite a good bass solo and a short rendition of Hit The Road Jack (which was barely recognizable as only the lyrics were there, but the rest was very different) leading us into Black Night where we had a lot of fun with Morse again.

The end of an evening of sheer brilliance. What can I say? The setlist was the best in a long while and the light show (outside of Perfect Strangers) was the best Iīve seen. Loved the suns in the backround during Silver Tongue. Barefoot Gillan was in better shape than on any of my previous Purple gigs. He really seemed to have fun, remembered ALL of the lyrics, coughed rarely and screamed only if necessary. Roger Glover seemed to have more fun this time. He smiled a lot and even looked much more at the people in the crowd and also stayed for autographs. Much better than in Heidenheim were he never opened his eyes while he was playing and left the stage early. I realized Iīve never seen him as good and his playing was outstanding as well(and in the mix almost as loud as the guitar!). Steve Morse had a lot of fun again, though he didnīt smile continually, keeping the grinning to when he wasn't actually playing.

Review: Milan Fahrnholz

deep purple 2003 reviews