Schleyer-Halle, Stuttgart
November 4th 2003

Almost exactly 10 years ago I saw my last ever Deep Purple show featuring Ritchie Blackmore at the Schleyer-Halle in Stuttgart. (Good grief, ten years since Come Hell Or High Water!)

I have never compared the new line up with other ones - but this time (as I almost had the same seat too) the memories crept up on me. First of all, the sound was better back then - as can be heard on the "Come Hell or High Water" album. It really was that good, believe me. Unlike now, the show in 1993 was sold out. And Blackmore...sorry, I wanted to write a review of yesterday's show....

The tracklist was the same as in Düsseldorf with the addition of a verse of "Fever" (Gillan seems to be still at it when it comes to redoing Elvis' songbook and that's fine by me - how about an album?) between "Hush" and "Black Night". Ah, and as Ian said "Maybe a short tambourine solo..."

Due to the internet you are never really surprised anymore, as you know what to expect - a blessing or a curse? Still, even if it wasn't a surprise I was very, very pleased to see them play a good share of new material. I wouldn't mind the addition of "Picture of Innocence" and I could certainly do without the reanimation of "Strange Kind of Woman", whereas "Black Night " as an encore is a fine chance to get to the car before anybody else does...(Well I didn't and Steve played a rather long solo in the end which seemed to be spontaneous.)

Everybody in the band was in fine form - we almost take that for granted these days, lucky us. Gillan's voice sounded good, he knew all the words and I could see no problems like the ones that have been mentioned before in this forum. His personality comes across, he is the natural born performer. Steve Morse still seems to get paid for notes per minute and Don Airey's solo is a touch too much in Jon Lord's vein in my book. And as always I would have paid the price for the ticket just to watch Ian Paice at work. So after all I'm glad I was there again.

review: Thomas Max

deep purple 2003 reviews