Deep Purple performed on this day in 1973 at the Sporthalle in Cologne, Germany.
From the outside looking in, the band was in an excellent position. Their latest album, Who Do We Think We Are, was released around this time. They were touring Germany and just coming off a successful US tour. However, internally, the band was plagued with major conflicts. Ian Gillan had tendered his resignation from the band in December; he remained with the group until the end of the tour the following June. Roger Glover was fired at the same time.
Only one number from Who Do We Think We Are made it on the setlist, Mary Long. Machine Head was the dominant force on the list that it has been since (source).
The concert appears to have been recorded and is in circulation online. However, it seems like the concert may have been mislabelled as the Frankfurt concert the week prior.
On the same day, the band apparently received an EMI gold record for Made in Japan (source).
The venue at which the band performed, the Cologne Sporthalle, had a long history as a live music venue–in fact, during my research, despite it’s title as a “sporthalle”, there was nothing but information on the music which took place here!
During its time, up to 8,000 people could crowd into the venue to see the band du jour. Emerson, Lake & Palmer made a stop here in 1973, while Rainbow swung by in 1981. One of the more famous concerts which took place here was a concert which launched the German krautrock titans Can to fame. Some of the concerts which were performed there can be found here.
The hall had a forty-year history, originally opening in 1958 and finally closing in 1998. It was demolished the following year.
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