Good News: Deep Purple make history performing Smoke On The Water on Lake Geneva…

British rock band Deep Purple performed the hit track Smoke On The Water on the brand new stage built over Lake Geneva at the Montreux Jazz Festival.

As the globally renowned riff for the song played to the 5,000-strong crowd, a curtain at the back of the stage dropped to reveal the Swiss lake glistening and cloaked in smoke as frontman Ian Gillan instructed the crowd to take over singing duties on the hook.

The hit rock song was inspired by the Montreux Casino fire in December 1971 during a Frank Zappa concert, where the band were forced out of their rooms by the smoke which inspired the track on their 1972 album Machine Head.

The opening lyrics read: “We all came out to Montreux, on the Lake Geneva shoreline.”

Alongside Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, Deep Purple is often referred to as part of the “unholy trinity” of British hard rock.

The band returned to the 58th edition of Montreux Jazz Festival to headline the brand new Lake Stage – opening the gig with the track Highway Star before other classics, including Space Truckin, Anya and Into The Fire.

It marked their 10th show at the festival.

Earlier in the day, the band hosted a question and answer panel where they discussed their memories of the 1971 fire and shared anecdotes behind the famous track.

We worked with Luciano Pavarotti a couple of times, and once he said I’ve heard you sing Smoke On The Water six times, and I’m very jealous because every time it’s different.

“If I changed one detail of the original interpretations of any of my famous arias, they’d crucify me.”

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