“I woke up with those words, ‘Smoke on the Water’, on my lips. I mentioned it to Ian and he said, ‘Sounds like a drug song, we better not do that’”: Deep Purple just played Smoke on the Water on the lake that inspired it – with actual fire in the sky

Roger Glover, Ian Gillan and Simon McBride of the English rock band Deep Purple perform in concert during Alma Festival on June 13, 2024 in Madrid, Spain
(Image credit: Mariano Regidor/Getty Images)

Deep Purple have paid homage to Smoke on The Water's origins by returning to where it all started. On July 8, the band performed their iconic track at the 58th edition of the Montreux Jazz Festival, on a brand-new stage built over Lake Geneva.

As the classic rock legends – who now count guitarist Simon McBride among their ranks – played the instantly recognizable riff to an audience of 5,000, the curtain at the back of the stage dropped to reveal the lake and a setup of actual fire – and smoke – on the water.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month**

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Janelle Borg

Janelle is a staff writer at GuitarWorld.com. After a long stint in classical music, Janelle discovered the joys of playing guitar in dingy venues at the age of 13 and has never looked back. Janelle has written extensively about the intersection of music and technology, and how this is shaping the future of the music industry. She also had the pleasure of interviewing Dream Wife, K.Flay, Yīn Yīn, and Black Honey, among others. When she's not writing, you'll find her creating layers of delicious audio lasagna with her art-rock/psych-punk band ĠENN.