[ d e e p P u r . p l e ) The Highway Star

Deep Purple is no Shrinking Violet

Driving past Melbourne Park on the eve of April 20th, you would have been wondering what had brought this middle-aged crowd from the comfort of their homes. But as they entered the venue, myself included, you could sense the anticipation was high. The main event? Deep Purple in concert; the first time in Australia for 15 years.

Ian Gillan (vocals), Jon Lord (keyboards), Roger Glover (bass), Ian Paice (drums), and new recruit Steve Morse (guitar), carried us through an unforgettable journey of the band's classic hits over the last 29 years showing that they still had what it takes. They sound crisp, clear, and very loud!

Gillan, sporting a new haircut to take him into the new millennium, was feeding on the crowd. As his energy level increased from the input, we heard the famous screaming vocals return to delight us; Lord was much less animated but we glimpsed this was the master of the keyboard; Ian Paice, still at his enduring best, did not show any signs of slowing down...ever! Roger Glover providing the band with his rock solid bass; Steve Morse captivated all with his solos which made it easy for us to forget that there ever was a Ritchie Blackmore!

Unforgettable performances of "Black Night" and "Highway Star" ended a show that may well have been the last opportunity we will ever get to see these legends of hard rock in concert again. Deep Purple brought us the legacy of heavy metal and leaving Melbourne Park you knew you had just experienced a part of rock history.

Maree Rogers

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