[% META title = 'Tour Reviews' %]

Expectations met!

Myself, my wife, my brother and his wife went to the Post-Gazette Pavilion show. As Highway Star readers probably know [see Gordon's open letter to the band], I am a great fan of the group, but after last Saturday, Purple found some new fans. I have been a fan for over 33 years and it's been one helluva ride. I got to see Purple for the first time last year at this venue. I vowed to return. I wasn't disappointed.

Dio opened the show and were simply incredible. Their energy got the crowd going. Ronnie is an amazing talent and his band rocked. They don't have to open for anybody, but I know that Ronnie is a personal friend of Purple's. Putting them on the same bill as Purple was a perfect fit. They now have a new fan.

The Scorpions were next. They were energetic and played to the crowd. The audience liked them very much, but they're not my cup of tea. I was there to see Dio and you know who.

Finally came the legend. Deep Purple showed why they are still a huge concert draw and why they have so many fans worldwide. Their show was simply magnificent. These guys keep getting better and better. As great as they have always been, I don't see how that's possible - but it is. The band was tight; skin-tight.

Ian's vocal range is that of a man half his age. His interplay with the audience is worth the ticket price alone. Roger is the consumate bassist - his bass solo was superb. Steve is just amazing. His immense talent is matched only by his charisma. Sure, we miss Jon, but Don did an outstanding job. I was immediately impressed. He will help to keep the legend that is Deep Purple alive and growing for years to come. And Paicey... what he can do with those sticks is beyond belief. His one-handed play during his solo was awesome.

All these five extremely talented musicians did was rock the house of over 20,000 appreciative fans. The crowd was pumped and into it for the entire set. The crowd simply loved them and rightfully so. They were great. The band was having a good time and the crowd was loving it. Purple's interplay with the audience was wonderful.

I was particularly pleased to hear Black Night, Fireball and Speed King. Black Night is usually reserved for shows across the pond. Thanks, guys.

All in all, it was a great night, but the wonderful show was just the beginning. We had back stage passes. Finally, after 33 years, I was going to meet the greatest rock band of all time. But that's another story. Coming soon.

Gordon Thrasher

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