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It was with great pleasure that my wife and I were able to attend the Deep Purple show at the Konocti Harbor Resort. We had not seen the band since 1984, so this concert was a long time coming.

To begin with it was a hot day. 100 degrees plus hot. It didn't start to cool down till about half way through Deep Purple's set. The gates opened at 4 p.m. with Dio coming out on stage promptly at 5:30. They played a tight little one-hour set and it was great. Ronnie was in great voice and had a smile on his face through out the entire hour. One thing that can be better appreciated in the concert setting is Ronnie's showmanship. He played to the crowd, pumping his fist into the air, giving his trademark two finger sign, and showing that he really knows how to sell each and every song. At one point he even lifted a child onto the stage to sing along with him! The set list remains the same with the three new songs from Killing The Dragon especially welcome. You Gotta Push! The only fault found was the drum solo. As noted in earlier reviews it felt out of place and was too long. All in all a fantastic showing for Dio.

Now on to Deep Purple. Over all the show was fantastic. Taking each member, one at a time, we have...

Don Airey who played great, especially during his solo where he went from Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D minor to the theme from Star Wars. Any comparisons to Jon Lord are kinda silly. Jon Lord is Jon Lord and Don Airey is Don Airey. Given a chance he will fit into the band just as Steve has.

Iina Gillan... Apparently on an extended Hawaiian vacation was in a word... relaxed. His voice was strong and a pleasure to listen to. Thinking that he might be a little road weary we were happy and pleasantly surprised to see him hit notes mere mortals can only dream of, especially on Space Truckin'. Smiling, joking around with the other band members and the crowd, it was a joy to see him having so much fun. Of particular interest was a little bit of Elvis that he did that my wife and I cannot for the life of us remember the name of. (Rasmus...a little help here please) [Hmmm... It could have been It's Now Or Never? Rasmus] The point being that while he might be famous for his high screams and such, Ian showed us, with that little bit of Elvis, what a really beautiful and moving voice he possesses.

Roger Glover... As happy to be there as the rest of the band, his playing was (as big Ian would say) superb. He is the master of the hard driving bass line that keeps the band centered. His extended bass solo was hot and welcome.

Steve Morse... This is the third time we have seen Steve in the last year and a half and it is marvelous to watch him work and play. A consummate musician who is so happy its contagious. The Guitar Player magazine readers poll was right. He is the best in the world. The Well Tempered Guitar was great and we can't wait to hear it on the new album. (hint hint)

Ian Paice... When one speaks of drummers, this man is the template against which all others should be judged. Just when you think he has shown you all he has he comes up with.... A one handed drum roll! Remarkable performance as always. Nuff said.

A great and wonderful show marred only by the fact that by the time the Scorpions came on (a little before 9p.m.) folks had been drinking for almost five hours and were getting a little... well... drunk. We left after two songs. But we got what we came for.

We wish Deep Purple Happiness, Success, and Rock'n'Roll. Well, what do you know, they already have all three.

Rich & Lucy Franz

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