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The Original Deep Purple Web Pages
The Highway Star

Smiling, consumate professionals

To me Deep Purple never got as much recognition as Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath and it’s a shame. I grew up as a HUGE Ritchie Blackmore fan. I loved Made In Japan when all my peers were into the music of the 80’s. When I found out that one of the three axis of heavy metal and hard rock were going to be playing within an hours drive from me I HAD to be there.

I saw the Perfect Strangers tour in Lakeland, Florida in 1985. Loudest concert I ever saw. But tonite it was different it was Orlando it was the House of Blues. Smaller venue, a different line up, a few new songs some rare ones and all the classics.

I’ve always like Ian Gillan’s voice. He sounded great tonite just couldn’t really understand his in between song banter (must be the accent). What else can you say about Ian? He’s an amazing singer and he never fails to do his job and do it well.

Roger Glover was the consumate professional holding down the bottom end and having fun. It was good to see him enjoying himself. Ian Paice is so tight in the pocket what a joy to see him still behind the drumkit such an underated drummer.

When Jon Lord left DEEP PURPLE some wondered what would they do, who could they get? Don Airey stepped up and took over the role of keyboardist. His musicanship and interplay with Steve Morse’s guitar playing is incredible. Yeah some say they miss Jon Lord and some say that Don Airey is just recycling Lord’s parts. What would you rather he do? He is a perfect fit for Purple.

This leads me to Steve Morse. I’ve always been a Blackmore fan so seeing them without Ritchie is sorta awkward, however I am also a big Steve Morse fan so any apprehensions of how they would sound faded away once they opened the show with PICTURES OF HOME.

It’s no secret Steve Morse is a virtiouso, but what I think most people dont realize is just how down to earth and nice this man is. He had a smile on his face the whole time and was interacting with the crowd and passing out guitar picks.

What a wonderful man no ego there. He could easily have the biggest ego of them all considering his talent, simply amazing. Mr. Morse knows his instrument he knows how to play well with others and he’s not a selfish musician. He is wise and knows its about the songs & the performance not his own agenda.

As far as songs go they followed the same setlist they’ve been playing except for the inclusion of KNOCKING AT YOUR BACK DOOR in place of THE BATTLE RAGES ON. What a treat to hear that again live.

The setlist for Friday Nights show at The House Of Blues:

1. Pictures of Home
2. Things I Never Said
3. Into the Fire
4. Strange Kind of Woman
5. Rapture of the Deep
6. Fireball (”whew! That was Fireball, barely.”)
7. Steve Morse solo/Contact Lost
8. A Well Dressed Guitar
9. When A Blind Man Cries
10. Don Airey solo
11. Lazy
12. Knocking At Your Back Door
13. Perfect Strangers
14. Space Truckin’
15. Highway Star
16. Smoke on the Water

1st Encore:
17. Hush

2nd Encore:
18. Black Night

Randy Chapman

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