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Oh-my-gosh-I’m-seeing-Deep-Purple

It was a special night in Clearwater. Purple gave us another amazing show with a cherry on top: a DP/Edgar Winter (sax) jam on Smoke!

Ruth Eckerd Hall is a Frank Lloyd Wright inspired auditorium that has a reputation for ‘quality sound.’ Of course, quality doesn’t just happen given interesting architecture (‘we’re going to take you through the roof… but… which roof?’ To quote ig) and large investments in technology. Quality is achieved by creative minds, with hard work, attention to detail, and a great deal of flexibility.

All of this is evident and yet nearly invisible at a Purple show. Skilled stage craft makes a substantial contribution to the overall purple experience. Flashing strobes set your heart racing for the opener Pictures of Home and give you that oh-my-gosh-I’m-seeing-Deep-Purple feeling, while a sultry crimson glow surrounds Don during his intro to Lazy setting the tone for a funky ride.

Not to mention the unforgettable light effects that go hand in hand with Knocking at Your Back Door and Perfect Strangers (the lights are really time travel portals, don’t be fooled).

Beyond the visual delights, their sound is flawless yet authentic – I don’t imagine it’s easy making ‘everything louder than everything else.’ But they do!

On top of that, the instruments don’t set themselves up, tune themselves, nor levitate into the hands of the performers mid-show – hats off to those who make it all happen!

Here is a the set list (copied directly to preserve its authenticity), with much appreciation to he who is responsible for helping everyone hear amidst the increasing volumes (and also he who finds mics at the last minute!):

PICTURES OF
THINGS I NEVER
INTO THE FIRE
STRANGE KIND
RAPTURE
FIREBALL
WELL DRESSED
KNOCKING
LAZY
POSS/KEY SOLO
PERFECT STRANGERS
SPACE TRUCKING
HIGHWAY STAR
SMOKE

HUSH
BLACK NIGHT

Steve’s solo was mesmerizing. Beginning with his very emotional Contact Lost he tore at our heart strings and yes, gave us just a little hint of SIFLS.

Don is playing great, which he always does, and he seems very charged up – something extra is going on in his vibe – a fantastic entertainer.

One of the most enjoyable aspects of a Purple show is the way it feels to watch Roger having such a great time – he’s got rock and roll style and grace, and he loves it as much as you do – it shows. Besides that, the Glover/Paice acoustic and rhythmic presence makes me feel like my heart could well go on beating forever with their assistance.

A brilliant performance by Ian Gillan – he’s got a keen edge in his delivery, yet such a relaxed confidence that is a pure delight – rapturous!

It is simply impossible to not enjoy a DP show. Thanks to all who make it happen – here’s to hoping you reach Climax (and Other Towns Along the American Highway, to borrow from Gladstone).

Suzanne Quinn



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