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Rocking the mountain

My wife and I saw Deep Purple at the Mountain Rock Music Festival this past weekend.

This was the first of what is supposed to be an annual event. Four nights of live music with camping. The full package price was a little steep, so we got one night passes for the show and camped about 20 miles north at a state campground. We had the choice of two Michigan dates on this tour. We’d seen the guys in Detroit at DTE a couple times, so this was a nice change. Definitely a more scenic drive.

Deep Purple played at a similar festival called Foxfest two years ago. We had mixed emotions about that show. Foxfest was a free concert. It was nice to save some money and be able to take the kids. On the other hand, free concerts tend to bring in creepy people who wouldn’t have paid to get in. Our boys (who were 9 and 11 at the time) were uncomfortable. Lots of shit being thrown around, fighting, drug use, etc… We decided not to take the kids this time, though we could have, and probably will next year.

After setting up camp we arrived at the festival around 5:00. Parking was overpriced (as expected). Grand Funk Railroad had started their set. We found a good spot on what they call the “mountain”. After Grand Funk came Third Eye Blind. My wife enjoyed them. Then at 11:00 Deep Purple took the stage.

I really cannot complain about their performance at all. In fact it was one of the best Deep Purple shows I can remember. They had a sharp stage set up, good light show, good sound. Ian Gillan was pumped up the whole time. He really is like no other singer out there.

Into the Fire was incredible. Ian Paice and Roger Glover were great. Steve Morse was pretty prominent. Ian introduced him then he went into Contact Lost/ Well Dressed Guitar/Sweet Home Alabama/Frankenstein/Sweet Child of Mine/etc… the crowd loved it.

Don Airey is also very talented. His playing is a bit cold but I think that’s in an effort to keep the sound ‘heavy’. It works.

My one complaint would be about the merchandise. The shirts were generic and crappy.

Overall another great DP show. I think this was the seventh time I’ve seen them. First (and worst) was with Joe Lynn Turner in Detroit. Next was Purpendicular tour in Kalamazoo (awesome). Then was Abandon tour with ELP in Detroit (not bad). Then came show with Dio and Scorpions in Detroit (again not bad). Then with Lynyrd Skynyrd in Detroit (average). Then came Foxfest. Then Mountain Rock (pretty darn good).

Christopher St. Germain

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