[ d e e p P u r . p l e )

The Highway Star

Deep Purple show - 3 August 1997
[ d e e p P u r . p l e ) The Highway Star

Deep Purple show - 3 August 1997

I just got home from the Purple show in High River, Alberta (south of Calgary), and I can say one thing...

The boys really know how to put on a show. I had never seen them before, due to poor tour site selection on their part and lack of funds on mine.

Anyway, back to the gig. The festival was running late, as most do. Purple was to start at 9:30, just as the sun went down, but ELO was still on at 9:45, and then there was a massive delay, purportly because of a problem involving "an electric jolt than went up the side of Jon's organ, but he's ok" in Gillan's words.

They started at 11:10 pm with Jon meddling around, while they solved the next technical problem (Roger wasn't plugged in or something). With many apologies, they broke into Hush. The complete set list is as follows:

  • Hush
  • Fireball
  • Into the Fire
  • Ted the Mechanic
  • Black Night
  • Bloodsucker
  • Cascades (with long solo from Steve)
  • Woman from Tokyo
  • No One Came (with solo from Jon)
  • Smoke on the Water
  • When a Blind Man Cries
  • Speed King (with solo from Paice, and much interplay between Jon, Steve and Gillan)
  • Perfect Strangers
  • Highway Star

An excellent show, the mix was not quite perfect. The guitar was a little overpowering, and everytime JOn started to solo, the sound guy would have to leap for the volume pot, and you'd miss the first part of the lick. A bit of a disappointment, Ian's voice was also somewhat faint for some songs. The beginning of Black Night got about 20 seconds of funk before it returned to it's normal pace and rhythm.

The set and intro's did not vary too much from LATO, but Gillan was himself with some rather bizarre mumblings about Manchurian dancers and other comments. He seems a little embarrassed by the fact the last time they played Calgary was '72 or '73.

I thought that there was a little much of Steve playing like Malmsteen, but his main solo was rather surreal and would not have been out of place at an art rock gig.

Well, must be hitting the sack. The gig ended at about 12:50 am, and it was time to frice the 60 km back home.

Morgan Rodwell
Calgary, AB CANADA

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