[ d e e p P u r . p l e ) The Highway Star

Steve Morse keeps the warhorses rocking!

Deep Purple admitted that they did not expect the kind of response they received at Bangalore. A crowd of over 40.000 rocked through the two-and-a-half hour extravaganza that included all the regular favorites and some surprises.

The opening band was Bangalore-based Thermal & A Quarter - a good rocking band with all the regular influences, they played for 40 minutes and got the crowd in the mood. As they played, a brief shower helped cool the rising rockers' heat.

Then the rock heroes from Deep Purple were on stage. A mammoth flat-screen television projected their finger-lickin' good music across the Bangalore Palace grounds.

They opened with "Woman From Tokyo" - and although most regular fans had heard these songs on LPs, CDs and bootlegged cassettes, the grounds resounded with a roar of obvious pleasure. The song list included all the usual standards - four numbers from "Purpendicular" including my favorite, "Hey Cisco".

The band kept complimenting the crowd on its passion and enthusiasm. Steve Morse could tell the crowd loved his solos, because of the loud applause that greeted each one, so he began to extend them and introduce guitar frenzies into songs that one would expect to be more subdued. The other players also contributed, with a long solo by Lord and Paice. One would never guess Gillan's age from his rendering of 30+ year old songs.

One interesting bit was a medley of guitar pieces that included the Beatles, Black Sabbath and more, and then effortlessly segued into "Smoke On The Water", driving the crowd wild. The boys did a 15 minute version of "Speed King", with a rock'n'roll interlude built in.

They signed off before we knew it, but came back for an encore with "Hush" and finally "Highway Star". A wall of flame during "Smoke On The Water" spelt out the most perfect words in rock - DEEP PURPLE!

This concert should do a lot for the revitalization of rock. Long live Deep Purple.

Aaman D. Lamba

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