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

Noblesville and Columbus

I had purchased tickets for this event due to the fact that initially there was no dates scheduled for Florida. The concert was to start at 6:30 pm on 6/30. We were scheduled to leave at 6:00am the day before, putting us there at around 1:00 pm. as long as there were no flight delays. I was looking at the tour schedule in The Highway Star and realized that they were to be in Noblesville, Indiana on the 29th, the day before the Ohio show so I called Ticket Master and found that there were still tickets available and we decided to leave on the 28th if there were any flights that would get us there in time.

While we were packing, I emailed Roger Glover as he recommended, to remind him about our being at the show (hoping that he would come through with his offer that he gave at the Sunrise show). No sooner did I get the email sent when our phone lines went dead due to a rain storm that came through. I had no way of getting a response back as to whether he got my message or not.

I had been reading the reviews of the shows prior to these and it sounded as though Purple were doing what they do best. Playing their asses off. I'll have to admit I was a little uncomfortable with the team-up of Ted Nugent and Skynyrd. To be honest, I like both bands very much. But it didn't seem like the right mix to me. We went directly to the Willcall Window and I asked for my tickets (which were there) but there was nothing for us from Purple. I just figured that they didn't get my email in time. Tina on the other hand was sure that there wasn't going to be anything there anyway. I was still hopeful about tomorrow at the Ohio show.

We got to see Ted and it was obvious that this crowd was there to see Skynyrd due to the t-shirts. Very few people came in while Ted was playing. Then 20 minutes after he went off, Purple came on and the house began to rock. As they played on, the Skynyrd fans began to fill the seats. Before it was over the majority of the crowd was definitely happy with Purple being in the house. Purple was well received. Of course, with the way they are playing it's not hard to understand. They played 11 songs in 75 minutes, only three less than they played at Sunrise as headliners for the DVD.

Now for the Noblesville, Ohio Show. Well we got there just when Ted Nugent was finishing his set. As we approached the Willcall booth, I have to admit, I began to feel a little foolish asking if there was anything there, and almost didn't, but figured it would be a lot more foolish if I didn't. The young lady at the booth picked out an envelope with my name on it, and handed it to me. I just about passed out. If you could have seen the look on Tina's face, there is no describing. I opened it up and found, to my surprise, two after-show passes and two complimentary tickets which were much better than the ones that we purchased.

Well, we went to our seats and waited for the masters to enter onto the stage. They came on like gang busters. They changed the set a little, dropping "Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming" and replacing it with "Pictures Of Home". As I have stated previously, it's a shame they aren't giving their new stuff more credit. They are too good to think they have to rely on their old stuff. They don't need to stagnate in the classics to the point that they become a classic rock band. They were so tight this night. I know everyone who was there to see Skynyrd (and that was at least 90% of the crowd) was very impressed with the performance of Purple. Musically they blew Skynyrd away. I had misgivings about Purple not finishing last, but after seeing these two shows in Skynyrd Land it was the smartest way to do it. This forced the majority of the crowd to stay and be exposed to Purple, and you could see by the reaction of the crowd that a good amount of them will be sharing their Skynyrd CD collection with Purple from now on.

Well, as soon as Purple finished, we went to see them back stage. They were not having a regular Meet & Greet. They were packing and preparing to head out. I was finally able to get my picture of me and Jon Lord signed by him as he was hastily leaving the building. Ian Gillan flew by with bag in hand. Steve and Ian Paice were busy with friends. Roger Glover came out and we chatted with him for a few minutes. He was going to catch some of the Skynyrd show. We sat for a few minutes, revelling in what a great evening it turned out to be. We then went back to our seats and watched some more of Skynyrd and could see Roger and Bruce Payne observing from behind the band over to the side. I look forward to the next LP. I have a feeling it will be the best yet.

In closing, when we arrived home, our phones were working and I went on line. I had gotten an email from Roger Glover later that afternoon telling me that there would be passes at both the Indiana Show and the Ohio Show. So apparently I was right. We got there too early and they hadn't received the passes from Purple yet. Now Tina's face is "Deep Purple". Oh well. I think I've had more than my share of good fortune. They say lightning doesn't strike twice. How about three times?

Tracy Heyder

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