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

Act of Purple


Ted Nugent was the opening act which I don't think sat well with the 'Motor-City-Madman.' To score points with the Skynyrd crowd, The Damn Yankee was wearing a confederate flag shirt. At one point in his performance, he sang to the tune of "Jesus Christ Superstar".

"Rock and Roll Superstar
Who in the $#*@ do you think you are?"

The number seemed out of place. I couldn't help but wonder if this was aimed at Gillan.


As far as the Purple Gang goes, they were astounding. Gillan was in top form and the band looked like they were having lots of fun.

They opened with "Woman From Tokyo", a song I was never really impressed with...until last night. The song was high voltage and very powerful. From there, they went into their regular set list which came across as being very inspired. At the end of "Ted The Mechanic" Gillan said, "A mechanic, a very honorable profession."

It was a funny contrast to Nugent's "F this and F that."

Steve Morse instantly won the crowd and myself over. His playing was incredible. "Lazy" just about knocked me out of my seat, at one point, Morse, Paice and Glover played as a power-trio, starting off with "Mississippi Queen" which I can't imagine Lesley West doing a finer job. This got the crowd back to its feet and they never sat down again. The guitar medley then went into "Smoke On The Water" which was great and ended the show.

For the encore they did "Hush", which judging by the crowd's reaction was a great choice. They finished with "Highway Star", where, in true Blackmore style, Morse went crazy with the whammy bar. The crowd was totally blown away by the finale, and it was cool to hear people's comments afterwards.


When Skynyrd came on, I quickly learned who everyone came to see. They did a great show as well. Though they don't have Purple's musicianship, they do have a lot of good tunes. Something I realized towards the end of the show is that almost all of Skynyrd's songs are in Major keys as opposed to Purple's which are mostly in Minor keys. The anti-gun song "Saturday Night Special" was conspicuously absent with Nugent being such a militant NRA enthusiast, I guess they must have been afraid of doing it. Oh well, "Free Bird" sounded good.

Long Live Purple.

Bradley Jay Smith

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