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

Tremendous vigour

I saw DP for the second time on their North American 2001 tour. After waiting 32 years I saw the band twice in one month! What is there to say other than DP 2001 is phenomenal.

I noticed Glover and Gillan regarding Morse during a solo with what seemed like more than simple appreciation for the latter's brilliant musicianship. I never saw DP with Blackmore though I would have very much liked to. However if given the ability to grant my own wish, I would refrain: DP with Steve Morse is at least on a par with the Mk 2 DP. In some ways it surpasses Mk 2 since it is the longest-lived line-up, consistently producing great music and performances since its formation.

Morse's infectiously positive attitude, including his amusing non-stop ear-to-ear grins, permeates DP's performance and its reception among the audience. It is rewarding to watch and listen to a truly great group of musicians thoroughly enjoying each other's company while giving an exceptional performance. One only has to notice the tension onstage in the "Come Hell Or High Water" video to appreciate the difference in the band's performance with a brilliant, erratic and moody guitarist compared to its performance with a brilliant, generously spirited guitarist.

I never realized how good Glover is until hearing him in concert. He seems understated in recordings; onstage his perfect bass lines, allied with Paice's elegant, understated and tasteful drumming propel the music with tremendous vigour. Lord is music incarnate, his Hammond an extension of mind and body, apparently responding with seemingly effortless brilliance as if he were merely strolling down a country lane on a summer afternoon. Gillan of course is Gillan, without exaggeration the greatest rock singer in all of human civilization.

My wife, the agnostic of rock, who accompanied me to the Bossier city concert now wants to take her family, due from India in two days, to a DP concert. Unfortunately the Houston show was the last for the North American tour so that is not going to work. She did suggest however that she and I should catch a concert on the European leg. (I think she is somewhat enamoured with Steve.)

Jean-Pierre Harrison

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