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

Speed King of The Motor City

Deep Purple played a tight rockin set last night at the DTE Energy Theatre (formerly Pine Knob). The majority of the crowd seemed to be Lynyrd Skynyrd fans and only the well known radio favorites got the crowd up and going.

But, for the DP fans we got to see a fine show and hear a few songs not performed in a long time.

Being that this is Detroit, Ted Nugent was not on this date of the tour, as he usually headlines his own show here. I knew Ted wasn't going to be here so I was really hoping to see Purple go on first and play a little longer. A band I'm unfamiliar with, Five Horse Johnson went on first. I don't know how long they played, but I caught a couple of songs. They rocked. They sounded like a mix of Blues Traveller and Skynyrd.

Purple came out and opened with "Woman From Tokyo", followed by "Ted The Mechanic", and "Lazy". "No One Came" was next as was my personal favorite of the evening, It had a power and tightness that sounded just like remixed version found on the remastered version of "Fireball". Another hardcore DP fan song "Fools" followed that, Ian's voice sounded excellent and the mellow middle section featured a new instrumental jam.

The crowd was mostly sitting down up to this point, when they broke into "Perfect Strangers", which I think the Skynyrd fans recognized. Steve Morse then played a very cool volume swell intro to "When A Blind Man Cries", which Gillan introduced as a "blues song" about "when the world was cold".

Steve's guitar riffing and medley came next and consisted of "LaGrange", "Won't Get Fooled Again", "Little Wing", "Brown Sugar", and "Stairway To Heaven".

"Smoke On The Water" brought out some fist-banging and some head-banging. The crowd gave a short standing ovation. "Speed King" was the last song before the encore and was introduced as a "Scottish ballad". This featured excellent solo interplay between Steve and John. Ian Paice played a short drum solo before Gillan turned the song into "High School Hop".

The encore of "Highway Star" brought the majority of pavillion crowd to their feet and they stayed standing throughout. This ended up being the last song.

I was hoping for "Hush", as I've never seen Ian sing this one. My wife only knows a few DP songs was hoping for "the Lucy song" ("Knocking At Your Back Door"). Ian Gillan looked as if he wanted to move around a little more. I think Skynyrd pimped them on stage space. Overall, I really enjoyed Purple and thought they played very well, with the sound quality being excellent.

Set list:
"Woman From Tokyo"
"Ted The Mechanic"
"No One Came"
"Pictures Of Home"
Jon Lord solo
"Perfect Strangers"
"When A Blind Man Cries"
Steve solo-medley
"Smoke On The Water"
"Speed King"

"Highway Star"

Eric Andrews

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