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

Too many redneck rockers

DP put on a great show at the OKC Zoo Ampitheater Thursday night. Ted Nugent got things started - played (very well) for about 45 minutes. Then, DP took the stage and for about an hour. It seemed shorter, given the anticipation of finally seeing DP - for the first time ever, even though I have nearly every CD they ever produced. The capacity crowd of about 12,000 gave DP a polite and warm reception. Problem is, being in a southern state, many, or most, came to see Lynyrd Skynyrd - not me. Too many redneck rockers there to make it truly enjoyable for the biggest DP fans.

Highlights were the - well, every song they played. There were a lot of young people that were born after DP's early 70s dominance. They seemed to enjoy it, but I wonder how many of them knew they were seeing legends on stage? The down side to this show were two fold:

1 - DP played between Ted Nugent (who was very good), and Lynyrd Skynyrd (which I would not pay a plug nickel to see). The contrast of DP and LS was too wide to attract the same audience. I, and a few other people, left after DP was through. I tried to sit through Skynyrd, but after seeing truly great classically trained musicians, a Southern rock all-their-songs-sound-alike band just didn't cut it. Plus LS got to play after dark, thus they had the heavy light show. How these 2 groups ever paired up I'll never know. At $41 per ticket, you had to really like one of them a lot to make it worthwhile. I went to see DP.

2 - Ian Paice did NOT play a solo. I was very disappointed. Being a drummer, I had always wanted to see what I had always heard about. I do not understand why they did not showcase one of the great drummers in rock history.

All in all, DP did not disappoint, but their pairing with LS was just too different. I think that DP, along with Nugent, would have made a much better show.

One final thought - Ian Gillan is the only singer that I know of that can produce on stage sounds like those that come out of the studio. No kidding - he was GREAT.

I hope next time they come through, they are better suited to the other part of the bill.

Phil Brown

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