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

A standing ovation

It's a pity Purple was sandwiched between two pathetic performances! Well this was my second Deep Purple concert (I'm 22) and it was awesome. I reached the venue just in time to hear the last 2 songs by Nugent. I haven't really heard his stuff before but I think Malmsteen puts on a much better performance. After Ted was done, he hung his guitar on one of the speakers and then shot it with a flaming arrow. Please don't ask me why????

While they were setting up the stage, my buddy and I went out and bought the tour T-shirts. When we got back, the stage was nearly set and I knew it was Purple because there was the Hammond, Paice's drum setup and Gillan's congas. By this time I could hear some people shouting out "Purple! Purple!" And then the 'gods of metal' walked in and they started with "Woman From Tokyo." Almost the entire audience was on their feet. Then "Ted The Mechanic" was introduced with the story of the guy writing his life history on a napkin. Next was "Lazy" which brought everyone back to their feet again and then followed "Fools."

"Knocking At Your Backdoor" got people jumping around again and so did "Pictures Of Home" which Gillan introduced from the "Machine Head" album but most people thought they would be playing "Smoke." "When A Blind Man Cries" didn't seem to go too well with the crowd but "Perfect Strangers" got a lot of people off their seats.

Then Steve went into this guitar medley of the Beatles, Zeppelin, AC/DC and some other stuff. He slowly moved into "Smoke On The Water" but he missed the opening G so the crowd was a bit confused. I don't think anyone was sitting and we couldn't hear Gillan sing because the entire audience was. They did a very short sing-a-long with the crowd (like the Royal Albert Hall version) and ended the song. The crowd was pretty wild by now. All I could hear was the nonstop applauses and some people shouting out for more.

Purple came back onstage and started "Hush" and finally "Highway Star," although Gillan started his scream a little early just before Morse could start that engine sound. Right from "Smoke" to "Highway Star" the crowd was on their feet and singing. I could barely hear Gillan. Deep Purple left the stage with a standing ovation and some shouting for more.

Regarding Purple - well all I can say is that they were having a blast. It would have been great if they played a few more songs. Gillan's voice was excellent and didn't crack at all. He just stuck to the notes that he could hit. But what I really missed was the improvisation, for some reason they just altered the solos but there was no jamming like when I saw them in Bombay, India. There was this guy holding this sign that read, "Gillan, Paice, Glover and Morse are gods, but Jon is the Lord" and I think Jon really liked it cause he kept waving to the guy. Paicey kept hitting us with his awesome beats and Roger was shaking maracas with Gillan who was using his tambourine. Steve did a great job too. I guess I would love to see Purple again as long as they don't co-headline as I would rather like to hear 2 hours of Purple instead of one.

The audience consisted mostly of people aged 40+ and they were mostly all Skynyrd fans. It was nice to see some young chicks take off their tops too. Skynyrd played next and had 2 ramps on stage. They seemed more like Aerosmith to me with all their fancy costumes. After hearing 4 songs my buddy and I left as we were bored to death. I think Nugent and Skynyrd need to take a few (actually a lot of) lessons from Purple. All I can say is Deep Purple rulez!!!!!!!

Brendan Clutton

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