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

They were sooooo good

"Woman From Tokyo"
"Ted The Mechanic"
"Knocking At Your Back Door"
"Pictures Of Home"
"Perfect Strangers"
"When a Blind Man Cries"
"Smoke On The Water"

encores: "Hush"
"Highway star"

Some thoughts:
Call it the "Lets remind 'em who we are" tour 2001" - and why not? There's really nothing more useful than a three-band classic rock package to let the average person know that DP still exists. One general complaint though: They should have let one or two more Morse-era songs into the set in lieu of "Fools", "Pictures Of Home" or "When A Blind Man Cries". And additionally, Gillan should have made more of a stink about their 90s output. Why? Well as long as you're reminding a lot of people that you still exist, you should let them know that you've got new recordings with great material on them, right? I'm not complaining about the songs mind you... In fact I've read on this newsgroup that "No One Came" made it into some earlier shows and I would have loved to hear that too... But to include only one song from the new albums seemed a bit daft. I can understand there were time constraints... but its not like "Fools", "POH" and "WABMC" are hits. These songs were just filler to any non-Purple fan, so why not a newer song instead? I know, I know... "there's just no pleasing some people" and "shut up and be happy with what you got" etc, etc... ok, ok.

Just a quick mention about the crowd. It was a real mix of generations. Easily as many young as there were old. Pretty cool...

Ted Nugent opened the show and just rocked the house. I wasn't absolutely sure who was coming on first so I got there before Ted went on and caught his whole set. What a fucking piece of work he is! I mean that in a good way. You may or may not like his politics and his big mouth, but you can't deny that he still kicks ass and makes a lot of people half his age look lame as hell. The crowd was spotty when he went on but filled up quick and he sure fired them up. His set was a run through the 'hits'.

After a 20 minute break Purple hit the stage at a little before 8pm and played till about 9:15. Longer than I expected. And I have to be honest here... I was a little worried that Deep Purple would not reach the intensity level of Nugent, or be as well received. My worries were totally unfounded on both counts. As soon as they hit the opening chords of "Woman From Tokyo" the crowd was up and screaming and singing along. A couple guys sitting to the left of me, who couldn't have been out of their teens, surprised the hell out of me by singing along to the whole song... and to a lot of others throughout the set. [The youth today, huh? :-) Rasmus]

"Ted The Mechanic" was very well received (another reason I think they should have done more new stuff) and very tightly played. They loosened up a bit for "Lazy" and Jon and Steve both took hot solos. "Knocking At Your Back Door" goes on the "I know they have to play it, but God I wish they wouldn't" list. Good song but there's so many better.

"Fools" and "Pictures Of Home", despite my earlier complaints, were hot numbers. "Fools" was a little lost on the crowd but I loved it, and "POH" was well received. It's my fave track from "Machine Head" after the BIG three tracks, and was given awesome treatment by the lads. I was relieved to hear "Perfect Strangers" in the set, after having to endure "Knocking..." (if only they played "A Gypsy's Kiss"!).

"When A Blind Man Cries" was rendered nicely but would get my vote for the song to replace with a new one. Then Morse and Glover did a great crowd-tease by playing bits of classic rock riffs ("Won't Get Fooled Again", "Stairway", "Sweet Home Alabama" and "Back In Black" are the ones I remember... who remembers em all?) before slamming us with the biggest riff of all... "SOTW". This was the only point of the show where I was really missing Ritchie. Morse really does a lot more with that riff than he needs to. The beauty of it is it's simplicity. Anyway, the crowd ate it up. And it was offstage they went... I thought this could have been the end, but they re-emerged to encore with "Hush" and "Highway Star". Good tight versions. Bang and they're gone. Leave 'em wanting more. Great stuff.

The band really didn't stretch much, but time didn't allow of course. But they were tight as hell, so all the comments about how they're having so much fun playing live and they don't want to come off the road are proven true tonight. I haven't said much about Gillan... he sounded great. He didn't bother going for a lot of high notes... which I like. I'd always rather hear a singer sing around a high note than try for one he/she can't hit anymore. And for the most part, the stuff he tried he was right on. This is always impressive... a singer who knows his voice and uses it well without trying to over do it. Paicey was fantastic... always one of my fave drummers. Roger was rock solid. Steve and Jon were superb... separately and together. I can't say enough about these guys. They were sooooo good. Now I really hope to catch them on their own sometime soon and see their expanded set.

After a twenty-minute break Lynyrd Skynyrd strolled out with a whimper and proceeded to bore the shit out of me. Nothing wrong with the band musically, in fact they're a really tight ensemble for the most part, but there was just no spark. With the significant exception of Ricky Medlocke (remember Blackfoot?) the band just sort of walked around the stage and looked old and bored. A surprising contrast to TN and DP. About midway through they started to pick up steam but it was too late. They lost me. I left.

Deep Purple rocks!

Keith Fotheringham

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