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

Everyone was mesmerized by "Fools"

I once read an article in the early 80's about why British bands are so much better than US (mostly Southern Rock) bands. It stated that British rock bands have more of a variety of influences to draw from such as classical music where an American band wouldn't know classical music if it ran over them with a truck. This is very true and surely the same for their fans.

Moments before Deep Purple came on the sun was shining bright, the seats were still half empty, I saw women walking around in witch's hats and many in the crowd with southern flags. Deep Purple was introduced by the opening band and I actually heard some drunken 350 pounder booing. I knew at this point what I was in for.


1. "Woman From Tokyo"
This was the best live version I ever heard. It was crystal clear, full length with slow part in the middle. Ian Gillans's voice amazingly clear and strong.

2. "Ted The Mechanic"
Very much like the studio version. Very well done.

3. "Lazy"
I never heard a live version that I liked half as much as the "Machine Head" version. I think people were confused by this song. The solos were awesome.

4. "No One Came"
One of my all time favourites. No one knew what the heck it was and I don't think it went over well even though the band did a great job.

5. "Fools"
Totally amazing. Ian's voice was like 1970. The echo machine was a nice added touch. Steve's solo was hypnotic. Everyone was mesmerized by this one.

6. "Pictures Of Home"
Very much like the studio version. One of my favourites for sure. Excellent all round job. Roger's solo never changes from the studio version.

7. "Perfect Strangers"
Wonderful intro from Jon (as usual). The crowd got loud with the middle and ending Kashmir like groove.

8. "When A Blind Man Cries"
Again this was a stand out. I like Blackmore's blues better but Gillan's passion was felt by everyone. I heard two guys beside me talking. One of them said, "I never heard this one before." The other one replied, "Me neither, but it sure was sweet." It sure was.

9. Steve Morse medley
Very entertaining. This is proof that DP is the best adlib band there is. The transitions were amazing how each member played off each other.

10. "Smoke On The Water"
For some reason this song live never makes the hair on my knuckles stand like in "Machine Head" (or "Made In Japan").

11. "Speed King"
Total flat out hard rock and roll at its best. The middle part went into a version of some high school hop song. The audience looked confused. The band was having a great time with Ian Gillan singing lying on his back at the end. Very very nice. Steve, Jon and Ian Gillan are amazing again.

12. (Encore) "Highway Star"
Typical live version of this song. Again I much prefer the "Machine Head" version, especially the beginning and the solos in the middle.

Over all this was an amazing show and much better than when I saw them three years ago. Ian Gillan really impressed me. Jon as always was amazing with lots of class, Steve was brilliant, Ian Paice was solid but I really wanted more of a drum solo than what he gave. Way too short and safe. Finally Roger Glover, he seemed very quiet but as usual he was also solid. Maybe they should play "Rosa's Cantina" for him to get more of the spotlight.


1) DP being a supporting act. Very dumb idea to have DP play with a southern rock band. There was nothing in common.

2) Too many people walking around to and from their seats while DP was playing.

3) The lead singer of Lynyrd Skynyrd actually rubbing it in on DP by stating that most of the fans were there to see them. Very tasteless.

4) The audience reacting louder to LS' screaming "DETROIT HOW THE FUCK ARE YOU" than Deep Purple's brilliance.

Regardless of this, I am glad I drove six hours from Canada to catch this concert. I can't wait for the next North American tour.

Matthew Di Flumeri

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