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

Amazing class and dignity with cockiness and muscle

Here are my thoughts on the show last night (7/3) in Kansas City:

As a "late bloomer" in terms of my discovering what a really great band Purple is (I only became a fan in the last 5 years) it was with great anticipation that I arrived, nephew in tow, to Sandstone on a warm, summer Fourth of July eve. Having seen Ted Nugent WAY too many times, and being a medium Skynyrd fan, my main purpose for the night was to see Deep Purple in the flesh and determine for myself is they really are one of the great live bands ever. I was not disappointed! With a set-list mixing classics old and new, plus a rarity or two, they played with the swagger that comes from so many years of playing together.

Ian carries himself with amazing class and dignity while still showing the appropriate cockiness and muscle that a great frontman must have. What surprised me a bit was the generosity and teamwork in the band. They clearly seem to enjoy and feed-off each other's playing, and there doesn't appear to be any ego's out of control on stage. It's great to see GENUINE smiles of enthusiasm directed not just at the audience but amongst themselves. In other words, their joy in playing kept the performance, even of the oldest songs, fresh and expressive.

Everyone has read the set list, and my only surprise was to hear them doing "Hush." I hadn't heard a live version of the song before, and they performed it ferociously without making the psychedelic nature of the tune sound even remotely dated. In addition, Gillan clearly loved singing it, and the fact that he wasn't the original vocalist didn't detract at all from his delivering it with gusto.

My hat's off to my newest rock heroes. I'm glad I finally caught on to this incredible band. Better late than never, that's for sure. Long live Purple!!

Bob Loughbom

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