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

Purple forever!

I have been a Purple fan since "Hush". I have over 130 Purple CDs. If there is a bigger fan of Deep Purple in the US, I'd like to meet him or her. However, for one reason or another, I had never seen them perform live. I have wanted to for many, many years, but never seemed to get around to doing it. Well, those days ended last night as my wife and I saw the show at Star Lake. It was our first concert ever. We will definitely be going to see Purple again next year.

As we got to the Pavilion, it was very evident that it was a Skynyrd audience. Shirts and Rebel flags abound. Besides my wife and myself, I saw only two other people with Purple shirts. Ted Nugent opened and was very entertaining. He has a way of getting your attention.

Then came Purple! I had been waiting for this moment for a long time. I wasn't disappointed. Everyone was in great form. Paicey was a man driven. Roger, ever the dancer, was bassin' it down. Jon, the Maestro, was magnificent, as always. Steve was simply amazing (Ritchie who?) My wife thinks Steve is sexy and has a smile to die for. And, of course, Ian. His vocal range is unbelievable.

These five extremely talented musicians put on a show that I will never forget. Deep Purple is legendary in the annals of rock and roll. So was this performance. I'll never forget this night as long as I live. They played two of my very favorite Purple songs: "Pictures Of Home" and "When A Blind Man Cries". I was hoping for "Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming", but, alas, it wasn't to be. My only complaint was the show was too short - 75 minutes is an insult to Purple. You shouldn't constrain greatness! Even though it was a Skynyrd crowd, they warmed up to Deep Purple very quickly. How could you not?

Finally, Skynyrd came on. They were good, but they weren't Purple. Who in their right mind would want to follow Purple anyway? We stayed for four songs and then headed for the exit.

Our 23rd wedding anniversary is tomorrow. What a way to spend an anniversary weekend. My wife enjoyed the show almost as much as I did, but she found the volume a little overwhelming. We sat in the center section, fifth row from the stage - great seats. I tried to get back-stage to meet my favorite band, but since I'm just a workin' stiff - no chance.

I would just like to say to the band that I'm sorry for waiting so long to come and see you guys, but I'll see you next year - count on it. I know that Ian, Roger and Steve saw me. I had on my "Machine Head" shirt and "Purpendicular" cap. They acknowledged my presence. I sang every song and even wished Jon a happy birthday, but I don't think he heard me.

If you are only going to see one show, see Deep Purple. They are truly the greatest rock and roll band of all time. PURPLE FOREVER!

Gordon Thrasher

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