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

A Canadian Perspective

So when I first heard that Deep Purple were going to be playing in Minneapolis, MN I thought that an eleven hour drive from North-western Ontario would not be all that bad, after all, I have been a fan since 1968 and have respected the band throughout their history. The trip was without incident and Mike and I arrived around 9:00pm on the ninth. Of course restaurants and bar fare were in order.

Fast forward to Sunday June 10, 2001 at approximately 4:30 pm. Mike and I made our way to the Target Center (and this is where it get interesting) to pick up two backstage passes kindly left for us by Ian Gillan's personal assistant, Shell (thank-you Shell and we raised a glass or two in your honour). As an added bonus, Shell had also slipped in two free tickets, main floor, row seven, Steve Morse side of the stage. Hey, talk about a nice thing to do. OK, does it get any better. Of course it does.

Ted Nugent played a wild set and got the crowd going. Purple followed and mere words cannot define the flawless professional direction this band takes. Each and every song played was unique onto itself and were treated with enthusiasm and a devotion not equalled by any band I have ever seen.

Individually, Ian Paice was what one would expect, laying down a steady beat, Roger Glover, kept everyone focused, Jon Lord, ever the gentleman, Steve Morse, brilliant, Ian Gillan, a voice that has no equals.

Now that the show was over, it was time to see if the passes were legitimate and they were. Mike and I were able to meet and talk to Steve, Roger and Bruce Payne for thirty to forty minutes. They are men of honour and do appreciate their fans. All three were interesting and were also interested in the lives of two guys from Canada. We all talked about families, kids etc... We caught the last two songs played by Lynyrd Skynyrd but left half-way through the encore. We were there to see Deep Purple.

For those of you who will be attending future Purple shows in America and Europe, you will not be disappointed. These guys rock now as they did 30 years ago. There is an aura about this particular group of musicians that one has to see to understand. They are happy and having so much fun on stage it works itself into the audience. Everyone we saw at the concert enjoyed themself immensely.

Thanks again to all members of Deep Purple and staff. I for one shall always be a fan and will look forward to more music being generated by the worlds finest premier rock band.

Fraser Raven

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