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

Paice, Morse and Glover sing with Skynyrd

Witnessed an amazing performance tonight by Purple. The crowd was totally receptive, and the band seemed somewhat taken aback; Gillan commented more than once on the good vibes flowing up to the stage. 15,000 wasted Texans arrayed on an outdoor, hillside ampitheatre must be a magnificent sight from the stage. It sure was from 4th row! DP's set was part of Arrowfest, which included Nazareth and Cheap Trick in addition to the Nugent/Purple/Skynyrd triumvirate, so everyone had been drinking giant beers in the sun since high noon - imagine the atmosphere by 7:45, Purple's start-time.

Setlist (pretty close on the order):
"Woman From Tokyo"
"Ted The Mechanic"
"Knocking At You Back Door"
"Fools" (too cool!)
"No One Came" (even cooler!)
"When A Blind Man Cries"
"Perfect Strangers"
Medley ("Voodoo Chile", "Stairway", "Love Hurts" (w/Nazareth's singer joining the band), "Sunshine Of Your Love", "Free Ride", and numerous others) "Smoke On The Water"
"Highway Star"

Everyone played over their respective heads. Gillan was in fine voice - my main concern. The man still has his stuff. Jon Lord had not one, but TWO Leslie rotating cabinets side-to-side behind him. Morse grinned his way throughout the entire set - particularly during the obligatory breast-bearing episode near the front; quite a contrast to the scowling Blackmore I saw in 1985 in Houston. Morse is of course a fantastic player, and presents much better with Purple than when I've seen him with the Dregs. However, some of his solos still have the feel of scale runs. But fuck it - the show was great and so was Morse. I dug his playing. He used Peavy amps and a brand of guitar that I didn't recognize. Paice thrashed on a silver Pearl set. I was happy to see Gillan's bongos front and center - and he also threw down with some tasty blues harp. Glover held down the bottom; I couldn't recognize his equipment, but his amps looked cool as shit.

Later, Glover, Paice and Morse came out during Skynyrd's set to sing backup for "Sweet Home Alabama". Skynyrd was fantastic, mostly due to the efforts of guitarist Rick Medlocke. But that's another story.

David Montgomery

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