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

They were phenomenal!

Yesterday was the all-day "Arrowfest" in Houston with Nazareth, Cheap Trick, Ted Nugent, Deep Purple, and Lynyrd Skynyrd. I'll have to admit that I have not been a big fan or follower of Deep Purple's music... until today, that is. These guys were by far the best band of the day and simply blew the tired and trite Skynyrd (and everyone else) away.

I was really impressed, of course, with the "hits" that I knew, but more so with the rest of their set, especially material from "Perfect Strangers" (my brother, a big fan, guided me along). Ian Gillan was an amazing frontman, loosely running around the stage barefoot and hitting every high note right. Roger Glover and Steve Morse had a ton of energy and musical skill, and looked like they were having a ball. Ian Paice kept up a monstrous physical effort, and Jon Lord, cooly standing about it all, reeled out riff after killer organ riff.

This was the first time I had ever seen them in concert, and was completely impressed. Steve, Ian, and Roger even came on backstage during Skynyrd's set to sing the chorus on "Sweet Home Alabama," and judging from the crowd reaction when they came out (and the people around me), the "headlining" band should have backed up Deep Purple. Looks like I have a lot of catching up to do on my Deep Purple, and I'm excited to find a "new" band to get into... even if they're anything but new! Thanks, guys!

Bob Ruggiero

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