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

The whole band were having a blast

Well, after 27 years of being a fan, I finally saw Deep Purple last night! What a great show! Everybody by now knows the line-up for these shows. This one had Cheap Trick added at the front of the bill. Cheap Trick played a great opening set of their classics, with a couple of new ones thrown in. There was a decent crowd there early, and the energy started to pick up about 4-5 songs into their set.

Ted Nugent was up next, and as everyone has said, he was too loud, especially lead guitar and vocals (his). He played songs the crowd definitely wanted; it's just that some of them were hard to recognize due to the volume. Plus, we had to listen to Ted's railing against gays and everything else that bothers him. Sometimes you just wish the guy would play and save the other stuff for Politically Incorrect or something.

Onto the main course. Deep Purple was (as expected) awesome. They played "Knocking At Your Back Door" and "No One Came" at this show. "Fools" was great and the highlight for me. The crowd, of course, was waiting for Lynyrd Skynyrd and only responded to the 80s songs, "Smoke," "Hush" and "Highway Star." Another favorite moment was when my friend leaned over to me and facetiously said, "that Steve Morse needs to learn how to play guitar." Steve and Jon Lord were having fun trading licks and grins, and it just looked like the whole band were having a blast. There was one point when Ian Gillan said something to Steve and to Roger, and then said in the mic, "looks like they've let the riff raff in." It made me wonder if someone had thrown something at the stage or something. Gillan did look fit though, and his voice was strong all the way through. The only thing close to a disappointment for me (being a drummer) was that Ian Paice didn't get any limelight time. I consider him the best all-round drummer rock has ever had.

Lynyrd Skynyrd (I don't consider them actually Skynyrd, more like the Southern Rock All-Stars) were great as well. The crowd was mostly there for them, and they didn't disappoint. Johnny Van Zant didn't need to remind us we were in Texas about sixty times, though.

As has been said numerous times, I think DP should do a club or small hall tour of the US get more of their own audience in. I think there may have been too many NASCAR fans at this one to truly appreciate Deep Purple!

Lance Farley

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