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

Ian Gillan is a nerd

I believe this was the first of the three shows that Cheap Trick opened. I saw them four or five years ago and they were great then and are still great now. Rick and Robin have to be one of the best guitarist/singer combos in rock. If you have a chance to see them don't miss it. They only played a short set of about 30 min. but it was great.

Next up was Ted. This set wasn't as good as last year's show when he was with KISS. Tommy Aldridge isn't playing drums for him any more and that was a big let down. Aldridge is simply one of if not the best drummers in the history of rock, and at his age is still amazing. Ted had a very short set and he had to cut out some of his normal songs. He also didn't have time to rant very much at all, which is too bad because he is always funny and usually makes a lot of sense. It was a very tame show going by normal Ted Nugent standards.

About 20 min. after Ted it was time for Deep Purple. I have never seen Purple before, but have always loved their music. "Child In Time" is one of the coolest songs ever written. I was very excited to see them even if Blackmore wasn't there. I have read the other reviews and they all talked about Gillan's voice is still so great after all these years, and they are right. He sounds they same as he does on all the old albums. The rest of the band is tight as hell to.

Unfortunately that's where the fun stopped for me and about 12,000 other fans. After "Woman From Tokyo" they played "Ted The Mechanic" and 90 per cent of the crowd sat. Then they sat some more. Then some more. Ian Gillan has got to be one of the worst frontman for a band I have ever seen. You want rock'n'roll excitement I give you Ian Gillan on lead BONGOS!!! Not enough for you? How about Ian on ....... TAMBORINE! I was shocked. Maybe I was expecting too much. I had always pictured Gillan as a shrieking rock badass, but what I got was a guy that look like that old lawyer in that Erin Brockovich movie. Ian Gillan is simply put, a nerd. The only other rock I say this about is Sammy Hagar and if you have ever seen him you probably know what I mean. Yeah they have good voices, (in Gillan's defense, his voice is GREAT) but they are not what a rock star should be. The crowd sat and yawned for most of Purple. "Smoke On The Water" finally got things going again but by that time it was too late. I will never look at Deep Purple the same way again.

Thank God for Skynyrd. Or should I say the greatest Skynyrd Cover Band on the planet. That is what they really are. A cover band. With only three of the original seven members still playing with them, but they still kick ass. The crowd stood, sang, and cheered for all of their set. I think Ricky Medlocke is arrogant and very misleading when talking about Skynyrd (watch the VH1 behind the music on Skynyrd and you will see what I mean) but he is fun to watch play. Tons of energy and stage presense. They changed up their set list a little since I saw them last, and it was good.

Overall I think Cheap Trick stole the show. Ted should have had more time and get Tommy Aldridge back. Ian Gillan almost ruined my night. And Skynyrd is still the best cover band in the world


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