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

Deep Purple rocks Hartford

It was back in the 60s when I got hooked on DP. On June 23 2001 in Hartford, it was the first time my wife and I got to see the band live. We witnessed an amazing show from the 14th row. The chemistry was right for the band, the energy was high and the place was rocking.

Years ago I wanted to see the original lineup, however, after seeing Steve Morse pour his soul into each song and his riveting solos clearly sounded better than Blackmore's. I had always been a loyal and dedicated Blackmore fan for 30 years, but tonight's show clearly showed that Steve is the right guitarist for this band. He would leap up where Jon Lord was and they would be dueling with their instruments back and forth. Steve would do the same with Ian Gillan's vocals. Steve is an amazing guitarist.

From the opening number, "Woman From Tokyo" to the closing "Highway Star," the band rocked. Jon Lord was totally into the show as he masterfully worked his keyboard with outstanding solos with the Leslies whirling. He was sweating up a storm as he got into his solo and work on "Knocking At Your Back Door," "Perfect Strangers," and "Highway Star" to name a few. Roger Glover was into the audience and the fans went wild. His bass lines sounded better than ever, especially during "Smoke On The Water" and "Pictures Of Home".

This band was truly enjoying themselves and the fans really got into each number. Ian Paice must have gone through 20 drum sticks as he kept the beat moving at a frantic pace. DP poured its heart and soul into this performance. Ian Gillan took the stage in a pink shirt and later changed into a vest. It was incredible how well his vocals have held up over the decades and he was really into the audience. Most moving was his soulful "When A Blind Man Cries" while Steve's passionate solo moved the audience. Ian would tell the audience some background on a number of songs. At the end of the set, the crowd didn't want them to leave the stage.

While LS put on a good show, we couldn't stop talking about the amazing DP performance. I was glad to have caught an incredible show that left me wanting more. It was well worth the 30 year wait to see this highly energized band that does more than go through the motions on stage.

Steven Redd

[ reviews | the highway star ]