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

"Fog on the water, Music in the sky!"

The theme of the evening could be summarized by (sung to the tune of "Smoke On The Water") - "Fog on the waaaater, Music in the skyyyy!"

The concert was great, as usual, and was given a certain surreal aura as a result of the thick fog that encompassed Jones Beach Theater and the surrounding area. You'd think someone was cranking some giant smoke machine behind the stage.

Ted Nugent did a nice, energetic set (though a bit less wild than a decade ago), followed by Deep Purple. Jon, Ian, Ian, Roger and Steve were like a well oiled machine, cranking out one classic Purple tune after another. They actually built up the energy and excitement as their set progressed, and the entire theater was standing by the time they did tunes like "Highway Star" (excellent Blackmoresque solo) and "Hush" (moved from the usual start of their set to the end). The only complaints are the set was a bit shorter and more reserved than usual - obviously in consideration of the Nugent/Purple/Skynyrd line-up - and the sound system at Jones Beach was a little flat. Gillan must be working out, taking vitamins or something because his voice was amazing again.

Okay, I'll throw a piece in on the controversial Steve Morse/Blackmore comparison. A lot of people complain that Steve's mellower, or not as strong a player as Ritchie - all I can say is: "Hey, wake up and smell the coffee - we're talking apples and oranges here." Steve's a fantastic guitar player, with a different style, who's breathed new energy and enthusiasm into the other 4 chaps. And if you've seen Ritchie playing with Blackmore's Night lately, he's not exactly blowing the roof off the venues! Don't get me wrong, I still think Ritchie is theee best ever, but I'm hearing way too much whining on the subject lately!

Being a Purple fanatic, I didn't think I'd stay through the Skynyrd show that followed DP, but I did, and they were pretty good.

All in all, it was a great evening, and the added bonus - watching everyone walking around like zombies after the show trying to find their cars in the thick foggy night! (Not to mention the girl with the black cowboy hat in the audience who showed us two more things than we expected!)

Rock on.

Bejan Rafii

[ reviews | the highway star ]