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

Not bad for my first Deep Purple concert

Having never seen Deep Purple perform live before the Darien Lake, NY show on June 24th, 2001 I was in full anticipation of the concert. Being a fan of the band since 1972 I relived many musical memories on the way to the show, most of which revolved around my missing past Deep Purple concerts through the most bizarre circumstances I may add!

I arrived as the opening act, Ted Nugent, ended. I wasn't there to see Ted or the other co-headliner, Lynyrd Skynyrd (although I am a big fan of LS). I was there to see Deep Purple!!!

The crowd let out a roar as the band took the stage. A special feeling was in the air. Then Ian Paice started hitting the hi-hat... Everybody knew the song... "Woman From Tokyo"!!! Gillan ounced up and down on the stage during the intro... "Fly into the rising sun, faces smiling everyone..." How true!!! It was getting close to sunset in the open-air arena.

Then a montage of Deep Purple anthems (I don't remember the exact order): "Ted The Mechanic", "Fools", "Knocking At Your Back Door", "Lazy", "Pictures Of Home", "Perfect Strangers", and "When A Blind Man Cries". But Deep Purple built the highly enthusiastic crowd to THE moment... Steve Morse played snippets from other band's classic rock songs... Then the opening riff to "Smoke On The Water". The crowd went WILD!!! And all sang along...

The encores were "Hush" and "Highway Star".

Overall the band was loose and seemed to be having as much fun as the crowd. The musicianship, of course, was excellent... Steve Morse had one continuous grin. And me being one of the most die-hard, rabid Ritchie Blackmore fans had a fantastic time !!!

But the best was saved for last. I got to meet Roger Glover and Ian Gillan after the show!

Not bad for my first Deep Purple concert.

Gary Entler

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