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

Better than in 1970!

The Deep Purple/Dave Mason concert last night at Sunrise Musical Theatre was AWESOME! Although the soundboard operators unnecessarily upped the volume towards the latter part of the show and 13 hours later my ears are still ringing!

Nevertheless, I would not have missed this now-legendary band for the world even though all costs-ticket, gas, tolls, parking ($7), food and souvenir booklet ($15) came to about $75 which for the most part I added on to my long list of credit card debt.

Dave Mason was GREAT! He played for over an hour, doing nearly all his hits from "Only You Know & I know", "Disagree", "Changes", "Feelin' Allright", "Gimme Some Luvin'" and others. His voice was in top shape - very strong and bluesy and his electric guitar playing has come a long way.

Deep Purple played for 1 3/4 hours without a break until 11:15 PM. The concert was taped for a DVD release. They covered their classic songs going back to 1968's "Hush" (much to my disappointment however, they did NOT play "Kentucky Woman". They started off the show with "Woman from Tokyo". They did "No One Came", "Smoke On The Water", "Speed King", "Perfect Strangers" (1985), "Mary Long" from the "Who Do We Think We Are" album (1973), "Lazy" from "Machine Head", "Ted The Mechanic", and several other newer songs. Their encore was "Highway Star" which was awesome!

Steve Morse (former Dixie Dreggs lead guitarist) more than filled in for the much-missed Ritchie Blackmore who apparently is not on ANY of the tour dates. [He has not played with Deep Purple for almost eight years now - he left the band, bye-bye!! Rasmus]

I had not seen DP since 1985. At that time they played at the now defunct Sportatorium in W. Hallandale. The acoustics and overall sound were MUCH better at last night's show than it was in '85 where it was WAY too loud and echoing. Prior to 1985, I had not seen DP since July 1973 and before that 1970 during their release of Deep Purple "In Rock" LP.

Seeing and hearing Deep Purple brought both wonder and sadness. Wonder in that these musicians can rock just as good and in fact BETTER now in their mid-50's than they did 30 years ago! Sadness in that it forced me to recall the long-gone "happy days" of my youth. These guys were like seeing your "best friends" in college again years later if only for a brief glimpse and off stage they went leaving you wonder if you'll ever see them again, or if so, will it be another 16 years? I (and they!) would be in our 70's by then. I know that if I live to be 70 and "Highway Star" comes on the radio, I will turn up my hearing aid and crank the volume!

By the end of the night my voice was hoarse from singing along with several familiar songs as well as whooping and hollering and yelling repeatedly "Deep Purple LIVES"!

John Mascaro

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