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

The band was extremely tight

I'll begin with my shock at the $40.50 ticket price when I decided to attend the July 5th show. It seems a bit excessive when I knew from the other reviews that Purple and Skynyrd were to play 75 minutes each. Second, it was HOT, I mean it must have been 100 degrees out there. I'm not sure if Oklahoma City has some new noise ordinances in that area or not, but the concert was probably over by 10:40 pm, so I felt it should have started later than the 6:45 Ted Nugent opening. I'm not that old, but $40.00 for a decent shirt. I mean, back in my day... Well, OK, that was 15 or 20 years ago that shirts were $10.00. Aside from those complaints, here are my thoughts:

I have seen Ted many times, but this was the first as a 3-piece band. He was very impressive musically. His set was too short and his shtick grows old a lot faster than it used to. He did a good job of getting the crowd pumped up for the rest of the show.

This is definitely Skynyrd country. They have always been big in this region. You also have to remember that they also tour the states on a regular basis. Most people that attend concerts couldn't tell you who was an original member and who wasn't, and probably don't care. I do, so that is one of the main reasons I wasn't that interested in seeing them. So, Skynyrd gets the headline spot, which included a later time and a light and stage show, which I would have loved to see Purple have.

The whole original member thing is one of the reasons I haven't kept up with Deep Purple the last few years. As a guitarist, I have always been a Ritchie Blackmore fan. I had never had the opportunity to see him with Deep Purple, but had seen Rainbow a couple of times. I knew Steve Morse was a great guitarist, but from hearing his earlier work with the Dregs and stuff, I didn't see how if fit into Deep Purple. I couldn't have been more wrong! I saw Purple's "Total Abandon" video about a month ago and it totally blew me away. So, when I heard they were coming to town, I knew I had to check it out.

Just before they hit the stage, I planted myself in the front, just a few feet to the right of Steve Morse. They sounded awesome from the very first notes of "Woman From Tokyo." That was an excellent choice to begin their set. Ian was hitting the notes, even the screams! The heat was excruciating, and I'm sure it was bothering Ian later in the show. He was having some trouble remembering the album titles and was checking the set list a lot. I don't think he forgot any of the words, though. His long hair is gone and replaced by shorter, graying locks, but he looked like he was in great shape. It voice was tired by the time they did "Highway Star", but he pulled it off pretty well.

The band was extremely tight. Both Paice and Glover are awesome. Jon Lord is probably the greatest keyboardist in the rock world. He provides some keyboards for texture, and is like a having second guitar for both rhythm and lead! Steve Morse is incredible. I really enjoyed being that close to check out his ability. I thought the show kicked ass. Yes, as stated in other reviews, Fools was kind of lost on the crowd. I was not familiar with it either, but I liked it. I only wish their set was longer so they could have included more material. "Space Truckin'" would have been a crowd pleaser. Ending with "Highway Star" was an incredible high, it really left me pumped for more Deep Purple, not Lynyrd Skynyrd.

I said earlier that this was a Skynyrd crowd, but I personally am not sure how Purple did with the crowd. I was rocking out at the front, so I didn't really care what was going on behind me. I did know that by the time "Smoke On The Water" rolled around the crowd was really into it. It would have been nice for them to play after dark with a light show. I stayed for about 4 songs of Lynyrd Skynyrd. They sounded good too. I really like Skynyrd, but with half of the original band, they have kind of lost their luster. I was back at home before 10:30. The ticket price irked me at first, but since I ended up at the front for Deep Purple, I would pay for it again anytime. I also got a Steve Morse pick, which was a great bonus. In all Deep Purple was incredible and I feel fortunate I was able to see them.

Lyndal Skaggs

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