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

Gentle rockers...

God's gift to music was not returning to Montreal (Canada) as they have in the past, so we went to see them in Saratoga Springs, NY (4 hour drive). After The Motor City Madman's wall of sound and a quick equipment change, Deep Purple strutted on the stage that was so rightfully theirs. Excellent show!!! As always, the band is playing like a well oiled machine(head). I think if Steve Morse could play any faster his amps would shut down, not being able to keep up with the notes. Jon Lord, ever classic, ever regal, appeared to be in command of the stage from his control center behind his keyboards. Roger Glover, Ian Paice; what more could be said that hasn't been already penned. These guys are clearly the best at providing the rock that this band uses to roll. Mr. Gillan paced (no pun intended) the stage like a caged lion and threw himself into every song the band played.

This is the EXACT song list. (I asked the dude on the lighting board for the list and he just handed it over. Just ask folks. It may pay off.)

"Woman From Tokyo"
"Ted The Mechanic"
"Knocking At Your Back Door"
"Fools".... (absolutely amaaaaaaazing!!!!!!... for me, the highlight of the show)
"Pictures Of Home" (As Ian G. said, a song about sending postcards back home showing friends that they were most definitely NOT having fun recording "Machine Head")
"Perfect Strangers"
"When A Blind Man Cries"
Steve Morse`s Monster Metal Medley of Hendrix ("Purple Haze"?), Who ("Pinball Wizard"), Kinks ("You Really Got Me") and Lynyrd Skynyrd
"Smoke On The Water"

"Hush"...(wonderfully explosive!)
and last but never, ever least.... "Highway Star"

The audience was slow to respond at first (this was clearly a Lynyrd Skynyrd audience) but after "Lazy" (3rd song) whacked the cobwebs out of their heads, the band owned them. Our seats were decent, center, 20 rows back and for the most part everyone remained on their feet for the whole show. (Best guess of crowd size...12000?)

One complaint, and I've seen this one repeated often - the set was waaaaaay too short (80 mins - too many bands on the bill). Deep Purple deserve their own tour even if it means slightly smaller venues. At least a full set (2 hours, 2 1/2 hours) would satisfy the fans and give the band room to unwind and throw the naked thunder to the crowd.

Just a side note... Gillan seemed to be pissed off with something. More than a few times, there were distinct glares, head shakings and arms thrown up in despair. This was going on mostly back stage but also on stage as well. To anyone who was there... any ideas??? My distinct impression was that it had to do with the stage lighting. Just a theory.

We left after Deep Purple.

Can't wait for the next show.

Gary Poronovich

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