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

HOB- New Orleans part II- 13 Dec. 1997

Well if you are reading this after my last post then you are either looking for more ammunition to flame me or are curious as to whether the second night had a different effect on me.

Ahhhhhhh New Orleans. The weather was uncharacteristically cold and windy. It was still rather clear and crisp and fine for walking around the City. The restaurants kept us warm with hot rum and gumbo, a spicy meaty soup that will warm your insides!!

My girlfriend who accompanied my to New Orleans had a special treat. Her roommate in college's family owns the building the HOB is located in. The HOB is located in an old show warehouse in the old French Quarter. The family built the warehouse out of nothing and the house of blues saw the building and signed a thirty-five year lease. There are luxury penthouse apartments above the HOB.

I was lucky enough to get a personal guided tour of the HOB building, including the luxury penthouses and the HOB itself.!!! I was taken through the back elevator to the HOB and was able to walk around on the stage during the middle of the afternoon and get my picture taken sitting on the stage with Dp's equipment!!! Quite a nice treat!! Her friend who showed us around negotiated the lease. ( she is a fellow lawyer). As part of the negotiations, she has a TV monitor of the stage of the HOB in her office!!! What a bootleggers dream!!! She is a copyright attorney so there is no way she would let anyone make a tape. pity!

Well i arrived at the show again around 9 pm and the opening band ripped through another nice set of rocking blues. They were called the new meanies or something like that. Very nice to listen too.

The HOB was more packed than the friday night. The air was electric and the band hit the stage again around 10:30pm. The band rocked on through the same set as the night before. The band seemed more relaxed and responsive to the wild crowd. Ian's voice wasnt quite up to the night before. We figure that was because he went to sample the New orleans night life last night until 7 in the morning!

Roger and jon still played away and never missed a beat. The band was more relaxed and everyone seemed to be playing better. The most valuable player of the night has to go to Paicey though. His solo/ showpiece thing was amazing!!! Ian thrashed around all night and really drove the band to the max!!! He is really the most amazing drummer i have seen!

The band played Seventh Heaven again. While the song may not be in its final form yet, i do have to say I was not too impressed by it. It has a really nice intro with Steve doing some nice delay slapback stuff, then it breaks into a heavy riff that seems to be confused and to not know where to go until Ian breaks in with the singing. Its an okay song and i like the return to heavy riffing, but this riff is progressive and confused and needs to find the melody quicker.

Again Highway star rounded out the set and was as intense as the night before until some asshole jumps on stage to do some stage diving. The band instantly becomes cautious and moves back from the edge of the stage. The song seemed to lose some of the momentum then. Perhaps the band has had some bad experiences with stage diving and went directly into "security mode" when the guy jumped up on stage. its nice to note that the guy who jumped into the crowd was not caught by the crowd but instead was allowed to plummett to the floor!!! that must have hurt!!!

Again, the band was excellent and very confident. The songs were tight and sounded good. I dont want to sound like broken record but steve was the same as the night before. It seemed to be that he played the same solos too. I guess you all know how I feel about Steve Morse's style. I again sat and listened to the best band in the world play the best songs in the world with the worst guitar sound in the world. Although Ian's voice was not quite as strong, the band played better than the night before.

Recordings of illegitimate origin- i saw the guy next to me check his levels on his recorder, so tapes of this gig do exist. This gig is to be broadcast on the internet so i hope all you can hear it and judge for yourselves.

So what do I make of all this? did i become a steve convert? No. I dont think i will ever be a big fan of Steve's style. sorry.

did I love the new DP so much i would proclaim "Ritchie who?". No way. I dont see how anyone could.

did i love the intensity with which DP played, the song list and the musicianship? absolutely!

did i have a good time and enjoy the show enough to go to LA to see DP again? you bet, i have booked my flight already!

In think i am satisfied that i will not be totally happy with as long as steve morse in the guitarist. That is just attributed to my own taste. I wish i could see DP together with Ritchie and have Ritchie playing with the same intensity I saw him play at Rotterdam 95, Jaxx 97 and Schaumberg 97 and DP playing with the same intensity as HOB on dec 13. I dont think i will see it so i forgive seeing RBR with musicians like paul morris and DP with Steve Morse. I LOVe seeing ritchie and i LOVe seeing Roger, Jon, Ian and Ian. I will leave it at that and sit back and enjoy the music.

The night was completed by going back stage courtesy of Colin Hart and Dana. Thanks guys!! For details on some of the backstage events.... read my next post!

Thanks for listening, i hope you will listen to the internet concert broadcast on friday and judge for yourselves.

Bobby "Baby Blackmore - BB" Gervais

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