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


DEC. 15/97
ATTENDANCE: 1,500 (a sellout)

    There were thousands upon thousands of bands playing Monday night around the world, but I'm pretty sure Deep Purple was the best band on the planet this evening.
    Just when you think they can't top a previous effort - boom - they not only top it, but rattle your soul to places you haven't visited since the last time. Man, I love this band. There are just so many levels to appreciate when Gillan, Glover, Lord, Paice and Morse take to the stage. The smiles, the laughter, the camaraderie - it all adds up to a magnetism that, I beleive, makes this band unique, and stand above all others. It was an hour and 50 minutes of prime time music.
    Steve is always a delight to watch - the dexterity he employs within all those frets is a sight to behold. A1 from the beginning to end.
    Roger was as solid as ever on bass. It still sticks with me when he said one time that he didn't think he was that good. You are, sir. And I have an army of people who will back me up.
    Ian P. was full of energy, putting on a clinic of how to drum with that sound that is all is own. The speed, the power, the deft touches - a delight to analyze. Better yet, his toss of one stick fell right into my right hand. I literally didn't move an inch. A lot of the guys around me didn't see that I had already caught it, so I had to yell: "Guys, guys, it's right here. "If I hadn't of said anything, I think they'd all still be looking for it! :-)
    Lord was rock steady. Although, he wasn't as "up" in the mix as he should have been, the chops were there. He is such a master of the ivories that he makes it seem so effortless. They don't come any better, folks.
    And then, there was Gillan. Well, I don't how many times I've said before he's never sung better, but, as an example, the screamfest on Bloodsucker was better, yes, I said better - than what's on record. It was phenominally scary to see him nail so many highs with so much energy and passion the whole show. Fans all around the floor couldn't believe the heights he was nailing. It was like no years had passed - a true time tunnel experience of watching Gillan circa 1972. Simply outstanding.
    And I must mention how well Seventh Heaven went down with the crowd. It's a great rockin' track. This just makes me yearn more to hear the new album.
    It was nice to meet more of the Purple brethren whose email/newsgroup names I knew, but had never met before. And we came from miles around: Jim C. from Kansas City; Don Stark and fellow Canadian from Winnipeg; Doug MacBeath from Scotland, Ron H. from Detroit, Colin O'Brien (well he lives there, but he still had a long drive to the suburbs) and moi flying in from Calgary. Great people who all speak the Purple lingo!
    There's just so much to extract from a Purple show, and I guess that's why we're all going back tomorrow night.

The setlist:

Into The Fire
Ted The Mechanic
Pictures Of Home
  (Steve's Cascades solo)
Black Night
Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming
Woman From Tokyo
Seventh Heaven
No One Came
Smoke On The Water
  (Jon's keyboard solo)
When A Blind Man Cries
Speed King

Perfect Strangers
Highway Star

Glen Miller

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