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

Monterrey, N.L. Mexico
February 5, 1998
Auditorio Coca-Cola

El Norte, February 6, 1998.
By Xardiel Padilla
Like the good wines....

If good music really feeds the spirit, the 7,000 Monterrey souls that attended last night the Deep Purple concert, must be very healthy with the nutritive dose they got.
The English band made very clear why they keep their legend status: art stays the same for decades and good songs never become old fashioned; even as they left long time ago the ephymerous pop lists.
Several 70's songs, even one from 1968, were heard at the Auditorium invaded by human beings that sang some of them furiously.
The quintet impressed opening with "Hush", the first great exit when Deep Purple just started; 30 years had passed by and the song still sound current, judging by what we hear.
Deep Purple, on this second trip to Monterrey (previous was in 1994), took from their gold and platinum records some lesser known songs than their famous classics. For those that only went to hear the "taan-taan-tann" of "Smoke on the Water", were surprised by the richness of other songs, like "Into the Fire", "Ted the Mechanic", "Pictures of Home", or "No One Came".
Besides the songs (they also included one of their next album, "Seventh Star"), the instrumental execution came separated.
Youth is no longer one of their characteristics, but the five integrants are a masters on their own ground. Jon Lord, at the organ (now placed at the center of the stage), Ian Paice on the Drums, Roger Glover, Bass, Ian Gillan, lead vocals, and Steve Morse, guitar.
Every one had their moments of glory during the concert, but maybe the dialog between the guitar and the organ were the most exciting.
The artistic weight of the five integrants is such that you could say they use their music as their own scenography; when somebody plays like them, no fire, make-up or show is required.
The audience, rich in 30's and 40's , and some younger fans, acclaimed the veteran musicians during the entire journey, and in the key moments it became collective euphoria.
Of the great songs that Deep Purple has contributed to the world musical heritage, they played "Fireball", "Black Night", "Woman from Tokyo", and "Speed King", among others that caused screaming and collective singing.
A very special moment ocurred when Morse briefly played some classic guitar riffs of people like Santana, Hendrix and Zeppelin, and even "La Bamba"...and then started "Smoke on the Water".
Morse, besides being a fast and technical guitar player, is intelligent: as a general rule, he left intact the essential parts of the original Ritchie Blackmore solos.
By the end, deep Purple played a couple of classics, "Perfect strangers", and "Highway Star"...almost two hours of the best hard rock ever...
As opening band, we had Cuca, a group from Guadalajara that started slow but later improved their performance and the applause coming from the audience...

Translated and forwarded to The Highway Star by:
Roberto Ruiz

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