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

Deep Purple - Pompano Beach Ampitheatre, Pompano Bch, Florida. USA 12-07-97

I just got finished e-mailing a dear friend in Brazil about the wonderful show I just experienced on Sunday, Dec. 7.

I should add that recently I have seen: U2 at Pro Player Stadium, and The Who and Fleetwood Mac at the Coral Sky Ampitheatre. None of these shows were even close to the musicianship and excitement generated by Purple.

To set the stage, PB Ampitheatre is a small, open air venue holding only a few thousand. Certainly the kind of place I NEVER thought to see Deep Purple! I've seen them several times previously, beginning in 1972, but this Sunday's show was simply outstanding! All the members seemed in excellent spirits, and played their hearts out.
It was the fastest two hours I can ever remember.

The Music

One of the best things about this show was the addition of songs we have not heard live previously.

They open with "Hush", possibly because someone else has it out as a single here in the US. They continued, not necessarily in this order with:

Hush Fireball Into The Fire Black Night Vavoom (Ted The Mechanic) Woman From Tokayo Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming New song (Instrumental) Pictures Of Home New song (Vocal) No One Came

At one point, Ian announces that they were going to take us to Rosa's Cantina", but they burst into 'No One Came" from the "Fireball" LP. This was the highlight for me as I've seen them do the "Machine Head" show in one form or another MANY times. They played it up-tempo, and got a big reaction from the crown when finished. The gig really picked up after this. They continued with:

Bloodsucker (Very Hot Version!) Smoke On The Water (Again!?!) Speed King Perfect Strangers

Highway Star was performed as an encore.

It really was the best show overall that I've seen them perform. No stage presentation at all really, just the band and some lights. Believe me, it was enough!

I must say, the last time I saw them in 1985, my ears rang for two days afterward. This time, volume was a friend, not an enemy! The sound was perfect!

I feel badly for the person who wrote in about "Lazy". The whole crowd was NOT yelling for Lazy however, and as someone who has followed them since 1971, I was THRILLED that we didn't get "yet another" version of "Lazy", "Space Truckin", "Child In Time". I wouldn't have missed "Smoke On The Water" either. It was great to hear live versions of songs that we've never heard live!

I certainly hope that they commit some of these live versions (especially "NO ONE CAME") to tape.

If you get the chance, you MUST see them.

Take care all,
Jim Fahey
Miami, FL

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