And Then, There Was Deep Purple
Since there were two very different bands performing last Saturday night at the Soaring Eagle Casino, I thought it necessary to do two separate posts about the show.
It was the first time that I had ever had the pleasure of seeing Judas Priest in any of their lineups, and to see them did not disappoint. Having seen Deep Purple in 1985 at the Joe Louis Arena, my expectations were a little different. Keyboardist Jon Lord had passed away in 2012. The differences with guitarist Ritchie Blackmore continue and former Dixie Dregs and Kansas guitarist Steve Morse, has been in the role since 1994.Also taking into consideration that it has been 33 years since I had seen them last, I kept my mind open.
The time finally came to meet the band before they were to appear. So in the middle of the Judas Priest set, we took the long walk to where the members of Deep Purple would do their meet and greet. First with an introduction and a handshake was Steve Morse. Ohio born and Ypsilanti, MI raised, the first in a gracious line of rock and roll royalty. Following would be Drummer Ian Paice, Bassist Roger Glover and Keyboardist Don Airey.
All were very cordial and welcoming, but it was Don Airey who played keyboards for Ozzy Osbourne during the Diary of a Madman Tour in 1982. It was February 5, of that year that I would see him along with Randy Rhoads in my very first concert at the Lansing Civic Center, 36 years prior. To be honest, I was like a 15 year old all over again.
As the show began, I waited. Eyes, ears and mind open, it was nothing less than spectacular. 73 year old Ian Gillan belted out Deep Purple classics like "Strange Kind of Woman," "Pictures of Home," Knocking At Your Back Door" and my all time favorite, "Lazy." A song that each member executed with flawless precision. All of the while and through every song, Morse did things his way without compromising the integrity of the original song. . A true testament to their Rock & Roll Hall of Fame status.