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Heavy Rock Legends Play A Masterful Show At Firelake Arena
Heavy Rock Legends Play A Masterful Show At Firelake Arena! Photos by Vernon L. Gowdy III

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame legends Deep Purple stopped at the Firelake Casino and Entertainment Center (Firelake Arena) in Shawnee, Oklahoma September 20, 2019 on their ongoing "The Long Goodbye" tour.

Joyous Wolfe opened the evening followed by veteran rocker Pat Travers who still looks the same as he did 40 years ago. Pat Travers rocked the crowd with acool set of familiar classic hits was a nice warm up, but now it was time for the legendary Deep Purple band to enter the stage.

Deep Purple opened their set with sound clip of "Mars, The Bringer Of War" (Gustav Holst song) as the introduction to their classic "Highway Star" off their Machine Head LP (1972) and followed with "Pictures Of Home." Next up was "Bloodsucker" off the In Rock album (1970) and "Demon's Eye" from Fireball (1971).

Singer Ian Gillan, at 74, can still sing to the best of his ability. His 5-octave vocals with his lung power was impressive. Bassist Roger Glover, at 73, still killing it on the bass wearing his trademark bandanna and his trademark pirate look. Drummer Ian Paice, who is holding at 71, still shredding the drums with rapid fire, showing his speed, agility and flair and having a great time. Legendary keyboardist Don Airey, who is right along at 71, did a great job to keep the spirit of Jon Lord alive. Steve Morse the young kid at 65, founder of the Dixie Dregs and having been in the band Deep Purple since 1994, replacing the legendary Ritchie Blackmore, is a guitarist renowned for his compositions and innovative techniques, soloing like no other.

The kaleidoscopic visual effects projected from behind the band created a hypnotic affect on the audience, creating psychedelic flashbacks to the golden age of classic rock.

"Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming" from their Purpendicular album (1996) that featured Steve Morse joining the band, followed by Deep Purple dedicating the next song, "Uncommon Man" which includes the lyrics Souls having touched are forever entwined' to founder member keyboardist Jon Lord who died July 2012.

Deep Purple returned back to their claassic Machine Head album with "Lazy" and a new song "Time For Bedlam" from their recent LP, Infinite.

Next up was an incredible solo performance by keyboardist Don Airey who has been playing for Deep Purple for 17 years now. The keyboard solo was overwhelming with unique renditions of great musical classics ranging from Mozart's Rondo Alla Turca to hard rock ballads.

A crowd favorite, "Perfect Strangers" the title song from the Perfect Strangers (1984) album was one of the highlights of the even so far and followed with their rock anthem "Space Truckin'" and of course, closed the set with the masterpiece classic hard rock song with the famous guitar riff, "Smoke on the Water." Pat Travers popped back on stage to accompany Steve Morse and Roger Glover for the first half of the song.

Deep Purple came by for an encore with two songs: "Hush" off their debut album, Shades of Deep Purple released in 1968 and "Black Night" a single released originally in 1970 and later added to the 25th anniversary edition of the In Rock album.

A perfect night with Deep Purple going out with a bang of pure classic hard rock music.

Deep Purple
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Author & Photographer: Vernon L. Gowdy, III
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