September 2 was a night to remember for classic rock fans in Toronto as Edgar Winter, Alice Cooper and Deep Purple made a stop at the Budweiser Stage for Deep Purple’s The Long Goodbye Tour. For me personally, it was special because all three bands were a part of the soundtrack of my youth.
Edgar Winter started out the evening and got the crowd warmed up with his bluesy style of rock’n’roll and his classic hits like Frankenstein, Free Ride, Tobacco Road and as a tribute to his late Brother, Johnny, he played Jumpin’ Jack Flash as well. Edgar always has world class musicians in his band and is famous for his extended, solo laden versions of his songs. The current lineup of The Edgar Winter Band consists of Jason Carpenter on drums, Doug Rappoport on Guitar and Koko Powell on bass. These guys can trade licks with the best of them and that’s just what Edgar loves to do. Edgar began in 1969 and has been a staple in the music business ever since, no signs of stopping any time soon.
Next up was Alice Cooper. His show is best described by saying, “WOW”. Alice was the first of the shock rockers and the person parents in the 70s loved to hate. Admittedly, I don’t pull out my Alice Cooper music as much as I once did, but as I watched Saturday night, I was thinking that Alice Cooper was the very first band that I got seriously into and how he started me off on my love for music. Nowadays, the atmosphere is slightly different than in the 70s and the crowd has gotten older, but when Alice took to the stage there was still an electricity in the air. People were dancing, singing and playing various “air” instruments, probably floating off to their youth like I was. They wanted the hits they remembered and Alice was quick to deliver with tunes like No More Mr. Nice Guy, Billion Dollar Babies, Only Women Bleed, and I Love the Dead, which came right after the classic beheading that has been part of the show for many years. He also added some of the newer tunes like Feed my Frankenstein and Poison and to round things out, he finished with I’m Eighteen, my personal favorite. For the encore, we were treated to School’s Out, likely Alice’s biggest hit of all. By this point the crowd was on their feet and singing along with every word. To see Alice Cooper is more than going to a concert, it’s an experience…. a show.
The headliners of the night were, of course, Deep Purple and once again it was great to see this legendary band, complete with three original founding members, Ian Paice on Drums, Roger Glover on Bass and Ian Gillan providing the vocals. Rounding out the lineup is Don Airey on keyboards and Steve Morse on guitar. Deep Purple were one of the pioneers of the heavy metal genre. You expect them to kick butt…….and they do. They have a new album out called Infinite and they gave us some samplings from it, but the highlight for most fans were the old familiar tunes. After all, how could you have a Deep Purple concert without Lazy, Smoke on The Water, Space Truckin’ or Knocking At Your Back Door?
All in all, it was a great night for all of us old rockers, seeing three of the great bands of the 70s!