Which would you rather see: a concert appearance with the septuagenarian rockers from Deep Purple, or a performance of the band's legendary "Smoke on the Water" featuring 1683 guitarists (which happened in Kansas City last month)? At least one has a whiff of unpredictability to it. Like any good Seventies warhorse, this decade's touring version of Deep Purple features an interchangeable lineup, faithfully reheating the old hits and playing small theaters to those old enough to care but young enough to stay for the encores. Sound familiar? Longtime guitarist Ritchie Blackmore is out, replaced by Steve Morse and his nimble-fingered solos; Jesus Christ Superstar namesake Ian Gillan remains the quintessential Deep Purple frontman; while silver-maned Ian Paice (drums) and Roger Glover (bass) continue to toil in the same engine room where they've been stuck for 37 years. The only missing pieces? Blackmore's Spinal Tap-esque outfits and about 1682 guitars. — Jeff Stratton
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