Guitarist Blackmore is renowned as one of the greatest players and firebrands in rock history. As a founder of Deep Purple (also featuring Ian Gillan, David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes), he led classics and staples such as ‘Child In Time’, ‘Smoke On The Water’, ‘Black Night’, ‘Burn’ and ‘Stormbringer’. And their cover of ‘Hush’ is widely considered the definitive version. And between leaving Deep Purple in 1975 and the 1984 reformation, he fronted Rainbow, a band whose rotating line-up featured Ronnie Dio, Cozy Powell, Don Airey, Graham Bonnet, Joe Lynn Turner and, on their mid 90s post Purple one-off return, Doogie White.
After several years in the medieval / renaissance folk wilderness with his wife Candice Night, he resurrected the Rainbow moniker and returned to rock, and this DVD showcases a concert in Germany. One of a limited number of shows, with more on the horizon, this is a good record of a brief rock-out.
The show kicks off with a classical pomp and circumstance, before the classic Over The Rainbow intro. Sundown, and none of the Californian Jam shenanigans. The crowd love the intro to opening track ‘Highway Star’, which is given quite a different arrangement. It’s a rocking number but not quite at the tempo we’re used to.
The guitar solo in ‘Spotlight Kid’ is excellent but also shows that Blackmore is at a notch down from the original; while he’s clearly happy here, some of the old spark, the electric fire is missing.
A little overly reliant on the Deep Purple, we’re well used to lengthy workings of ‘Mistreated’, Romero’s vocals are strong, there are several moments where the likes of Gillan or Bonnet are missed as that’s who the original arrangements were written for. But times move on and the performance, like the arrangements, have to be applauded. The guitar intro to ‘16th Century Greensleeves’ is a little funky too.
‘Difficult To Cure’ has some excellent instrumental solo breaks, and some of the Purple songs work well too. A couple of early Rainbow songs lack an edge, notably ‘Long Live Rock’n’Roll’ and ‘Stargazer’, but there’s some seriously good rock music here.
As darkness falls the fireworks and light show starts, the crowd liven. A thoroughly entertaining show but even with the extras still seems lacking something I can’t put my finger on. A thick booklet with notes and pictures add to a largely excellent package.
Hopefully a few more shows may oil the wheels and throw in more of the Rainbow catalogue. 8/10
Ritchie Blackmore – guitar
Ronnie Romero – vocals (Lords Of Black)
David Keith – drums (Blackmore’s Night, Mighty Purple)
Bob Nouveau (Curiano) – bass
Jens Johansson – keyboards (Stratovarius, Yngwie Malmsteen, Dio)
Candice Night – backing vocals
Lady Lynn – backing vocals
1) Highway Star
2) Spotlight Kid
4) 16th Century Greensleeves
5) Since You Been Gone
6) Man On The Silver Mountain
7) Catch The Rainbow
8) Difficult To Cure (Beethoven s Ninth)
9) Perfect Strangers
11) Long Live Rock N Roll
12) Child In Time / Woman From Tokyo
13) Black Night
14) Smoke On The Water
Bonus tracks from alternative show
- Spotlight Kid
- Man On The Silver Mountain
- Long Live Rock’n’Roll