Rainbow + Sweet @ Genting Arena, Birmingham – 28 June 2017

Posted by Gig Junkies on Wednesday Jun 28, 2017 Under Heavy metal, Prog Rock

Gig review by Zyllah Moranne-Brown with photography by Ken Harrison.

Tonight’s main act is not so much the band, but the legendary guitarist who formed said colourful band. Ranking high in every list of the World’s Greatest Guitarists; one of the original line-up of Deep Purple, formed this band way back in ’75, the concept expanding from a solo to band outfit, with then lead singer Rodney James Dio. After long period of hiatus, Richie Blackmore is now, once again back out on the road with Richie Blackmore’s Rainbow.

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Support tonight comes from the Sweet. Yes indeed – the legendary 70s glam rockers are back (well sadly well not all of them), featuring original classic line-up band member Andy Scott – and playing live. We catch a little of their set, SWEET emblazoned large on the screen and the glam rock hits ‘ Blockbuster’ and ‘Ballroom Blitz’ blasting out across the arena. Crowd are joining in the fun – singing away to the classics.

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And so. Richie Blackmore’s Rainbow.  Intro starts of with a bit of British “upper spirit” as they say and a violin rendition of Elgar’s ‘Land of Hope and Glory’, a massive Union Jack flying on the screen…

And as the music switches to ‘Over the Rainbow’ a Manchester  Apollo theatre ticket appears in the screen, dated 1981. £4.50 folks. (Oh those were the days ey?) Huge cheer as Blackmore takes to the stage….

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First up ‘Spotlight Kid’ massive spooky eyes float on the screen. Lights up glowing across the packed arena, a big cheer from the punters. The 2017 line-up features Chilean metal singer Ronnie Romero (who definitely has a huge voice and pair of lungs on him), keyboardist Jens Johansson, drummer David Keith and bassist Bob Nouveau. 

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Classic hit ‘I Surrender’ starts up – one for the crowd. We expect exquisite guitar virtuoso from Blackmore. He’s well into his 70’s, but not matter, the fret-dabbling has not been affected by age, and he is, indeed, centre stage.

‘Mistreated’ and the men in the crowd nod their heads in a rock manner, in time. Prog rock – Blackmore time. An epic it goes down well. The hits are there for the crowd, we sing along to ‘Since You Been Gone’; this set a mix of not only Rainbow  but indeed Deep Purple Classics.

“Like the sound of a windmill going round, Guess I’ll always be a soldier of fortune “ the crowd sings back – another Purple hit. 

‘Difficult to Cure’ – Beethoven’s 5th – his image on screen. An instrumental plus bass and keyboard solo. Punters depart to the bar, as the track moves on to a  keyboard solo long enough for them to purchase a drink, and to re-appear. A break for Blackmore too – he returns for the rock ending. Prog rock man.

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And through all the tracks, you can hear the overtones of all those singers he’s worked with over the years  Coverdale, Bonnet, and Turner and White, and those departed from this mortal coil – Dio, Cozy Powell and Jon Lord – the occasional picture from the past, accompanied to a cheer from the crowd.

‘Child in time’ and epic prog rock tome rolls on, flickering candle on screen. And more Purple classics, Black Night and THAT Purple hit, with THAT guitar riff (if having to be er-a tad-re-adjusted -ooops!): ‘Smoke on the Water.’

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Tonight’s performance gave an insight into the decades that’s have spanned Blackmore’s career, not just in metal, but his classical inspiration outside. For Rainbow fans this was definitely had a very purple hue about it, but for true fans the legendary Blackmore is out and about once more…

For more images from tonight’s gig visit our Flickr page.


Setlist:
Spotlight Kid
I Surrender
Mistreated (Deep Purple)
Since You Been Gone
Man on the Silver Mountain
Soldier of Fortune (Deep Purple)
Perfect Strangers  (Deep Purple)
Difficult to Cure
All Night Long
Child in Time (Deep Purple)
Stargazer
Long Live Rock n’ Roll
Lazy (Deep Purple)
Black Night (Deep Purple)
Carry on Jon
Burn (Deep Purple)
Smoke on the Water (Deep Purple)

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