Gig review – Richie Blackmore’s Rainbow – Stone Free Festival 2017

Rainbow’s new 2015 line up is a flag of nations – keyboard Jens Johansson (Sweden), bass Bob Curiano, drums David Keith (both USA) and vocalist Ronnie Romero (Chile).

I had high hopes of this being a blinder, alas for me it ended up being a real damp squib.  The sound was piss poor, his amp does not turn up to 11 apparently!.  In this day and age you’d think they could have spent a few £$ on some big screens, but no – so all the poor sods at the back and high up in the gods couldn’t really see what was going on (as it happens not much as I think Rickie’s red shoes had Velcro on them so stuck he was in one spot for inordinate amounts of time!).  And don’t get me going on about the minimalist stage set-up – they must have spent just shy of £50, or Richie still thinks he’s living in the 70’s playing Budokan – times have moved on mate and your audience expects a show!

We all know Richie is a bit weird and difficult to work with, perhaps all that medieval renaissance crap has sent him over the top.  That said he is still a great guitarist

The backdrop had some pretty poor graphics throughout the gig.  Photographs of old Rainbow ticket stubs and the late great Ronnie James Dio (let’s face it that was their greatest period).  The eccentric Blackmore didn’t say a word throughout and communicated with the band and the audience via hand gestures.  Interestingly I gave him my own 2 fingered hand gesture but he couldn’t see me (tee hee)!!

For ‘Since You’ve Been Gone’ we had a guest appearance by its writer Russ Ballard – they eventually found him a guitar!  OK so there were some highlights – i.e. they played some good songs but these fleeting bits of brilliance were let down by mind numbingly boring and unnecessarily long solos by the keyboardist and drummer – big yawn.  Plus the lead singer had real problems communicating with the audience (his accent and lack of talent come to mind) but he did hold a tune in places.

All in all the Rainbow and Deep Purple back catalogue were done a grave disservice on the night – you’d get a better evening out watching a tribute band.

Much better were ‘Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll’, ‘Burn’, and ‘Black Night’ during which the band walked off the stage leaving those of a more passionate persuasion singing along to the riff.  A quick snippet from ‘Woman from Tokyo’ was woven into ‘Man on a Silver Mountain’ but for me it missed the mark.Rainbow Set List

  • I Surrender(Difficult to Cure 1981)
  • Mistreated(Deep Purple – Burn 1974)
  • Since You Been Gone – (Down to Earth 1979)
  • Man on the Silver Mountain(Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow 1975)
  • Soldier of Fortune – (Deep Purple – Stormbringer 1974)
  • All Night Long – (Down to Earth 1979)
  • Difficult to Cure(Difficult to Cure 1981)
  • Child in Time(Deep Purple in Rock 1970)
  • Stargazer (Rising 1976) click to watch video
  • Still I’m Sad(Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow 1975)
  • Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll(Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll 1979)
  • Black Night – (Deep Purple single 1970)
  • Burn(Deep Purple – Burn 1974)
  • Catch the Rainbow(Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow 1975)
  • Smoke on the Water – (Deep Purple – Machine Head 1972)

I was knackered by the end of a full day of RnR – especially after standing for 5 hours in the Indigo.  I enjoyed most of the day but was really disappointed with Rainbow.  There were plenty of empty seats and closed sections – the pulling power is simply not there anymore.  I’ll live of my previous memories of Rainbow when they were good!

Marko – 20 June 2017

One thought on “Gig review – Richie Blackmore’s Rainbow – Stone Free Festival 2017

  1. Pingback: Stone Free Festival 2017 – Gig Reviews – Marko's Gig Archive Blog

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