European Tour 1981

Brøndby-Hallen, Copenhagen, Denmark - June 5, 1981

I remember Ritchie going completely beserk at the end of that show. Brøndby Hallen has one of the worst acoustics and maybe felt he had to make up for the terrible sound. He threw the remains of his demolished guitar up into the lighting rig where it stuck and Ritchie tried to pull all of it down. Two minutes later he actually leaped out into the audience and was carried off stage by two security guards!

Jacob Hastedt

Patinoire de Boulogne-Billancourt, Paris, France - June 11, 1981

This gig was in a big tent! On this gig Ritchie Blackmore was electrocuted! 270 Volts measured between his bass pedals and the onstage snake.... he just stepped onto the riser and I literally saw the hair stand on his head! He came back behind his stacks and told me he just got the worst shock of his life and he touched nothing! Later found out that the stage was metal under the wood floor!

Clif Cooky Crawford

Ahoy Hall, Rotterdam, The Netherlands - June 13, 1981

That's the way

It is starting to seem that Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow can be seen in a new composition on every visit to the Netherlands. On the one hand that is a bit annoying because you don't know what to expect and because then you are not able to follow the development of a group, but on the other hand Blackmore proves capable every time with an excellent group to come back and give a great concert. Also recently in the Rotterdam Ahoy Hall.

The evening was opened by the young British group Def Leppard who, despite a pretty bad sound, managed to convince. Def Leppard has become a lot rougher since the debut album from '79 and that was particularly noticeable in the few new songs that were played, in which the emphasis was more on the guitar work and the close harmonies almost disappeared.

After 25 (!) Minutes Leppard already left the stage (Blackmore's regime), after which Rainbow entered the stage with newcomers Joe Lynn Turner vocals and Bob Rondinelli drums. Of course Turner sang songs from the album Difficult To Cure flawlessly, such as Can't Happen Here, Spotlight Kid and especially I Surrender, but he also knew what to do with the work of Down To Earth, such as Love's No Friend Of Mine and Lost In Hollywood.

Only in older work such as Man On The Silver Mountain and Catch The Rainbow he could not match his predecessors. But the star of the show remains of course Blackmore himself, who again did a good job on his Stratocaster. The group as a whole sounded quite close and surprisingly enthusiastic, so that despite the endless guitar and organ solos it was still a great concert. Oh yes, in one of the encores Rainbow played some Purple intros, after which Smoke On The Water was played and we hadn't heard that for a long time. Blackmore had a good time, because at the end of the show he smashed his guitar to pieces. And that's the way.

Kees Baars, Muziekkrant Oor - July 1, 1981

Ahoy Hall, Rotterdam, The Netherlands - June 13, 1981

Around half past nine the lights went out and the lighters turned on. The theme 'Over the Rainbow' heralded the start of a promising evening. They started with the temporal 'Spotlight Kid'. This strong song was followed by 'Love ain't no friend of mine'. The beginning of this blues song was way too commercial, but luckily there was some speed towards the end, so it could be heard. Very bad was (the singletrack) "I Surrender". It's ridiculous that a band like Rainbow needs a Russ Ballard song to score a hit. Anyway, the very strong "Man on the Silver Mountain" quickly made us forget everything. Ritchie Blackmore tested the hardness of the floor with his back for the first time that night.

The highlight of that evening was the 15-minute performance of "Catch the Rainbow". The Rainbow talents can develop in this song. Ritchie played two excellent solos during this song, and singer Joe Lynn Turner shows that he is capable of singing an atmospheric, quiet piece in a pure way. Although I should note here that he didn't has the level of R.J. Dio (now Black Sabbath).

Roger Glover played bass excellently throughout the evening. With "Can't Happen Here" it went fast again. After this came a keyboard solo from Airey. Well I was not at all impressed with this, sometimes it sounded just like a church organ. I was relieved when Ritchie's guitar came back in.

We got a long instrumental part that ended in a drum solo by Bob Rondinelli. During this excellent drum solo, Bob fired his drumsticks into the hall and continued drumming with his fists. Before Rainbow could start their series of encores, they played "Long live Rock 'n Roll". In this song the audience had the opportunity to demonstrate that they could also sing. In the first encore Rainbow played "Vielleicht das nächster Zeit". The audience was allowed to sing along once more with "All night Long". Of course they did not let Rainbow go. The second encore commemorated the Deep Purple period. Ritchie Blackmore first played the intros of "Lazy" and "Woman from Tokyo". and then the entire "Smoke on the Water" was played. Blackmore's guitar was still intact, so a third encore was needed to give him the opportunity to smash his guitar. After 1 hour and 45 minutes Rainbow, we can get to come to the following conclusion: The repertoire contained many good pieces and some bad ones. The sound was good and the light show great.

Stefan Rooyackers, Aardschok no 6 - 1981

Ahoy Hall, Rotterdam, The Netherlands - June 13, 1981

Rainbow fascinates in variety

Even before Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow had even played a single note on Saturday evening, the evening turned out to be successful: a tape-recorded orchestral version of the atmospheric 'Land of hope and glory' quickly forgotten the disastrous support act Def Leppard and paved the way in an inimitable way for the achievements of the group that can be seen as the successor to Deep Purple.

A lot has happened with Rainbow between the concert of about two years ago and that of Saturday. The changes of the group members was great and in particular the departure of Cozy Powell and the arrival of Roger 'love is all' Glover were the most striking in that regard. However, there is no sign of any damage to the recognizable Rainbow sound, as ex-Deep Purple guitarist Blackmore is in good hands; after all, it is he who determines the musical direction.

During the almost two-hour set, Rainbow managed to fascinate in a very varied and colorful way. A very melodic, rather commercial hard-rock, which nevertheless still leaves room for some quieter work, such as 'Catch the Rainbow'. Rainbow often played long compositions, in which each group member was allowed to contribute on demand. Nice were the literally hand-and-footed mammoth solos by Rondinelli and the Wakeman-like pieces by Airey, who just added some Scott Joplin-rags for fun. Certainly because of Airey's playing the whole occasionally plays quite classically, culminating in 'Difficult to Cure', a flawless and very swinging adaptation of Beethoven's Ninth.

Rainbow offered something for everyone, including less complicated work in the form of songs like 'Man on the silver Mountain' and the recent 'Spotlight Kid'. Together with the more complex songs they provided an excellent balance, which was certainly representative of Rainbow's music. Not a bad word about this beautiful 'rainbow'.

Arnoud Oosterholt, Haagsche Courant - June 15, 1981

Ahoy Hall, Rotterdam, The Netherlands - June 13, 1981

Sleep-inducing Rainbow

The concert, which the English Rainbow played in front of a sold-out Ahoy Hall in Rotterdam on Saturday evening, was a sleep-inducing thing. The audience was forced to listen to classically tinted "snacks" such as Land Of Hope And Glory and Sing A Song of Joy and overly long guitar and drum solos. Rainbow has to be retired, after all, a rainbow cannot always remain tense.

Rainbow with celebrities such as guitarist Ritchie Blackmore and bassist Roger Glover did shine briefly in the barely an hour and a half long concert, actually only in Catch The Rainbow and Love's No Friend Of Mine, in which Blackmore lived up to his reputation as a star guitarist with a number of beautiful guitar soli. After that it was over.

The audience was then "treated" to fifteen minutes of synthesizer improvisation by Ex-Coloseum II keyboardist Don Airey, resulting in a thumbs down from the audience. A little later an uninspired drum solo by Bob Rondinelli followed, with countless drum sticks flying into the hall. Rainbow couldn't interest. The audience seemed only to come for the old work, because songs like I Surrender and the title track of the last album Difficult To Cure were received quite coldly. Only the light show deserves some appreciation, because it was very impressive.

Hans Piët, Binnenhof - June 15, 1981

Ahoy Hall, Rotterdam, The Netherlands - June 13, 1981

Sophisticated hard rock show from Rainbow

The two personnel changes have done the hard rock formation Rainbow well. The English group around guitar virtuoso Ritchie Blackmore made a much better impression in a new set-up Saturday evening in an Ahoy filled with more than 6000 fans than on the previous visit a year ago. As can be heard on the latest Rainbow album "Difficult to cure", absolute leader Blackmore has coped well with the loss of old-timers drummer, Cozy Powell and singer Graham Bonnet by appointing competent replacements.

The arrival of Bob Rondinelli behind the drums and Joe Lynn Turner as singer has clearly given new inspiration to the remaining core, next to ex-Deep Purple front man Blackmore consisting of bassist Roger Glover and keyboard player Don Airey. Enthusiasm radiated from the performance. It goes without saying that the two newcomers in particular did their very best. So plenty of effort, sophisticated show effects galore, but few surprises as far as the musical bite is concerned.

The intro ("Land of hope and glory", "Somewhere over the rainbow" on tape) was the same as last time, the climax was as usual the breaking of his guitar by the Great Master himself. In between, the most recent album included "I surrender" and the title song "Difficult to cure, inspired by Beethoven's Ninth. A surprise was the Deep Purple medley (" Smoke on the water, "Lazy", "Woman from Tokyo ") after the first encore "All night long".

In the opening act, the young group Def Leppard fully lived up to their already built-up fame of "Deep Purple of the eighties".

Louis du Moulin, Het Vrije Volk - June 15, 1981

Theatre de Plein Air du Parc Expo, Colmar, France - June 21, 1981

Like me, everything has not aged very well! moreover, a personal resentment with the master! let me explain .. June 21, 1981, Colmar, my very first concert .. Rainbow, tour "Difficult to cure"; an excellent pre-group, I'll come back to it later and the Man in Black .. 10 minutes of concert! and a "Fuck offf Colmar!"

Reason? a crate of tomatoes thrown on stage .. while the excavations at the entrance were very strict at the time! Ten years later, I met, through a job on the site itself, with the "thrower" of tomatoes! 500 francs to do it?!? ; nice sum! the ticket at the time was worth 30 francs! This story is true! the guy in question was chief of staff of the "wine fair" during long time and responsible for the site during the other concerts ...

Concerning "Difficult to Cure", it is from this disc, (I do not criticize the compositions), that I can not get used to it anymore, to get used to what? AU SOUND !!! This is not a personal revenge at the time I continued to buy the group records), but about the sound of the 80s .. I think Rainbow really suffered! The satisfaction of my first concert, was the support-act, very little known at the time, which for nearly an hour played their show! a certain Def Leppard!!

Jean-Marc Gaebele
on Amazon France

Theatre de Plein Air du Parc Expo, Colmar, France - June 21, 1981

I was at the 1981 show in Colmar (21/06/81), front row, in front Ritchie. The oranges did not come from the audience but from the big pit in front the stage. This pit was dark, but I saw the man who threw the fruit on the stage. Look in the article (from a French newspaper), Joe was alone on stage. And it is easy to guess who was able to make a joke to Joe Lynn Turner.

Jean-Marie Voisin
on Facebook

Estadio Roman Valero, Madrid, Spain - July 4, 1981

Rainbow in the Moscardó: an event

Three groups, three, scratching the dusk, first, and then the dark with claws of heavy metal. Two supports - UFO, substitutes for Scorpions in the package, and Def Leppard - and unconsecrated: Rainbow, the penultimate "rock" screening from the gutters of England, dotting the sparse pedicide of the Moscardó camp in Usera, a "neighborhood" landscape for sculpted music. In the cement "an event".

In a way, the concert on Saturday was undoubtedly one of the longest that is remembered: about six hours with delays and intermediate and one of the most abrupt, although this is a quality less measurable at the time of establishing a table of "records." Around ten o'clock - with only thirty minutes of delay - UFO opened the fire. They retired after having offered what was expected of them: an elementary rhythm and crush, correct execution and extremely poor in concept. Poor, but honorable, they managed, to use, without forgiving one, all the clichés of the genre, to calm the environment.

Afterwards, to cool it, Rainbow would arrive. Ritchie Blackmore and his boys waited at midnight to get on stage. In the meantime, the technicians of the troupe placed a string of firecrackers on the edge of the stage to make explosions during the first song. Everything worked according to the pre-seen: the firefly became smoke and threatening to do same with some clueless photographer who had not taken the precaution to be put to the ground. But the "mise enscene" offered yet another incentive. Braced by one of the "baffles", Blackmore plucked the cords of his guitar to deleite from the hard-working occupants of the first rows and, above all, to fulfill the rite before the cameras.

Then, once the apocalyptic "introit" was completed, Rainbow - Roger Glover (bass), Don Airey (keyboards), Ronnie James Dio (vocals) and Bob Rondinelli (drums), plus Ritchie Blackmore and his mythic guitar-started. Impotent power, the ex-guitarist of Deep Purple attacked with a theme of the last group's elepéconceived as a decatalogical species of his instrumental skills. Later he would pass the testimony to his keyboard player who, surely to fall sympathetically, explored with "Long live Spain" before moving on to a version of the "Himnoa la alegría" and, to top it all off, a Bach fugue that, in the absence of partitura, left sketched.

Glover, meanwhile, held the rhythm well with his bass and proved to be far less unfriendly than his Deep Purple companion. And both the singer and the drummer played well, the first, a beautiful voice for the half-beams type "I Surrender" and, the second, the wild energy that is rigor in these cases. However, his music, at least the one they did the Saturday, it was nothing. Blackmore affirms that his group has two faces: one intension and another technique. The one that was planted in the Moscardó field was the product of a de anti-natura cross between Supertramp and Deep Purple. It was, in the worst moments, irritating of pure fatua. The good ones, rather few, were those in which Ritchie Blackmore made use of the repertorio of the old times - "Long live rock and roll" and "Smoke on the water" - to round off an act that ended with the usual demolation of a derelict guitar - the "real" one was guarded lovingly - encaramado to one of the towers.

Then, showing a strange kindness, people started to march towards the street. It was one-thirty in the morning and it was beginning to be cold in the grassy rectangle. And Def Leppard? At that point no one seemed to care much if they read a part of what they had paid for the entrance. When someone went ahead to the microphone to announce that within twenty minutes the second opening group would appear on the scene, only a part - half, more or less, of the eight milasistentes decided to go back over their steps and stay. The promised twenty minutes became, as expected, three quarters of waiting time and, in the absence of another thing to do, began to form around a few bonfires. When members of the security service were deployed through the field to put out the fires, Def Leppard started the first song. Nobody made much difference to them and they corresponded with the same dose of enthusiasm. Half a minute later they left, nobody asked for an encore and nobody, therefore, needed to be granted it. The lights went on and the parade of the few who were inside started. Outside, in the midst of an utterly disproportionate display, more than a hundred policemen were watching a troop of drowsy youngsters.

Tomás Cuesta, ABC Madrid - July 7, 1981