European Tour 1982

Jäähalli Ice Hall, Oulu, Finland - November 2, 1982

Rainbow doesn't dig cameras

Rainbow is on the top of their popularity and "the hottest name in the heavy metal world" and as such, can ask high ticket prices and also lavish arrangements for their gig. The band sent a list of their demands for the arrangements, including that they wanted to be picked up from the airport by four limousines. Well, this particular problem will be solved with two long taxi cars but they have to remove the taxi signs first.

No cameras allowed: the concert goers will be subject to tight security check, no recording equipment or cameras of any kind are allowed and if somebody tries to bring one, it will be confiscated immediately. "It's a demand from the band."

Cheap Trick was supposed to be the support act but their latest album hit the top of the US charts and they did a "Halpa Temppu" (literal translation of Cheap Trick); a cheap trick for Oulu and stayed in America. Girlschool, a female heavy metal band, will replace them.

Local band called Luther was supposed to perform too but because they are not allowed to use Rainbow's sound equipment although they were first promised so.

4500 tickets are already sold for the Rainbow concert, a few hundred are left. Doors open 6 pm, music starts an hour later and ends around midnight.

© preview article in Oulu-lehti newspaper - October 20, 1982
Thanks to Katja Pietilä of the Oulu City Main Library

Jäähalli Ice Hall, Oulu, Finland - November 2, 1982

Heavy metal beats to the rhythm of the heart

The doors were scheduled to open 6 pm, and indeed that's when they opened: one door! There was 5000 heavy metal fans competing for the first entry and "you can guess what happens then: full chaos". There was pushing and showing and sweat and the door frame held but everybody's nerves did not. "But as soon as you were in the hall after the security check, you didn't remember the chaos at all anymore".

Girlschool was equal to four thread-like London squirrels. They has little power at all. It is clear that Girlschool did not much reaction of the audience. The songs of the band did not separate. All songs and band performances were one and the same from beginning to end. When Girlschool is off the stage it gets more interesting and we get the main course. First of all, the loudspeakers play the classic Over the Rainbow. Then comes the pompous Elgar's "Pomp and Circumstance".

Lots of "smoke and explosions" and finally Rainbow. Ritchie Blackmore on guitar, Roger Glover on bass. Joe Lynn Turner, drummer Bobby Rondinelli as well as the newest member of the band, David Rosenthal, on keyboards. For one and a half hours of heavy metal from the top of the world. Gig starts with "Spotlight Kid". From the band's most recent album, "Straight Between The Eyes", we see a pair of eyes from glass appearing behind the band. Eyes of light are coming out, the eyes swept through the view of the killer.

Third song is the expected "I Surrender" and the crowd gets wild, dancing and singing. Well, the ones on the open floor do, the people in the seats sit their butts glued to the seat. "Absolutely no standing if you have ticket to the seat stalls!" had been announced before the concert.

"Can't Happen Here", "Stone Cold", "Power", the hits follow each other. And the decibels rumble. Heavy, however, is not just a matter of only decibels. Heavy can also be sensitive and touching beautiful. "Tearing Out My Heart" silences the audience. Ritchie Blackmore, the Rainbow Leader, shows his skills with guitar. He handles his guitar so that it feels like all its six strings were crying and complaining.

The drummer is only real "show man", plays without drumsticks, Joe Lynn Turner is getting the crowd to sing and clap along with him. After the drum solo the band leaves the stage and crowd demands an encore. First no one comes back, just the instrumental song "Veilleicht das Nächste Zeit" comes out of the speakers. The guitar solo comes from the wind. Only the most attentive listeners will notice that the guitar that resonates with echo differs from the tape. Lights are out. And the heavy audience is nervous.

When the blue-green light beam sweeps over the stage. The crowd now notice that Blackmore has not left the stage. The man is still on the other side of the stage and plays the end of song together with the tape. The band is punched back and plays the encore Deep Purple's "Smoke on the Water". After that Rainbow accepts the applause and leaves the stage. The crowd requires the band once more on stage. But will the band return once more?

Fifteen minutes later and crowd is unsure if the concert was finished or not. Some people try to clap for more, others are already leaving. Oh you hillbillies... I'm sure another encore would've been possible yet. An final encore would certainly have been successful.

© Katja Hedberg - Oulu-lehti November 8th, 1982 / Photo: Jorma Mylly
Thanks to Katja Pietilä of the Oulu City Main Library

Jäähalli Ice Hall, Oulu, Finland - November 2, 1982

Completed in 1975, the Oulu ice rink adapted to the stage of large rock concerts. The hall was the only indoor space in the city that accommodated thousands of audiences.

In the early 1980s, a spectacular set of hard international rock names appeared in the hall. In August 1982, the British hard rock band Rainbow was rumored. The second band was designed by American Cheap Trick, but was awarded to the English Girlschool. The organization of the exceptionally big event was handled by the Kuusrock Committee. Rainbow performed at the Oulu Ice Hall on November 2, 1982. The concert was a total success. The guitarist-boss Blackmore and his associates froze 5000 listeners in the ice rink. Recent hits such as "I Surrender" and "Stone cold" sound strongly, and in the encore the band performed Deep Purple's "Smoke on the Water".

© Rockin' Oulu / Photo: Markku Hänninen

Johanneshov Isstadion, Stockholm, Sweden - November 6, 1982

Live in Germany - November 1982

This is how Ritchie dazzle his fans

The big hands of the clock points at 21.30. The light goes out in the hall. Total eclipse. From the oversized boxes on the left and right of the stage rumbles the bombastic theme song of the movie "land of Hope and Glory", with Judy Garland's famous phrase "we must be over the Rainbow, Rainbow". In this enhanced echo "Rainbow, Rainbow" suddenly explode bombs magnesium and Ritchie Blackmore's first riffs of "Spotlight Kid" at launching 90 minutes of "hard rock at it's best."

Gigantic voluminous light show, where under the Keyboarder David Rosenthal, bassist Roger Glover (with Basthut), singer Joe Lynn Turner, Bobby Rondinelli curls behind his drum castle and superstar Ritchie Blackmore (as always in black) start to rock. As the song explodes into it's chorus, suddenly from the back of the stage appear two giant eyeballs and indirectly lit up, over the heads of the musicians to come to a standstill. Then suddenly from the two pupils dazzling light break and cut through the central hall as blinding flashes.

The fans are blinded by it moving through the crowd looking for "spotlight eyes". The effect is really new and amazing. But that quickly gives way to breathless amazement and a thunderous applause. Abruptly the song ends, and the eyes disappear as quickly as they came. Without interruption, it changes into "Miss Mistreated".

Joe Lynn Turner, cries the soul out of his body, Roger Glover rocks in perfect harmony with the powerful forward flailing Bobbi Rondinelli. For the first time now Ritchie leaves his backline (twice by three stacked boxes Marshall) and plays his very own Blackmore style - a blend of melodic harmonies and rhythmic riffs - on the famous white Fender Stratocaster before the drum stage.

"I Surrender" begins with bluesy guitar sounds. Only then there is a short hello. "Can't Happen Here" explodes with magnesium flash just before Ritchie's solo. The ballad-like "Tearing Out My Heart" pushes the stage in red light. Impressively Joe Lynn Turner sings this story of an unhappy love. The usually cool-looking "guitar wizard" Ritchie Blackmore shows himself for the first time from another angel.

He rushes to the edge of the stage, throwing himself down and plays while lying on stage. Something rarely seen by the ex-Deep Purple Maestro! Then like the "Speed of Light" a limited version of the Purple-Oldie "lazy", and the band rises fully into "All Night Long". Here once again: Joe Lynn Turner, the New York girlish figure with the narrow and the gentle strokes, has a really incredible powerful set of pipes. The soft organ tones of the classic "Child in Time" ends in the Rainbow hit "Stone Cold".

At the start of "Power" keyboardist David Rosenthal brings a solo that has much of the spacy synthesizer sounds of Spielberg's, "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" and he shows in the middle of the song some counterplay with Blackmore, what he has in the fingers. The classic epic "Beethoven's 9th" in a 20-minute super-long version on "Difficult to Cure" is the culmination of Rainbows "Straight between the Eyes" show.

After Rogers bass solo and David's keyboard extravaganza Ritchie is the center of the action. He grabs a beer bottle, opens it, runs along the edge of the stage, the fans get the content over their heads spilt and with the empty bottle "bottleneck", he rubs the bottle slowly at the strings along.

Hendrix the oldie "Hey Joe" finally makes the intro to "Long Live Rock'n'Roll" - the mysterious eyes come back one more time - and the show is over. "Zugabe!Zugabe!" is demanded by the fans, and the stars return quickly. "Maybe next time" comes from tape, Ritchie sneaks up on stage and continue "live" through the playback.

In "Since you've been gone", he then brings the total show. Unnoticed by the fans, Ritchie briefly dipped below the dark edge of the stage, there he exchanged his "good" Strat quickly around against a prepared guitar and steps again in the spotlight. He immediately pulls the "wrong" guitar from his body, throws it into the air, catches it on again and then thrashes the instrument with all his might on the ground. Whining sounds cascades.

But that's not all: Ritchie takes the guitar again, swinging it over his head and kill it directly in his amplifier speakers. They immediately begin to burn. The sad remains of the "Strat" then he throws in the fans that are reflected immediately to the "original Blackmore guitar". Within seconds, but Blackmore has his old "guitar" again, and together with the band, there is to conclude a medley of "Smoke on the Water", "Man on the Silver Mountain" and "Catch the Rainbow".

German Press - November 1982

Neunkirchen Hemmerleinhalle, Nürnberg, Germany - November 13, 1982

Sometimes hard 'n'heavy, sometimes more gentle and quiet - the passionate got quite different things. Concert goers with a wide musical area of interest in commanded the last few weeks.

For example a Mr. Blackmore with company, also known as Rainbow. In a packed full Hemmerleinhalle in Neunkirchen turned out the two English men Blackmore and Glover and their three American colleagues as veterans in the heavy rock league. Old familiar material was presented to the fans, loosened up by a a few bits from the new album; routinely and skillfully, as you can tell from this perfection playing quintet. Also if some things are already a bit old and seemed frozen in routine, the two above mentioned gentlemen now and then sometimes spontaneity and free rein and let with the joy of the live performance. Roger Glover previously to the concert mentioned in an interview it is a supporting element by Rainbow.

And they had some of their "Fans" that evening almost arrested: Several burning sparklers flew onto the stage; then the many spotlights went out, the band left the stage, and the music that goes through the hall came off the tape.

Only after an urgent request to the audience, such to refrain from a concert to prevent breakage came Blackmore & Co. back on the stage to then trouble-free and energetic to finish the set. If Ritchie would not have been on this one evening in a good mood he probably would not have come back, and that wouldn't have been the first time.

(Still) fresh and unused presented by the rock business the four ladies from Girlschool. Their rousing hard rock was full of energy live, even if their "technical" skills were unfortunately lost in the mushy sound. The usual suffering of a supporting act. But at least one could guess that they were at least as much like many of their male colleagues - the grateful reaction from the audience indicated also point out.

Georg Roth, Muzik Szene - January 1983

Ahoy Hall, Rotterdam, The Netherlands - November 16, 1982

Half a rainbow

It has become a new tradition for Rainbow to visit the Netherlands a few months after the release of an LP. Recently Ahoy was (again) packed to see Blackmore's formation at work. Girlschool was allowed to warm up for half an hour. They didn't get more airtime from uncle Ritchie. However, it was enough for the four girls to leave a great impression with the audience with Emergency and Race With The Devil (from The Gun).

As Judy Garland then took care of the kick-off for Rainbow (in the same line-up as on Straight Between The Eyes), they hit it hard with Spotlight Kid. The first 45 minutes of their performance were majestic. Except for All Night Long, only songs from the last two albums were played.

Highlights were Can't Happen Here and Tearin 'Out My Heart, the latter extra long with a heavy tempo slot. New were the two background singers Dee and Lynn who gave great support to Joe Lynn Turner's vocals, especially in Stone Cold. The second half of the concert was significantly less: endless solos in the context of Difficult To Cure. The level of the first half was only approached again in the first encore, in which, just like last year, Blackmore's guitar suffered during Smoke On The Water. It was a pity that he lost a lot of goodwill in the second encore and by going on in an unseemly jam session, in which from time to time A Light In The Black could be recognized. Suddenly I missed Cozy Powell terribly.

Koert Hoyng, Muziekkrant Oor - December 1, 1982

Ahoy Hall, Rotterdam, The Netherlands - November 16, 1982

Merciless Hardrock from Rainbow impresses despite many cliches

If there is a movement within pop music in which the word innovation is taboo, it is hard rock, which has maintained a musical status quo for many years. Just as unchanging, there are still hordes of people who take pleasure in running as hard as possible against this concrete wall. This also became clear last night during the concert that the English band Rainbow gave in a sold-out Ahoy Hall. Someone from the audience told me that this group is considered too soft by the die-hard 'headtbangers'. Nevertheless, there were countless tough guys in the hall who surrendered over their imaginary air guitars in order to achieve a mystical unity with guitar devil Ritchie Blackmore.

Roger Glover,and Blackmore, who founded the group in 1975, forms the core of Rainbow. Both were once part of Deep Purple, which has been leading Veronica's Top Hundred of All Times with the primal scream of Child out of Time since time immemorial. Since the LP Difficult to cure from 1981, Joe Lynn Turner has been responsible for the vocals. Yesterday's repertoire consisted of work from this and their most recent album Straight between the Eyes. When, after Land of Hope and Glory, which served as the overture, the group took the stage, the eyes that are on the cover of the latter LP descended monstrously enlarged from the ridge of the hall and searched the rows from the audience with spotlights at the place of the pupils. It may be imagination, but it seemed that the whites of the eyes became more and more bloodshot as the evening went on. Rainbow's music, which has distant roots in rhythm & blues and flower-power pop, was rock solid, despite the many cliches in its structure.

In songs like Miss mistreated and Power, the mercilessly thumping drums and bass, together with the demonic organ sounds of Rosenthal and the frenzied guitar playing of Blackmore, evoked the comic image of a column of motorcycles that broke loose from hell, driving the night to pieces. In addition, singer Lynn Turner even managed to provide Russ Ballard's I surrender with the necessary dramatic lyricism.

Unfortunately, towards the end the group threw in their own glasses by indulging in solo boasting during an embarrassing performance of Beethoven's Ninth. Alle Menschen werden Bruder, whether they like it or not. Long live rock'n'roll sounded rather hypocritical after that, because it is exactly that kind of antics that can kill this art form.

Roel Bentz van den Berg, NRC Handelsblad - November 17, 1982

Ahoy Hall, Rotterdam, The Netherlands - November 16, 1982

Rainbow lurking for fans

Rainbow, Ritchie Blackmore's hard rock group, can still surprise. Not musically, it turned out last night in an almost sold out Ahoy, but thanks to all kinds of instrumental feats; tricks that are still very popular with loyal fans.

"Straight between the eyes" is the title of the latest album of the seven-year-old formation of the guitar saint Blackmore who once broke through with Deep Purple. For that concert-defining message also huge eyes, which as agile spotlights were regularly focused on the hopping people in the hall. A successful (expensive) stunt, especially because the bawling did not take on a life of its own due to moderate use.

Nevertheless, a distraction maneuver, just like the long solos of the new keyboardist David Rosenthal and drummer Bobby Rondinelli who replaced Cozy Powell last year.

Those two ego trips meant that the spicy start (with the third song "I Surrender" the seven thousand-headed audience already reached the boiling point) lost much of its built-up tension. The encores series ("Weiss Heim", "Smoke on the water" and "Long live rock'n'roll") after that couldn't quite bring back, because songs performed were shortened and the Rainbow quintet. This tour enhanced with two inaudible backing singers, the fans kept waiting way too long in between.

Traditionally, Ritchie Blackmore smashed his guitar (of course a rickety copy of his Fender Stratocaster) to shreds at the end. This once again underlined the section of the experimental path that Rainbow has always avoided as much as possible. Because, despite Blackmore's sometimes (too) beautiful technique and aggressive execution by singer Joe Lynn Turner, a kind of singing "Conan the Barbarian", Rainbow remains a hard rock group that floats on its name and routine.

Louis du Moulin, Het Vrije Volk - November 17, 1982

Ahoy Hall, Rotterdam, The Netherlands - November 16, 1982

Flatten Rainbow

Is hard rock indeed only hard rock when it is played in such a way that the music sounds so very distorted and shrill that many of the musical gimmicks and jokes absolutely do not come across? If so, the Rainbow performing in Ahoy on Tuesday evening gave a 'successful' concert.

Rainbow's course has changed in no small way in the past year. While the concert of about a year and a half ago still contained a lot of symphonic intermezzi, here and there reminiscent of Rush, nowadays Rainbow seems to be moving more towards AC/DC and Motorhead, with all the consequences that entails.

After the taped 'Land of hope and glory' demanded all the attention of the audience that were pelting each other with beer cans, the group started the concert surrounded by a dense smoke screen and the necessary fireworks and with two large, brightly colored, light pouring eyes above them, which 'referred' to the title of Rainbow's latest LP, 'Straight between the eyes'.

However, these were the only surprising moments of an evening that was mainly dominated by monotony. The enormous lack of variety, which is not the strongest side of hard rock anyway, quickly broke up the group. Leader Blackmore - still not completely released from his Deep Purple past - was also unable to change that. His various solos were technically not so impressive that the almost hysterical reactions to them were justified.

The arrangements of many songs certainly contain some remarkable musical jokes, but due to the previously noted speed, these did not come out with a few exceptions.

The classic intro to 'Surrender' and 'The Floridan child in time' did not do enough in that respect. The addition of the two backing singers will undoubtedly have been decided in a state of complete perplexity, for they were not heard for a moment. Rainbow, which has long had the name, in addition to the form, but also to the content, has seriously neglected its task as far as the form is concerned. A bit more can certainly be expected from this group with its rich past than the cheap appeal to the most elementary thumps and stamping instincts of the fans.

Aernoud Oosterholt, Haagsche Courant - November 17, 1982

Ahoy Hall, Rotterdam, The Netherlands - November 16, 1982

In honor of a European tour, the American formation The Ritchie Blackmore Group, or Rainbow, landed for the second time in the same number of years in the Rotterdam Ahoy complex. Because Girlschool was unsuccessful with the Rush audience last year, they got a second chance by opening for Rainbow.

This time it was not much better, but one will probably think three times is the charm. (Which is not to be hoped). Perhaps they will do more justice to the support act of the Dolly Dots, because except for guitarist Kelly Johnson, the 'schoolgirls' have just as much musical class as the poppy dots. Denise Dufort was whacking like she was beating mats, new bassist Gil Weston often freaked out completely out of tune and when rhythm guitarist Kim McAuliffe didn't strike a deal, she shouted like a Coronation Street fishwife.

For the statists I can mention this: the more famous songs they played were: "Screaming blue murder", "Kick it down", "Hit and run", "Race with the devil", "Future flash", "Tush" , "Emergency" and "Take it all away". When a top group comes to the Netherlands again, it will be more fun when a less known band with more qualities acts as a support act! (A good example was Gamma with Foreigner last year).

When the "Land of hope and glory" echoed through the sports hall, we knew it was time for the aforementioned 'top act'. Judy Garland got lost once more and just like the year before, Rainbow opened with a guitar solo and the rocker "Spotlight kid". The performance was continued with "Miss mistreated", a long version of "I surrender", the instrumental Blues that is also on the live album 'On stage' and the fast "Can't happen here". Almost all subsequent songs were introduced and/or finished with some kind of solo (old Ritchie proved that he doesn't have to be written off). We got a beautiful performance of "Tearing out my heart" with a tempo acceleration, "All night long" started with a guitar solo. "Stone cold" with a keyboard solo in which the "Child in time" tune was included and "Power" started with a solo by both.

After an instrumental version of "Eyes of fire" prepared with Turkish chords, Rainbow took out Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, which was decorated with a bass- and a too long keyboard solo in the middle and a ripping guitar at the end - and an impressive drum solo (that Rondinelli now certainly belongs to the main class) and finished with the sing-along "Long live rock'n'roll", which contained a surprise in the form of the Hendrix classic "Hey Joe". The dessert consisted of respectively the instrumental piece "Vielleicht der nächste Zeit", the folk song "Rule Brittania" and a short performance of "Smoke on the water". Of course Ritchie had to come back for the predictable game of guitar stories and he did that with a solo that came from "Kill the King".

After a last piece of "Long live rock'n'roll" the over a hundred minute long concert was over and we could leave the hall singing along to Judy Garland's "Somewhere over the Rainbow". In summary, I can mention that although no songs from the first three albums were played and two ladies in the background were singing along, the concert was nevertheless successful due to the craftsmanship of the gentlemen musicians. The performance of the songs was much heavier than on the disappointing records, the sound itself was good and the stage act was beautiful again. (They had, among other things, two large eyes suspended from a metal construction, which spread light while rotating).

It is time for Rainbow to release a double live album again. (And maybe that will happen soon too). Initially I was going to do an interview with Roger Glover, but because I had to rely on public transport and had to catch my last train, I found our good friend Dick Stam who was willing to take over the interview for me.

Rob van der Veer, Aardschok - December 1982