Over The Rainbow
De Pul, Uden, The Netherlands October 24th
Over the Rainbow started early September a two month tour in Romania and Bulgaria. After these shows there were concerts in many cities in Russia for almost a month long. European countries like Turkey, Lithuania, Finland, Sweden, The Czech Republic, Italy, Greece and Germany were next on the tour dates list. Tonight they are in the Netherlands. After that the tour ends with concerts in Germany and Spain.
Dutch promoter Eternal Rock booked the band for an exclusive Dutch show at De Pul in Uden. So while Belgium and France for example have to do without a concert of this band, we are very happy with this show in the Netherlands. Fans are a bit disappointed at first because the show is planned in this small venue in the south of our country. But since the promoter works exclusively with this venue and another one in Kerkrade there's no possibility the show will take place anywhere else.
The venue in Kerkrade is even some 140 km further down to the south and close to the German and Belgium border. On November 27th Graham Bonnet & Alcatrazz will do a concert in this smaller venue called The Rocktemple. So tonight the fans have to travel to Uden. While most of the week it has been quite dull weather, today it seems to rain all day. Due to maintenance the route by public transport is down and many fans have to travel another longer route. An hour before the doors will be open already many fans are waiting in the drizzling rain.
Finally the doors get open and the fans enter the venue. The place is quite small but with a deep stage. There's also a balcony that isn't open yet. First we get the support act. It's SQY Rocking Team. A local band with musicians from the Netherlands and Belgium. They call their music 'hard-metal glam-rock'n'roll' with roots in the 70's and 80's. Many fans tonight have seen the band before as they were support for Deep Purple too when they played Amsterdam in 2006.
SQY Rocking Team has a hard time to get the audience interested. It looks like the crowd is here only for one band tonight and it's not SQY Rocking Team. Later on in their set after they play a nice version of Black Sabbath's "Never Say Die" a part of the crowd seems to get in a better mood. Singer Harald van Kruysdijk tell too often they are support for "Rainbow" tonight. Some fans get annoyed about the stupidity but the band continue with it. Harald tells that Joe Lynn Turner still is so good looking. A fan shout 'homo' (that's Dutch for 'gay'). After another Black Sabbath cover SQY get finally to the end of their set and let the audience sing and shout "Rainbow" in the last song. SQY is not bad, but tonight a bit out of place. I bet they should do an excellent job when they play a gig at a bikers festival.
The houselights go down at 21.45 hours and the intro tape with Cozy Powell's "Dance With The Devil" starts. It's a great tribute to the much loved Rainbow drummer who died in a carincident back in 1998. Paul Morris gets the show alive with the excellent keyboardintro to "Tarot Woman". It's the start for a two hour trip down to memory lane. The lights go on and we see Jürgen, Greg and Bobby on stage. Shortly followed by the man who got this all off the ground in the first place, Joe Lynn Turner in his black leather jacket and with sunglasses on.
"Tarot Woman" was meant to be a show opener by Ritchie Blackmore back in 1976. For some reason he was not satisfied with it during rehearsals and dropped it. Like he did with more songs. Well, tonight is gonna be proved different. As this evening, like on all those previous concerts this band has done, we get all those great songs including the ones the old man simply refused to play live.
Within a minute Over The Rainbow has set the place on fire. Some 500+ fans singing "Beware of a place, A smile of a pride shining face, I'll never return up to your love, Tarot Woman". Oh boy, this is were this audience have been waiting for many, many years. And now it's here on stage in the Pul in Uden they explode right from the start.
Joe Lynn Turner sounds a bit rough during the first few songs but he deals the "Ronnie" songs quite well. "Kill The King" is next. Another classic from the past that was the opener for most of the Dio era. Joe has some problems with the sound and does a short sound check inbetween songs. When the audience reacts he comes to the right conclusion: "this is a lively crowd". And they all eat out of his hand.
"Can't let you go" is a nice surprise so early in the set. Turner is in a good mood. He tells he love the wonderful smoking Netherlands, the beautiful people and the laws. It's a good point to come to Holland a lot more in the future.
He advices the crowd to spread the word they had a good time so the band can fulfill that promise. The fans get another change to sing along in the next song, "All Night Long". The song starts with a short jam.
The audience sings right from the start all the words to one of best loved sing-a-long Rainbow tracks. Greg and Paul join in too, while Joe leads the party. No, this is not the encore, this is only the 4th song tonight. What an superb atmosphere!
More songs are to follow that were an opener in the past. It shows the band rocks the place down with these hard hitting songs. So we get "Death Alley Driver", dedicated to all the bikers, and "Eyes of the World". Jürgen plays short the famous "Over The Rainbow" riff before they get into the first one. Paul Morris get time for a short solo before he goes into the majestic intro of "Eyes". Paul, who is often criticised as the weakest keyboardplayer in the history of Rainbow, does a fine job tonight. Even tough everyone would have loved to see the legendary Tony Carey tonight behind the keys, they have to admit Paul gives us a very good performance.
It's Jürgen who steals the show in "Eyes" with his solo that include a bit of "Still I'm Sad". The guitarplayer who looks really a lot like his dad doesn't have the class of his famous father yet. Then again who has? Jürgen fits excellent in this band. He stands on the left side of the stage, right for us fans and looks so very much like Ritchie. The difference though is Jürgen smiles a lot. He doesn't need the image of the mean moody bastard. Jürgen has fun and shows it. And he plays very well on his black Jackson guitar. He's more of a shredder. But sometimes he shows he inherited that special vibe like with the "Still I'm Sad" bit now.
After the song the crowd cheers Jürgen's name. It's time for some 90's stuff now. The great "Ariel" and "Wolf To The Moon" are done. This is the period where Paul Morris and Greg Smith were involved. Both take the whole show care of the background vocals.
Especially Greg sounds great, besides that he's an excellent bassplayer. And he enjoys himself too a lot by the looks of it. Smiling, joking, sticking his tongue out. It's all part of the proof he's having a good time.
"I Surrender" has a fine guitarsolo by Jürgen. "Man On The Silver Mountain" starts with a short jam. Another (this time vocal) jam starts "Jealous Lover", a song Joe wrote about his jealous gilfriend. And Bobby Rondinelli gets a solospot for his drumsolo.
We already were aware of it. Bobby is still one of the best rockdrummers around. It's great to witness him play live again. We see the wildman bashing the drums with his sticks but also for a part with his bare hands. Superb to see him go wild again. By the way where is the big gong tonight?
After Bobby's solo we're pleased with another classic track with "Stargazer". Joe sings this very well too. Time to do some more singing for the audience in "Long Live Rock'n'Roll". It's extremely hot in the packed place and so is the band tonight. But we have come to the end of the set. It's not the last song tonight as we're in for some more. Paul Morris gives us a fine intro, Jürgen return with a cream-white Stratocaster and we'll get "Gates of Babylon". Great performance, Joe sings the song excellent and Jürgen shines like his dad in his best days.
Another encore starts with "Since You Been Gone". It goes over in some more jamming. Greg pumps heavy on his bass, Paul joins in very nicely while Jürgen adds some riffs which runs into "Can't Happen Here". Actually it can happen here tonight. The band gives it all one more time till the end of the song. So this was it all? No, Joe tells "This is for special crowds only, and you are special". A cool intro is the start for "Spotlight Kid", different riff like a short jam with drums, bass and keyboards joining in. Over the Rainbow rocks the place down one more time. Joe points to Jürgen, he's the spotlight kid tonight. The band thanks the audience and it's finally over after two hours of sheer bliss.
Over The Rainbow has been on fire tonight. The enthusiasm of the band set the audience a light. Or was it the other way round? Anyhow this was a top notch concert. All the reservations some people had before the show have been changed into a very positive response. It seems everyone inside this venue has been impressed and we all had a really great time.
After some 15-30 minutes Paul Morris and Greg Smith return to the stage. Signing autographs, talking and joking to the fans, giving fans the opportunity to shoot photos together with them.
Bobby Rondinelli and Jürgen Blackmore join in the fun. They are all in a very good mood. After some time they leave the stage again.
Then a little later the last member of the band finally also has found his way back to the stage again. Joe Lynn Turner also signs autographs and more photos are taken.
Before, during and after the show we bump into many familiar faces. Some of these fans we haven't met in ages. So this is a good event in more than one way. Good news also as Jürgen tell they plan to go into the studio early next year and a new tour might follow shortly after that.
In the audience tonight are also fans from Bulgaria, France, Germany, Belgium, Japan and the U.K. When one of the Belgians shouted during the gig they should come to Belgium Joe reply they'll be back in February and then also do Belgium, the UK and France.
Jürgen ask Joe where Belgium is. It seems he doesn't know or is just pretending. Joe replied with a "Scheisse" (that's "shit" in German language) which brings a big smile on Jürgen's face. The chemistry in this band is excellent and all the members seems to be close friend. It has been just one hell of a party tonight.
So the future looks bright for Over The Rainbow. They seem to have won many fans from the past back on this long European Tour. The setlist was like a dream. Yes, sometimes dreams do come true. What more can we wish. Maybe they can add or replace some songs on the next tour for the JLT era classics "Street of Dreams" and "Stonecold". Maybe "Catch The Rainbow". And some new written songs if possible......
Kill the King
Can't Let You Go
Jam / All Night Long
Over The Rainbow / Death Alley Driver
Eyes of the World
Wolf To The Moon
Man on the Silver Mountain
Long Live Rock And Roll
Gates Of Babylon
Since You Been Gone
Jam / Canít Happen Here
Special Thanks to: Ludy (Eternal Rock) & Lisa Walker.
More Photos: part 1 - part 2 - part 3 - part 4 - part 5