Over The Rainbow

The Rock Temple, Kerkrade, The Netherlands    April 22nd, 2010

Over The Rainbow did a two month long European Tour last year. Now only half a year ago they are back in Europe. This time it's only a short 7 date run. Although they will return to Europe some more times this year. In June they will be doing some shows in Greece. A month later they will play gigs in Scandinavia.

This month brought them in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Belgium and The Netherlands. Over The Rainbow arrived in Europe just before the volcano in Iceland messed up flights all over Europe. The band used a German tour bus and had no problems to get in time to the cities they were going to play.

The last two shows of the tour are in the Netherlands. The country where they did last year a very successful gig in Uden. This time the shows are in Kerkrade and Zwolle. Tonight it's Kerkrade deep down in the south in the Rock Temple. Graham Bonnet played with Alcatrazz here last November. Now we return to this small but cozy venue.

After a long journey we arrive about half an hour before the doors go open. There are hardly any fans present yet. Slowly a few arrive, mostly from Germany and Belgium. Mind you Kerkrade is only a few miles away for these people from abroad. But when the show starts the place is packed.

There's no support act tonight, so we take our place in front of the stage right away. The stage is not big and it looks even a lot tinier than when Bonnet played here. That's due to the enormous drumstage of Bobby Rondinelli. It almost takes half the space of the stage.

At nine o'clock the tape with Cozy Powell's "Dance With The Devil" is started. We see in the dark the shadows of the Paul Morris and Bobby Rondinelli enter the stage. Paul starts the intro to "Tarot Woman". The lights go on and we see also Greg Smith, Jürgen Blackmore and Joe Lynn Turner on the small stage.

The sound in front of the stage is very loud, especially Bobby's drums. The members in the band seems to have a good time right away. Probably they are surprised by the small venue. Right after the opener Joe remarks that it is like playing a gig in his living room. Not that it is a problem, the band looks like they enjoying this as much as doing a show in a huge stadium.

The setlist is not much different than the one they did half a year ago in Uden. "Street in Dreams" is back in the setlist and the only song tonight that was not performed in Uden. "Can't Let You Go" is now in the second part of the set. Many fans regret "Gates of Babylon" is dropped out of the set. For the rest it is the same as the set on the last European Tour. Not that it is a problem, we get an excellent selection of the best Rainbow tracks. Still the fans were hoping for other Rainbow tracks or even new material by this line-up.

Then again when you get two hours of excellent Rainbow material you really can't complain. All Rainbow era's are included again. So whether it's the years Ronnie, Graham, Doogie or Joe Lynn himself were fronting the band it all is spend attention to. Joe Lynn Turner might lack the power of Bonnet, the mystical atmosphere by Dio or the rawkin' Scottish accent of White, Turner deliver all the songs quite well.

The mood in the band looks very good. Everyone seems to have a good time. Turner is shaking hands on the front row. Greg Smith smiles all the time. He's a great bassplayer and backing vocalist as well.

Bobby Rondinelli is kicking hell out of his kit. Sometimes a grumpy face, other times smiling and having fun. Bare fisted drumsolo like in the good old days. Paul Morris does a fine job too. One spotlight is just above his head. He must feel like a fry-up.

Jürgen stays most of the show quietly close to his amps. His solo spot is not long tonight. The next day we heard he was ill the last few days. Most striking is the fact that Jürgen is playing almost the whole show on a sunburst Fender Stratocaster. It make the songs sounds better than on the last tour. Only for "I Surrender" he switches to his white Jackson.

Over the Rainbow sounded pretty good on the last tour late last year. Now they sound even better. Much tighter and more experienced, even though they haven't performed any shows the last few months. All those superb songs we have heard so many times were on the set list including "Kill The King", "Street of Dreams", "All Night Long", "Eyes Of The World", "Ariel", "I Surrender", "Man On The Silver Mountain", "Jealous Lover" and "Stargazer".

Ofcourse they end the show with "Long Live Rock'n'Roll". It doesn't take too long before they return on stage. Another three songs are coming our way: "Since You Been Gone", "Can't Happen Here" and "Spotlight Kid". Then after just under two hours the show is over.

We've seen a band in this small venue that have been playing all those Rainbow classics very well. The members were all in a very good mood, only Jürgen seems to be a bit off color. Still sometimes he smiled when he communicated with the others in the band. JLT & co looked at each other during the first song like they were saying 'this is different, but let's have a party'. They have been playing big halls and stadiums last year but that's no reason to refuse to play an intimate show like this one.

So about 300 people had a very good time tonight. Singing along with all their favorite songs. I wonder how much the people in the back saw of the show. They definitely heard the songs well because it was very, very loud.

Special Thanks to: Ludy Wetzl (Eternal Rock / The Rock Temple)

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