Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow

Loreley Freilichtbühne, Sankt Goarshausen, Germany -   June 17, 2016

Comeback of two Hard'n'Heavy legends: The legendary festival and Ritchie
Blackmore's Rainbow! With Thin Lizzy and Manfred Mann's Earth Band.

Loreley (giu) - Ronnie James Dio had obviously not been able to tell a good argument somehwere above: While a rainbow that was rising shorthly before the show, on stage there was no rainbow after more than 20 years - nothing but a gloomy cloud over the already sopping Loreley discharged.

The Maestro was accompanied by his wife Candice Night onto the stage. She again disappeared quickly. Obviously, not the common tights music was on the program, but the popular songs that Ritchie Blackmore had shaken the world in the 1970s and 1980s.

Of course no members of his first band Deep Purple were on the stage. From the many former members of Rainbow also nobody. Keyboardist Jens Johansson (formerly Yngwie Malmsteen) and the rhythm section of Blackmore's Night, however, delivered a reliable musical background for the legendary Blackmore's solos.

The strong showing of Youtubers

It was revealed on Friday night but not quite up to par. Unlike singer Ronnie Romero, who already quickly stole with his powerful voice. Look-wise he reminded me more of George Michael, but already with the opener "Highway Star" it was clear: Candice Knight had found on Youtube exactly the right man - the singer of Spanish metal band Lords Of Black.

The Chilean managed the pieces, to sound like Ian Gillan ("Child In Time", "Perfect Strangers"), sometimes like David Coverdale ("Mistreated") and especially like Dio ("Man On The Silver Mountain", "Catch The Rainbow", "Stargazer", "Long Live Rock'n'Roll"). While Blackmore nobly restrained and at times hurted his Stratocaster, Romero heated and entertained the audience.

Thin Lizzy ensure a great atmosphere

A few hours earlier Thin Lizzy had opened the festival. While many of the fans stood still outside or tried to park their car in the mud or at a construction site on the threatening high flowing Rhine, they ensured despite the rain a good atmosphere. That no founding member stood on the stage, was not tragic, always the changing line-up for frontman Phil Lynott, of whom his alcohol and drug excesses in 1986 got fatal, played a subordinate role in the past.

The longest-serving member yet, guitarist Scott Gorham, offered much with Tom Hamilton (bass, Aerosmith) and Scott Travis (drums, Judas Priest) as guest stars. The latter had replaced Mikkey Dee (Motörhead) who had declined on a short notice. The American accent of singer Ricky Warwick however does not fit so well to the Irish roots of the band. Neither the final song "Whiskey In The Jar", the audience received it cheering, but it's known Lynott always hated it.

Behind the Keyboard Wall

Significantly quieter went Manfred Mann's Earth band who pulled a face like three rainy days - which meteorologically was not so wrong - and entrenched behind a wall keyboards. Sometimes too often he offered too long versions of his most famous pieces - not one of them from his pen, including three times "Davey's On The Road Again".

So at the end of the evening we had somehow the impression of having experienced three cover bands with legendary musicians. It was successful anyway. "Smoke On The Water" ended the evening of the festival, including fireworks. Lots of smoke, yes, but also many memories of the good old days. On Saturday Monsters Of Rock guested with the same line-up at the Viaduct in Bietigheim-Bissingen.

© Laut Germany / Photo: © Jochen Dreher
Original Review in German Language: click here