Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow

Genting Arena, Birmingham, UK   June 25, 2016

The lights dimmed and blue spotlights lit the stage, before
Judy Garland’s voice announced: “We must be over the rainbow.”

Over them we most certainly are not - and, with the help of the incredible Ronnie Romero on vocals, guitar superstar Ritchie Blackmore and his band cast fans back to the seventies with huge hits from Rainbow and Deep Purple.

The show - which was, in fact, the group’s only UK date on their current tour - was kicked off with 1972 high-energy Deep Purple hit Highway Star. And, with thrilling, gritty riffs, hefty drum and bass, and phenomenally strong, wide-ranging vocals, the tone for the night was set.

Fans were on their feet from the get-go, singing along to every word, banging their heads and throwing their arms in the air at every opportunity.

In my view, Ronnie James Dio - who tragically died back in 2010 - was one of rock’s greatest voices. But young Ronnie Romero truly did the metal idol justice last night, with his jaw-dropping thunderous vocals and a great energy, which soon saw the crowd in the palm of his hand.

And, though Ritchie is now 71, his guitar skills were incredible throughout - with powerful, intricate solos and heavy metal riffs punctuating the thrilling two-hour set.

Powerful renditions of huge hits came thick and fast; the band performing with impressive professionalism throughout - with Since You’ve Been Gone and Perfect Strangers being particular highlights.

Man on the Silver Mountain, Long Live Rock ‘N’ Roll, Burn and Catch The Rainbow followed, before the show was ended with all-time rock classic Smoke On The Water.

A phenomenal show from start to end - and one fans can only hope they will have the chance to see again soon.

© Kirsten Rawlins - Native Monster