Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow

Rock Fest - Hyvinkää, Finland   June 6, 2019

6.6.2019 DAY 1 – Rockfest @ Hyvinkää

The third edition of Rockfest promised bands like Rainbow, Slipknot, Disturbed, Def Leppard and many more. With great acts like these on their roster, it again was very hard to say no to the festival, even though the previous editions had been a bit of a struggle organization-wise. Third time's a charm, right? So, we packed our bags and decided to drive up to Hyvinkää to start our summer festival season at Rockfest.

It was then time for the hard rock classic Rainbow. The band had been to Helsinki the previous year, and we attended their show. Unfortunately, it was the only show in the tour where they didn't have the opportunity to play the encores. Was it because of Ritchie Blackmore's bad mood, was it because of the lack of time? No idea. But the not playing the encores ended up being an important factor in interacting with the audience.

A bit later than scheduled, and after fans shouting "Ritchie, we are waiting for you!" from the front row, the band finally made it to the stage on the tunes of "Land Of Hope And Glory/Over The Rainbow", and continued with the energetic "Spotlight Kid". During the first three songs while I was in the photo pit, it was clear that Ritchie Blackmore was having some issues with his in-ears. After throwing a small tantrum, the band continued with telling us that this night they plan on playing the encores, and Ritchie Blackmore was holding up a gigantic setlist to show us, I presume.

Ronnie Romero, is still a great choice as a lead singer. I previously said that he doesn't take too much of the attention, but it feels like after touring extensively that has changed a bit. He's running a lot more around the stage, he's more energetic and more interacting with the crowd, but still he doesn't steal the show from Ritchie Blackmore. Moreover, he can cover most of the songs, and he reaches a climax in songs like "Mistreated", and "Man On The Silver Mountain".

During "All Night Long" Blackmore - for a reason unknown to me, I was rather confused about the whole situation - suddenly wanted to switch his instruments with bass player Bob Nouveau. Nouveau encouraged us to sing along, because he can't play the guitar that well, he needs some help, but conjures out great riffs nonetheless, and Ritchie Blackmore plays the bass very well, which somehow was not a big surprise. "Stargazer" was next in line, after a funny interaction with an Argentinian fan on the front row, so the band, instead, played "Mirador de estrellas", which for me definitely was a highlight of the show. The band ended with "Long Live Rock 'n' Roll", and after a lot of cheering started a slightly slower version of "Burn", one of my all-time favorite DEEP PURPLE songs. The band disappeared from stage, and after a lot of shouting, clapping, RAINBOW returned for us because they did owe us "Smoke On The Water" after all from last time, and they played (at least to me) a very surprising refreshing rendition. What a great closing song to an outstanding setlist and great night.

The first night was deemed a success. Now a couple of words about the festival grounds, for those who attended the festival last night, not much has changed, but it did takes us a while to find the water points, something I personally find really important during a heatwave. Other than that the structure has remained the same, and it was less chaotic than last year, let's see what the next couple of days will have in store for us! I'm at least looking forward to the rest of the festival!

© Laureline Tilkin - Tuonela Magazine

Rainbow - Rockfest, Hyvinkää 06/06/2019

The great and awesome Rockfest of Hyvinkää was launched at a Thursday's concert, the brightest star was Ritchie Blackmore's new Rainbow. Sound Creditor Sami Lommi was present with cameras to capture the event. There was also a show of the Kingston Wall project that played as support for Rainbow.

Rockfest continues today with Slipknot, Amaranth, Don Huonai, Powerwolf, Enslaved and partners. Tomorrow, the day ends with Disturbed, and Sunday's grande finale puts the old good Kiss on stage. There will be pictures of the festival on the spot at a steady pace, and finally there will be a text-based report on the events of the festival. So stay tuned! Soundi is Rockfest's official partner.

© Saku Schildt - Soundi Finland
photo by Sami Lommi

Ritchie Blackmore reconciled sins of her previous visit to Hyvinkää, but the concert was still sadly groping

Few bands have played as important a role in the history of heavier rock music as the English Deep Purple. Of course, the lion's share of the glory of the orchestra's prestige falls on the greatest classics composer Ritchie Blackmore who has conjured up a number of iconic riffs and solos from her musical style. The man's accomplishments have also endured time, even to the extent that the younger generations take their first steps as six-language apostates at their pace to this day.

For many, the man's desires in both Purple and later figures still represent the best rock has ever offered. This is also associated with the aura of the rock mythical black knight surrounding the Lord, a kind of rock 'n' roll wand running on his own paths. Known as a golden-eyed man and a stubborn man, Blackmore adorned the heels of the stratocasters used by the high-heeled boots at the bottom of the concert, when their fingers had their backsides immediately after the luster of the ghost. A tricky personality, many said, but with the guitar just unabashed natural power.

When the disagreements over calibrating the Deep Purple musical compass grew insurmountable in the late 1970s, Blackmore founded Rainbow, where he was able to change musicians and choose recordable covars freely according to his own liking.

The band currently exists of keyboardist Jens Johansson, singer Ronnie Romero, bassist Bob Nouveau and drummer David Keith, is a direct continuation of the Elf members' unintentionally initiated exchange of background musicians, which was now in the midst of twenty years to breathe with the guitar virtuoso focus on the renaissance Blackmore's Night band. The concert on Thursday was already the second show of this Rainbow poppy in Finland a little over a year.

While the previous visit left a sour taste for Blackmore's appalling behavior and the gigantic decision of the gig (encore, apparently also partly to the surprise of the musicians themselves, without playing it all), this time the man seemed to have risen from his bed on the right foot - so often a man smiles at the smile of a smile.

The criticism that had been heard since the previous time had not been ignored, as Romero promised to present the encore from the very beginning of the concert. As a more solid guarantee, Blackmore was still carrying the stockpile on the stage just to show that that's where Smoke on the Water now really looks.

As for the performance itself, Blackmore stood close to the drums kit, leaving the audience entertained by the handsome singer Romero and always lamented by Nouveau. Changing the showman's gestures in the old days to focusing on the play tree is not a bad idea at all, if it really also improves the player's musical accuracy, but unfortunately, in this respect, he was still lousy. Even though Blackmore's play came to a hurry after the giggle struggle at the beginning of the gig, many of the men's scuffed solos were truncated and simplified versions of the original, and some parts of the man lamented without calling. The fastest riffs also had a fuss about the cleanliness and rhythm of the call.

Interestingly, Blackmore seemed to be released after a short time switching the instruments with Nouveau. At his bass neck, the man marched to the forefront of the stage and moved more wildly at the pace of music, perhaps throughout the evening.

If Maestro himself stumbled between themselves, a rhythm group of knowledgeable musicians liked the palette very well. Jens Johansson commanded his skippers exemplarily and it was a pleasure to follow David Keith's work. In spite of this, the impression of a routine throughput was hovering over the top of the concert, with the danger of finally compromising on the correct positions of the maestro fingers hitting the strat with the necessary accuracy and whistle on the rosette of his player.

Contrast to the energetic Peer Günt that opened the evening, and especially to the Kingston Wall band of the Von Hertzen brothers, Sami Kuoppamäki and Jukka Jyll, if not now massive, at least clear. While the latter creates a wholly sovereignly flattering surface of the sophisticated tunes created by Petri Wall, mixing Donna Summer, Motörhead and Jimi Hendrix smoothly, and keeping the audience in their clutches during that psychedelic journey, one cannot speak of a similar spirited spirit with the main character. Of course, the biggest hits were picked up by a moderately humiliated hurray of the middle-aged audience, but when the stage featured one of the all-time guitar heroes backed by the great orchestra, it missed something more.

The wizard was there, but the magic was missing.

© Anssi Eriksson - Soundi Finland
photo by Sami Lommi

Rainbow w/ Kingston Wall – Hyvinkään Lentokenttä 06.06.2019

Rockfest begins tomorrow, and in what appeared to be a straight-up money-grab, a fourth day was added to the event… which was not included in the ticket price. Nevertheless, those who had missed out on the Von Hertzen Brothers/Kingston Wall shows, or those who missed out on Rainbow recently, had a new opportunity to see both, alongside Peer Günt on June 6th, 2019, at the Hyvinkää airport in a pre-Rockfest event!

Then it was time for Rainbow. Everyone should know Ritchie Blackmore, if not from Rainbow then from Deep Purple, and everyone knows he's a sort of… let's call it temperamental artistic sort. As well, the show from Helsinki last year had a lot of problems, so this was an opportunity for them to save some face.

Alongside Blackmore on stage were Ronnie Romero (vocals), Bob Nouveau (bass), Jens Johansson [whom the locals know of Stratovarius fame] (organ/keyboard), and David Keith (drums). As a bonus, Blackmore's wife and musical partner, Candice Night, was also present on backing vocals alongside another woman I didn't recognize.

To be perfectly honest, I had certain expectations from this show and they were all exceeded. Romero was a sort of fun, charismatic frontman, clearly a good vocalist but not so good that he'd overshadow Blackmore. He was the only one of the main band not in a renaissance tunic, looking a little out of place but also visually suiting the music a bit more than the tunic-clad minstrels around him. He spent a lot of time engaging the audience, joking about how they didn't do an encore last time and how the crowd was too quiet.

Perhaps the funniest moments of the show were when Blackmore was clearly getting riled up about something. I think already by the second song, something had pissed him off, and when Blackmore is not happy, he doesn't play. He later smokebombed right off stage for a good long while, leaving Johansson and Nouveau soloing and uncertain if/when he was returning. But! To his credit, every time he had one of these moments he came back playing better and looking happier.

The show itself wasn't flawless. Night and her partner were pretty much nonexistent in the mix, and the playing certainly wasn't perfect. But I can cut Blackmore some slack – the man's in his 70s after all. And every time the cameras did a close-up on his hands, it was mesmerizing.

The set had classics from not just Rainbow and Purple, but also some Russ Ballard songs. Really, they played all the classics like "Since You're Been Gone", "I Surrender", "Man on the Silver Mountain" ft. "Tokyo" by DP, "Perfect Strangers", and "Long Live Rock n' Roll." Romero was definitely at his best in the Dio songs and lucky for us, "Stargazers" was one of the best of the night. And lo and behold, they came back for an encore after Deep Purple's "Burn", and Blackmore himself introduced "Smoke on the Water", teasing the song by not starting with its classic riff until the vocals had already begun.

Ultimately, I thoroughly enjoyed myself yesterday! Kingston Wall was outstanding, and while Rainbow wasn't perfect, they delivered on every point that mattered (at least to me). While this wasn't an official Rockfest day, I'm nevertheless pretty amped up for the rest of the weekend! \m/

© Amy W - Musicalypse
Photo: Janne Puronen

Heavy nostalgia

Rockfest 06/06/2019 - Hyvinkää Airport

Hyvinkää Airport is bathed in the sun. The Rainbow-shaggy humpback wanders toward the main stage, where Peer Günt, the Kouvola hard-rollers, runs off. The singer-guitarist T. Nikki is still the number one player in “Suomen Motörhead”, but the kossuboogie rolls. The current Gyntti-trion drummer and bassist are hosts of a much younger rock game. They are doing their job to keep the tradition of the band that created their career in the 1980s for the future generation of rocks.

Tradition is supposed to be done tonight. It is difficult to celebrate with the power of drinks at Rockfest, even though there are not enough queues at the outlets. In a big technological development, the festival has focused its cash flow on the download base, so as traditionally the audience subscribes to the vertical bars, it is now waiting for an empty look at the charging roll. Selection too. Stays at least better with the bats and the cranberries in the pocket.

At first glance, the Rockfest 2019 release seems strange, but in reality all three Aktia are combined in three ways.

One. In their own way, all the acts of the evening are bands of band: Peer Günti has one original member, Kingston Wall's singer-guitarist Petri Walli is in the heavenly band, and Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow does not feature any of the band's singers, even the singers, who have recorded the maestro's hits.

Two. Kingston Wall by JJylli, Kuoppis & Von Hertzen Brothers performed a small part of Motörhead's Ace of Spades. Not at all as a cheerleader for T. Nik's trion or Rockfest audition, but as a rogue attack on Petri Wall and his youth band Backlin, whose second guitarist was Kie Von Hertzen, who also started his career as a player. Backline performed and even recorded Ace of Spades, and reportedly, Petri Walli greatly appreciated Motörhead's tremendous trio expression, which was later starred in Kingston Wall's trio.

Three. According to the oral tradition, teenagers, Kie Von Hertzen and Petri Walli, often trained two times and shared the vocals of their favorite callers, including guitarist Ritchie Blackmore's Deep Purple. According to some claims, Kingston Wall's "oriental" songs would have been inspired by Deep Purple's eastern tracks, and not only by the Finnish folk musician Pioneer's Drawn.

In Hyvinkää's Rockfest, Kie Von Hertzen guided with the skill and devotion of Andri Hear You Call composed by Petri Wall. Petri Walli used the Gibson's Les Paul, but Kie Von Hertzen favors Fender's Stratocaster. The same guitar model is the classic choice of Ritchie Blackmore.

Kingston Wall by JJylli, Kuoppis & Von Hertzen Brothers played a "festival gig" in Hyvinkää, a much more intense event than this winter in concerts in major Finnish cities. The tight outdoor kit of KW / VHB featured Kingston Wall's best-known songs, humor and great joy of playing. Sol-en, the sun was the light and energy bay.

Blackmore's Rainbow initially appeared to be a heavyrock parody, but fortunately Chilean Ronnie Romero was the right showman and interpreted the bravery of all the Rainbow singers perfectly. Even the trademarks of Ronnie James Dion, such as the diabolical bruising of 'fire'. Maestro Blackmore is approaching the age of 80, but he wasn't real. At least now. The outfit was medieval, with a belt hanging under beer belt and even taking several steps on the stage. The guitar strap was high, the fingers struck.

Rainbow's second champion was keyboardist Jens Johannson. This middle-aged Swede has played traditionally abundant in both Ynwie Malmsteen's Rising Forces, Dio and Timo Tolk's early and current Stratovarius. Modern legends tell that when the phone rang it was recently Ritchie Blackmore, Johansson didn't say no. Although Johansson's cv is handsome, he is also the caller. Externally, soon as Tarot's The Hermit Johansson discovered the old power alongside Blackmore, both Long Live Rock and Roll and the sweaty Smoke on the Water.

© Viljami Puustinen - Rumba Finland

Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow (Hyvinkää, Finland) – 6/6/2019

The biggest rock and metal festival of Finland, Rockfest, decided to have a 3 day event instead of the 4 days of last year’s edition. But they apparently still felt like having 4 days in a row of rock music, so they decided to put a rock show up on the Thursday evening before the official Rockfest madness kicked off. We went down to the festival grounds to catch the rather legendary Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow, with support from Kingston Wall and Peer Günt. This is how things went down...

Headliner of this “pre-festival show” was obvious Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow. For those who have no clue about who we’re speaking about (under what rock are you living though?), Ritchie Blackmore is the one of the founding members of a little band called Deep Purple. Rainbow is the solo band founded by this guitar legend. A rock supergroup with a revolving line-up with in the very beginning one of metal’s best vocalists ever, Ronnie James Dio. Ritchie is the lord and master of what happens with the band and the only consistent member of Rainbow.

After that very brief lesson in music history, you may wonder how the show actually was like now. Of course it was a solid rock show with plenty of guitar licks and solos and classic songs from both Rainbow and Deep Purple. Ritchie was more often than not completely absorbed by his guitar and the rest of the band followed suit in quality and effort. He was however also the only one on stage who didn’t seem to enjoy being on the stage that much. Everyone seemed excited to be playing, especially vocalist Ronnie Romero put quite some action into the whole performance. And the 2 lovely backing vocal ladies had the party of their lives somewhere more in the back of the stage.

Besides Ritchie seemingly being cranky the whole time, there was only one remark I have to bring up. Even though Romero does a damn good job in the vocal department, every time they did a song originally sung by Dio, I couldn’t help but imagining the soaring vocals and felt that it was lacking something with their present vocalist however close he got to the original sound. But hey, it’s Dio we’re talking about here… he’s simply irreplaceable. So keep doing what you’re doing and rock on!

© Vaim - Grimm Finland