Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow

Sweden Rock Festival - Sölvesborg   June 8, 2019

Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow on Sweden Rock

Theoretically, the constellation Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow has all the makings to end the festival with a success. But in practice. The meeting with the festival audience is a reserved affair – which, however, is drawing to the end.

Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow

Location: Festival Stage. Audience: 30,000 – in round throws. But many people leave the festival grounds during the performance. Length: just over 90 minutes. Best: The end. From "the whole night" it is really, very good. Extra Plus on the sidelines because they had a good habit of playing pretty early in the evening – more like that! The Worst: Basically everything before "All night long", with particular emphasis on all uuutdrawn solos.

"I'm not a guy who likes jamming and having fun, music is very serious." The Guardian's two-year interview quote basically says all about Ritchie Blackmore. The man, the myth and the hard legend look serious in the Festival stage. Alternatively, extraordinarily bored or fly cursed - it can be anything.

The guitarist and songwriter, as we know, have as much charisma and charisma as a pair of wet rubber boots. And for the most part, he looks to play in his sleep. Despite the fact that Nanne Grönwall himself stands and hugs the rattle fence, which the large-screen displays notice several times. And despite that, he has the great advantage of picking the raisins from Rainbows and Deep Purples' respective song treasures along with a motley crowd of musicians.

Calling the constellation of Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow is of course also misleading. The life rep is stretching far beyond the breathtaking debut album Rainbow's delightful debut album. But let's go for Ritchie Blackmore's Deep Purple Rainbow had become too long a band name.

Missing Dio

But a more factually correct band name had however, not saved the first half of the gig. The energy is painfully low key and cruel. And if I'm not mistaken, Blackmore's fingers happen to slip on the guitar strings already in the initial "Spotlight kid". Oops.

It is also sparse in the public sea and many leave the festival area as well. In fact, I have never seen such a subdued audience in front of a headline act on Sweden Rock. Missing after Ronnie James Dio is also heartbreaking. Especially under "Stargazer", which is the world's best song - all categories.

But the gig has, after all, its moments. The galloping main punishment in "Perfect strangers" floats on like a dream. And the song star shot Ronnie Romero possesses a god-worshiped voice. But unfortunately also a bland stage personality.

It is also painfully obvious that Sweden Rock's audience has no relation whatsoever to the Chilean concealment. Romero bravely fights to win the audience's favor and love. For example, by trying to speak Swedish ("I can Sweden"). Turns on at the end. After many though and yet he succeeds.

It requires hormone therapy "All night long" so that everyone involved should light up properly. Unfortunately, the route until then is a disappointment to pancake-like proportions. But in the end, it takes speed. "Long live rock" n "roll", "Burn" and extra number "Smoke on the water" are performed with a much-needed damn embrace - and received with an equally enthusiastic response.

It's a pity that the atmosphere wasn't like this from the start. Then we had been able to talk about a successful festival ending. But better late than never, I guess...

© Sofia Bergström - Aftonbladet
Photo: Rickard Nilsson

Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow - A sleeping pill

I am so terribly sad when a magnificent song treasure, managed by exquisite musicians, becomes a boring event entirely in the absence of life and joy. I really love almost everything created by tonight's protagonist Ritchie Blackmore. Deep Purple are ancestors of modern hard rock and it is possible to stack classics on high an entire afternoon. With Rainbow, further steps were taken in the creation of classics and another afternoon can be filled with songs from that repertoire. Even Blackmore's Night can offer a long evening with great songs. And so it gets so breathless and pointless.

It is really a collection of fantastic musicians on stage and Blackmore has got hold of an incredibly good singer who can carry these songs from the 70s and 80s to the present day. But it is wasted on unsafe middle-talk and really traditional instrumental parties that nobody gets happier about. I get the feeling that everyone on stage is so excited by the legend on stage, that they themselves become part of the audience. It's so sad to witness. Many also chose to look away, go home, do something else. It is not often you see so many walking towards the exit while the main attraction is playing. The last thing that happened was when Whitesnake crashed a few years ago.

This performance could have been carried out in the afternoon while people were chilling in the grass. It would have been more dignified. Now it is unfortunately just embarrassing. And then all the songs are good, fantastic pieces of music history that are performed with style and perfection. I do not understand how it is possible to fail when you have this material to work with.

Hope those who stayed there also lingered when the magnificent Myrath jumped in and replaced late canceled Behemoth as a nightly gig. Then maybe the evening was saved anyway.

© Erik Åman Laakso - Kulturmagasinet Kulturbloggen
Photo: Maria Laakso Åman

Invincible rock classics at Sweden Rock's final evening

It looks like a thought that Ritchie Blackmore and his Rainbow will be honored to set the spot on the biggest stage for this year's festival. We have had a Sweden Rock year that can be summed up with the same support words that can also be applied to the live band Rainbow: Safe. Traditionally. And a little boring.

During the festival's last day, I see Phil Mogg deservingly putting his hat on the shelf after 50 years in UFO's service. I see Saxon doing his thing, I see Hammerfall charming a giant audience. But besides a complete freak party with the plover Green Jellÿ, most of the things I see are expected.

Which takes us back to Rainbow.

Blackmore belongs to the harder rock's perhaps five most important guitarists. A heavy stylist whose rifle from Rainbow and of course Deep Purple has ensured that the British guitarist's musical DNA is imprinted in all festival visitors here, regardless of age. And Rainbow is a given building block in the foundation of the hard rock.

As a legend, Blackmore is thus invincible. As a band leader in Blekinge, he seems quite uninterested.

In stringed leather boots, the British look like he has walked in directly from the forest. He works with small means on the stratocaster, does not want to be at the center. Chilean Ronnie Romero goes into power when he finds the very high notes but is no Ian Gillan in "Perfect Strangers" and of course no Ronnie James Dio in "Man on the Silver Mountain". He is not a charismatic frontman either. The screen display seems to be too small for generic projections. This would have been perfect in the afternoon sun. Not as closing act. Everything feels a little fresh.

So what will I remember from this year's edition of Sweden Rock? Guaranteed Slayer's powerful farewell night to Friday. Possibly Kiss bombs and Def Leppard's hit machine. And the amazing weather, of course. I've probably forgotten a little gig with Rainbow already next year.


Richie Blackmore's Rainbow
Sweden Rock, Norje
Audience: Maybe 15,000.
Who: British hard rock band founded by guitarist Ritchie Blackmore in 1975 after leaving Deep Purple for the first time. Considered an important cog in the construction of heavy metal. In the beginning, Ronnie James Dio was a singer, today Chilean Ronnie Romero sings in the quintet. On keyboards is Swedish Jens Johansson.
What: Debut on Sweden Rock for Blackmore's legendary band.

© Anders Dahlbom - Expressen, Sweden