Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow

Rock The Coast Festival

Fuengirola, Málaga, Spain   June 15, 2019

Rainbow crowns an excellent first edition of Rock The Coast

The biggest name of this Rock The Coast 2019 was Rainbow with Ritchie Blackmore in the lead, but the offer can not be redirected to a concert like compelling other bands like Guns N 'Roses by contract. Between the end of Opeth and the first bars the Rainbow of Ritchie Blackmore, Tribulation acted and the castle, after Audience was very low.

This factor did not make a dent and the bolus of the band, which instead, a particular, very dark and somewhat macabre displayed their psychedelic style that characterizes them. It is difficult to classify a Tribulation with that mix of fate influences, a very atmospheric rock and other elements present and their music, but there is the factor that makes this formation special, which makes a few changes in its show and seconds to seconds. His latest work, "Abajo" (2018).

Leaving aside Opeth, The Darkness, Scorpions, Europe and all other artists as they have already finished playing the first edition of Rock The Coast, Rainbow was the cornerstone of the festival and on which the rest of the poster that has ended up being excellent. Luxurious power had been one of the only four dates of Ritchie Blackmore on European soil and 2019 has played very strongly in favor of the Fuengirola festival, which has lived an almost full field at nine o'clock, when Blackmore and his band came on stage.

Let's pass it with its habitual passivity, but from the first moment it has been seen in Blackmore until now and in the state of grace, far from the mediocre activities that were carried out and 2017, when this was the partial return to its rock roots. Was it because of sympathy with his vocalist Ronnie Romero and his obvious connection to our land? Can be. According to what the event promoter told us, Romero was an instrument and that Rainbow ended up playing on the festival and, without a doubt, the warmth that the audience have for the singer was almost the same as for Blackmore himself.

The band has come out with "Spotlight Kid" and has had an audience that has eaten out of his hand since the first second. The last concert that Blackmore put on in Spain was in 1997, is almost 22 years ago. Many have already abandoned all hope for the new voice of Candice Night. Today there was no room for half measures: although and sometimes Blackmore has been somewhat erratic on guitar, he has had energy and connection with the 15,000 people who filled and Marenostrum Castle Park of Fuengirola.

The interpretation of "I surrender" has been another critical moment of the night, returning us to the Rainbow of its most commercial era. But every time Ritchie pulled out a guitar riff the audience exploded. Everyone, each of them, are part of the history of rock in a very deep way, the case of the Rainbow or Deep Purple, which no one can contain.

So they have been playing happening versions of "battered" ("Since You Been Gone", "Man on the Silver Mountain" (with a piece improvised the "Woman of Tokyo"), "Perfect Strangers" and a huge "Black Night" that has led to the equator of the show after fifty minutes on stage, a spectacular scenario with the sea in the background and the night falling in. You can take into account the rock on the coast, but the attention to detail has been eliminated on the hat.

It was curious when, and the first time and Romero went to the public, what he did and Castilian releasing a "fuck, you win I had to say this." Also when Blackmore asked Romero about football between the song and the vocalist, he said that the best team in the area is the Málaga Soccer Club, although it has also been downloaded. A brief solo for drums and bass was included in "Difficult to Cure" and a rocker "All Night" that was recorded for us with one of the best moments of Graham Bonnet.

The big moment of the night - or one of them - has been a hypnotic interpretation of "Stargazer", where Ronnie Romero has earned a good salary. Powerful, technically perfect and with an insulting rank. His demeanor and gestures of Ronnie James Dio have served as a beautiful tribute to the vocalist, although he also had the detail of going on stage with a Manzano shirt and vindicate it to the public at the end of the concert by showing the shirt to the public. The also classic "Long Live Rock 'n' Roll" has been another key moment of a concert in which, in fact, each riff was a key moment.

The final part of the show, with "Burn" and the encore "Smoke on the Water" has brought the audience to absolute ecstasy -I would say that even more with "Burn" than with the classic "Smoke ...", although it is always good historical to see the creator of this riff playing it once and for all. And in the end, in his way, Ritchie has said goodbye. Lying on his knees on the floor of the stage, while the audience sang the refrain of the Deep Purple classic, he made the gesture that the show was over and that's how it was. Between the singing of the public, the band has approached the front of the stage to say goodbye and the show has reached an unlikely but irreproachable end.

© The Metal Circus - Spain / Photo: Sergi Ramos

Rock The Coast Festival - Summary

Bestial day of Saturday. In general, everyone has been delighted with the new Rock The Coast festival that officially announces a second edition for 2010. This 2019 edition has achieved an outstanding rating in the opinion of a very high percentage.

I do not know if there has been more or less attendance than Friday, but in any of the ways, the venue has been in full boil, especially during the historic performance of Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow, who have sounded deluxe, with a happy, active Blackmore, communicative, and a Ronnie Romero delighted to finally sing alongside the legendary Maestro in Spain, address the audience in Spanish and sit chair, as he has done, singing with guarantees, voice and attitude in these new Rainbow.

Ronnie has done it in an impressive way and Rainbow has been thrown behind him, along with a solvent band, directed by the Great Chief Blackmore, who still has his incomparable charisma and magic, but who weighs the years, and much, when he has to play the guitar solos that he created, composed and played years ago. His fingers are those of the Grand Master who was and still is, although it is sad to say that he no longer handles them with the speed and skill of years ago. In any of the ways, the emotion, the nostalgia experienced tonight will be remembered for years.

Topics such as 'Spotlight Kid', 'I Surrender', 'Mistreated', 'Stargazer', 'Man on the Silver Mountain', 'Since you Been Gone', etc have made the great majority of a public delivered, plethoric that has been happy to see Rainbow with Ronnie Romero at last in our country.

Rock The Coast has fulfilled with expectations, achieving an outstanding result. Fortunately, they are already working on the 2020 edition, they will even increase the capacity.

© Rafa Basa - Spain

Rock The Coast Festival

Saturday June 15: Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow

Historical!!! With that word it is summarized how it was the fact that Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow landed in Rock The Coast and the city of Fuengirola was one of the four chosen so that in 2019 we enjoyed his songs. Thanks to the negotiations of Madness Live, the help of Ronnie Romero and the managers of the band, after months of conversations, we were able to live intensely a unique and unforgettable concert like the one we enjoyed last Saturday.

It is worth that Rainbow are not what they were, that Ronnie James Dio died and supposedly irreplaceable, that if he does not sing he should have been Joe Lynn Turner or Graham Bonnet, that for some this version of Rainbow is not valid, that they sound without force, without dynamism ... Everything you want, I accept all the criticism and more in the case of a historical group like them, but a fan of Rainbow as I have been, I am and I will recognize that apart from fanaticism, the version of Rainbow that 15,000 people enjoyed in Rock The Coast was excellent.

It is evident that Ritchie is a man who has 74 years and that the best thing he could do is to live counting money for 10 lives in a castle removed from the madding crowd, but not ... In spite of having suffered an operation on his fingers four years ago for suffering from arthritis (disease that is produced by the formation of crystals of a salt of uric acid, and that the firm suffers for years), he decided to return to the world of rock and return Rainbow with a line-up that he and his partner Candice Nights chose, where happily for us it is with the great vocalist Ronnie Romero. And that is a gift. I never thought that I would see Ritchie on stage again, and it has been four times, - Loreley and Stuttgart in Germany, London and Fuengirola - that I have been able to see him and hear his divine songs. And you know something? In my opinion as a follower and journalist, this has been the best of the four. Some acquaintances and colleagues experienced the same experience in Germany and U.K. and they know what I say and I was lucky to coincide with some in Rock The Coast and we agreed.

Will we see Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow again? Nobody knows; but I assure you that those of us who were on Saturday enjoying their show have been very fortunate.

Because of those 74 years, and the illness, Blackmore no longer has the dexterity in his fingers to make us levitate with his solos, we all check them, he plays as he can and his hands allow him; but what do you want me to tell you? For me to see him enjoy, transmit and play his immeasurable songs was like seeing God and the Devil partying together. A great experience. "What exaggeration?". That you will think those who did not go to Rock The Coast and you are in your right.

Unlike Scorpions the night before, they did not take a big assembly, only a back screen with some few projections, a perfect sound, very well managed lights and some musicians under the orders of Master Blackmore, led by an impressive Ronnie, that as I said in my first brief summary, Rainbow was thrown behind his back, with all due respect to Ritchie Blackmore. Ronnie embroidered it. Apart from being very motivated by the fact of playing in "his house", pay tribute to the late José Antonio Manzano, wearing a shirt with his logo in the first part of the concert, he sang as never before, and also showed to have an ease, magnetism and security that in previous concerts did not have. Now Ronnie is in grace and he handled himself and sang beautifully in Fuengirola. A 10 for him.

The rest of the band fulfilled, for that they are there and were chosen by Blackmore. I liked much more than other times the bassist Bob Curiano, who, since the sound was perfect, I appreciated as he emphasized with his scales and drawings to the four strings. Jens Johansson just played, although I liked his solo and the classic Jon Lord sound, and drummer David Keith was the most "justito" on this occasion. It is a simple drummer, which is limited to accompanying and little else. Like the other times I saw him, he did not reach the level of his predecessors, and he decided to do the "Stargazer" roll.

The background singers, among which Candice stood out, were great and their voices were important in many songs.

And Blackmore? It is, it was and it will be the great teacher, but the years and the disease weigh heavily and take its toll on his fingers. I said it already. However, he was great, enjoyed, was happy and smiling, joked several times with Ronnie, approached the public, offered him beer, threw him shirts, and made his classic kneeling pose lengthening his leg several times, and dismissed the kneeling concert. Addressing the audience, thanking him. That in a guy as special and distant as always was Ritchie is "a lot".

The concert started with a slight delay, but after the prerecorded introduction "Over The Rainbow" the band was appearing on stage before the front of the audience and they began surprisingly with a "Spotlight Kid" that sounded great, with Ronnie singing very well, smiling from minute "one" on stage. Curiously, the previous times I saw them they started with "Highway Star", as in the DVD. It was a surprise, and "Spotlight Kid" was a luxury. Before the great response of the public, Blackmore salutes and makes his classic pose with knee on the floor, for the first time, and continue with "I Surrender" ... The chorus resounded even at the South Pole. Bestial!!! The band very well, especially Ronnie, who nailed it and at the end said: "What do you want to say this in Spanish: Good Night! The audience responded with a great ovation, and many already noticed the beautiful gesture of the singer who wore a shirt in memory of the late José Antonio Manzano.

"Mistreated" put pure and absolute magic, we bristled the beautiful and made a tear jump, because the feeling with which Romero sang it was infinite. "Another 10" for the ex-Lords of Black singer. The central atmosphere of the song was taken advantage by Ritchie to show that he is still capable of doing solos with stigma, with a lot of feeling. It was exciting.

The night was coming, the lights made their function, and the screen was already projecting images related to Rainbow, when Ronnie speaks and says that Ritchie has just commented in ear that it is time to have a beer. And Blackmore approaches the audience and starts the beginning of another "great song": "Since You Been Gone" which is another piece that triumphs, with claw and power, a little slower than the original version, -like it happened with more songs- , but with a total claw and a bestial Ronnie, squirting voice and attitude, sporting mane, like Blackmore likes.

After the cheers of the public, they improvised half with "Man on the Silver Mountain", received with ecstasy, and sung with style. I could not help but remember the deceased Dio when we heard it. Sure it happened to many of you ... In the middle improvise and present the bassist Bob who sings and also very well and suddenly, improvising make a turn to "Woman from Tokyo", to return to "Man on the Silver Mountain".

Ronnie addresses the 15,000 fans and explains how he had been telling Blackmore for a long time that the Spaniard is "the best audience in the world", while Ritchie approaches and smiles. Ronnie asks the audience if they want "One more", and the 15,000 sing the classic "Oe, oe, oe, oe ..." while Blackmore accompanies them making the melody with his guitar. Epic! At this moment the audience and the band were already "one", "the perfect marriage".

Jens is left alone with his Hammond and introduces the following one: "Perfect Strangers", where Ronnie gives again clear proofs of the great vocalist that he is. Magic flies over Fuengirola with this great Deep Purple song. Ritchie throws himself on the floor again, and with his legs in his classic pose and plays the chords of "Black Night". People go crazy. Richie signals to the audience that he hums the riff. Another moment!!!

Ronnie and Ritchie joke again in front of the audience and the guitarist asks the singer about how the Málaga C.F. and face a great version of "Difficult to Cure", where the band takes to show off with solos, except the drummer Keith. Ronnie is back on stage with change of clothes included, and once again Blackmore jokes with Romero and talk about making another song, "What theme do you want us to play?" And the guitarist says "do you want a Led Zeppelin? And they make a very brief nod to "Whole lotta love" and start with "All Night Long". In the middle of the song, the audience sings its chorus and claps.

Ronnie says to the fans: "We only have 10 minutes left ... Two songs, what do we do? And they mark a "Stargazer", historical, sung by Romero with the soul, and introduced poorly by a soulless roll of David Keith. The song moved us a lot, it has all the best ingredients of Rainbow and that is "to say everything". For something, before the great reaction of the public is especially encouraged, makes hands and arms and his solo is the best of the night.

"Long Live Rock 'n' Roll" causes more reaction still and Blackmore returns to do his classic pose kneeling while playing his solo. It seems that they are going to retire to dressing rooms, before the encore, but not ... They play "Burn". Ronnie says goodbye with a Thank you Spain. Goodnight!!

But the group is still on stage, receiving massive congratulations on the attendance and touching the final theme: "Smoke on the Water". Inevitably, the show ends, with Ritchie without a guitar, kneeling and thanking the audience, even bowing. Never seen before!! Pictures are taken of the pose with the audience in the background, and even the children of Ritchie, Candice and their family go on stage .... The final Fiesta!! It has been a pleasure and an honor to live again one night with Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow. Will it be the last? I hope I'm wrong.

© Rafa Basa - Spain / Photos: Alvaro Ochoa

Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow at Rock The Coast 2019

Rock The Coast will go down in history because in its first edition it was attended by Ritchie Blackmore, one of the greatest living legends of hard rock. The legendary guitarist also triumphed in great style at the helm of his Rainbow and fulfilled the dream of thousands of followers who finally settled a pending account that they already saw as impossible. Since announcing that the band re-grouped in 2015, his live appearances have been practically counted and all hope of seeing him in Spain seemed to be lost ... until a festival appeared, crowned by a castle that must have attracted the attention of the maestro of the guitar.

At nine o'clock on Saturday night the tension seemed to be cut off when thousands of spectators focused their gaze on the first of the main stages. It was still daylight, the sun was languishing with last rays that barely caressed the Costa del Sol while the anxiety of the followers was increasing. As if the year-end bells were being treated to the Rainbow concert, they were preceded by 'rooms' in the form of intros: first Land Of Hope And Glory and then the well-known Over The Rainbow. The crowd exploded to the rhythm of Spotlight Kid with Ritchie, 'the man in black', posted on one side of the stage. He wore a medieval shirt, waistcoat and tight pants. All in rigorous black with the exception of a diamond-shaped patch over the knee and brown boots with laces. He firmly grasped his inseparable Fender Stratocaster, a true icon of rock, to which he paid full attention.

At the front of the band came Ronnie Romero, the Chilean vocalist settled in Madrid, who is living a dream that has earned more than enough. Among the most familiar faces was also the Swedish keyboardist Jens Johansson, known for his long career in Stratovarius and also for having played in Yngwie Malmsteen and Dio. And of course; one of the two background singers; no more nor less than Candice Night, the woman of Ritchie and one of the fundamental pieces so that the puzzle of Rainbow has returned to fit at last. The line-up was completed by bassist Bob Nouveau and drummer David Keith.

Rainbow has always been the band of Ritchie Blackmore, although there have been singers and musicians who have left an indelible mark. The formations of essential discs like Rising or Difficult To Cure were completely different from each other with the exception of the guitarist. Therefore, regardless of taste, the current one is as authentically Rainbow as the previous ones could have been. I Surrender was the high point for many of the band's fans, who vibrated to the sound of one of Russ Ballard's great pieces. Ritchie went to the front of the stage and stuck his knees on the ground demonstrating a great state of form at age 74.

The monumental Mistreated was the first Deep Purple piece of the night. Some fans would have preferred a repertoire exclusively made by Rainbow material, but Blackmore's decision has been to trace a tour of its two great pillars and we must respect it. By now, many had already been astonished with a simply spectacular Ronnie Romero, who also wore a Manzano shirt, a great tribute to the deceased singer on March 31. He is undoubtedly a worthy successor to the vocalists who preceded him in the position: Ronnie James Dio, Graham Bonnet, Joe Lynn Turner and Doogie White.

In the animated Since You Been Gone the innumerable influences of Ronnie James Dio came back Romero has, regardless of whether that song was originally sung by Graham Bonnet. The essence 'Dio' multiplied in the extensive Man On The Silver Mountain in which they introduced a part of Deep Purple's Woman From Tokyo sung by bassist Bob Nouveau.

For that moment the scene could not be more bucolic. At dusk the moon projected its reflection on the sea that exerted as the best of the possible sets. And in front of the stage, the Sohail Castle was illuminated, completing an absolutely incomparable frame to host a Rainbow performance. With the fall of the night the lights and screens that sometimes reflected the covers of the classic records of the band took on more prominence.

They turned their eyes again to Deep Purple with Perfect Strangers and Black Night with a Ritchie Blackmore who returned to sink the knee on the floor wrapped in a game of purple lights. Ronnie Romero showed his satisfaction of finally playing with Rainbow in Spain. "I've been telling Ritchie for three years that this is the best audience he can have," the singer confessed, asking for public complicity. Ronnie looked comfortable, acting normally, as if he did not have behind him one of the greatest legends of hard rock. He even asked how the Málaga game was going, that he was playing at that moment the play-off to try to return to the First Division.

With Difficult To Cure they honored Beethoven and left Jens Johansson as the real protagonist with an extensive solo that served Ritchie to take a break. Meanwhile the screens projected fireworks. Back on the scene Blackmore and Romero got together in front of the fans and the singer asked the people what they wanted to hear. Some of the spectators cheated him and asked for Led Zeppelin. Instead of acting as if he had not heard anything, Ronnie ripped off with Whole Lotta Love. A surreal situation that Ritchie cut immediately with the first notes of All Night Long.

The rainbow of Rising occupied on the big rear screen announcing that it arrived, for many, another one of the most special moments of the night: Stargazer with a Romero that returned to shine emulating to Ronnie James Dio. Sometimes it seemed that Dio himself revived personified by Romero. Rock The Coast exploded with Long Live Rock 'n' Roll before Burn again raised a Ronnie Romero who was the big winner of the night. Special mention also deserve the support that made the two background singers with their voices and generating magical moments.

And they closed in style with Smoke On The Water with a devoted hobby and aware that they had lived a special moment. A dream come true in a truly unique environment. When the concert ended, Ritchie stayed on stage and gave gifts to fans. Although logically his fingers do not cross the frets with the speed of yesteryear, he still maintains an essence that makes him certainly special. For many, his image is linked to the destruction of a television camera in California Jam, to burst guitars without mercy, to the squabbles with Ian Gillan, to his sullen character ... However, in Rock The Coast he left a completely different feeling. Perhaps the years have appeased a character that once seemed indomitable.

Rainbow Rainbow touched the sky in the night of Fuengirola and baptized the Rock The Coast with the seal of one of the largest groups in the history of hard rock. The festival can always boast that Ritchie Blackmore stepped on one of his stages ...

© Metal Journal - Spain

Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow - Rock The Coast

The festival grounds were placed on the shore line with a pale blue sky disappearing into a marvelous blue ocean in absolute calm. The place was erupting with black and white masses (that hair is growing in an alienated colour these days). All very boring, to tell the truth, and it was not too big in my opinion. They even put both stages side by side and not one in front of the other as it is the usual option at music festivals these days around here (and we have an awful lot of these events in Spain). The idea was not my cup of tea but... On the other side of the place was a little hill with a casttle on top. At the castle it was a third stage for minor bands. The queues to get food and drinks were nearly impossible to be fronted and food was stupid, with no imagination. The day Rainbow played it was all the opposite. No queues at all at food and drinks stands!!!!! We got the food and water in snap of the fingers. Unbelievable. Everybody was taking its place in front of the stage, that's why. And that took place nearly from 4 hours before.

So we waited eating and drinking til the main course was served in front of us (not talking about food, mate!!!). Land of hope and glory started sounding throught the huge amplification system and was followed by a nice tiny girl voice saying we should be over the rainbow, rainbow, rainbow. So at the front of the stage people started levitating (their fists at least). The band musicians took their places little by little without any hurry and started playing at last while a man wearing old clothes from salvation army plug in and the real festival started. Spotlight kid was ok, not good not bad. The band played really well and gelled and the sound was good enough. The only problem, as ususal, was the keyboards. Johansson played something stupid and out of place in his solo in the middle of the song. Taking that apart, the song was pretty good. Next was I surrender that sounded really well to this ears. But to be sincere I prepared myself mentally to feel like a teenager and enjoy the party till the last drop of liquor run out. And so I acted. I was really shouting out loud any verse of any song, and in the "pit" people were shouting, yelling, throwing fist to the air and a sea of hands were taking the place since second one of the show.

As I was saying, I surrender was a good version that was followed after some teasing notes of Peppa Pig (the animation series) repeated by Ronnie Romero after Ritchie Blackmore. It would be not the last time that day. For the next ten minutes I was not at festival grounds. I also was not in heaven but in some middle place. I was in real tension listening to Mistreated. The version was not excellent. and I could understand why nobody said something special about the song on previous shows this year. It lacked life. The guitar started nearly at singer part with a really short intro. A pity. Romero did it well, eventhough in my opinion the sound was doing him no favour. The guitar sound was crystal clear but the voice was a bit under level on volume department for the whole night.

Just before the final part of the song, before Romero delivered vocals to close the song, Ritchie and Noveau played some weird notes completely out of place. Nobody (talking about it later) could understand why, but the song if not ruined was like a coitus interruptus someway. A little grin on my face for ten seconds. All in all, it lacked life as I said before. Also by then I have a clear image of what the problem of the band in Sweden Rock was: they don't move a single foot all night long. They are statues. All of them, as if they are in fear of the master to give them body punishment after the show. so Romero cannot fill the stage. It is impossible. The man does the most he is able to but that stage is empty most of the time. Where a showman used to be a big gap is now felt. You cannot understand what is happening but you can feel something escapes you and that something is missed. It is not the antics, but the chance to see a guitar player moving across the stage. Again, a real pity. So when swedish press said it was boring they were true.

On the other hand, Ronnie Romero was really good entertaining us. IN SPANISH. The man took the microphone before Mistreated and said: "How much did i want to do this" (to speak in Spanish) and people yelled their lungs out the mouth in unisone. Had to be there to feel the ambient. From then on ALL was in Spanish. ALL. A really interesting change to say it someway. Also, Ronnie had a little problem at first as English was trying to be going out of his mouth without his permission. Really amusing situation. The habits, you know.

After Mistreated was finished, I came back to planet Earth once more while Since you been gone music started through the amplification. On the back of the band there was a big rectangular screen, not the usual big square one, so the record covers were flatered from above to below and that was a big deception to everybody. We love that record covers, man... In my opinion it ruined most of the visuals for the night. But it was even worse on Since you been gone, as Rainbow technicians put the song "since you been gone" line on the screen. It was not in syncronicity with the singer voice. It appeared always late word by word.

The song was more than ok once more, and Romero felt comfortable with it. Next stop Man on the silver mountain. To these ears it sounded alienated. Don't know why but it sounded strange... And to get things even worse Ronnie passed the microphone labour to bass player who "improvised" a lyric in the middle of the song about been there in Malaga and other nonsenses. No mention of Dio and more than a snippet of Woman from Tokyo was included after bassman finished his debauchery. It was no need of that. People liked it? Yes I think, but they sensed it was out of place. Just a few notes of Purple song on guitar could have been really welcomed but not some verses and chorus. Weird movement once more.

Everybody singing and the grey mass (black + white while the sun was going down by then) enjoyed or so it seemed to me. But next thing in setlist was not my cup of tea at all. Cannot stand Perfect strangers played by Rainbow. It is not their song. Not at all. And worse than that is that after four years they still cannot play a decent version of this emblematic song. I really cannot understand why. Of course I had all hairs along my body standing still but it was not the same as with Deep Purple.

And after this excursion through Deep Purple repertoire it was time for another one, Black night, the only point in setlist I couldn't be bothered less about the music. Once again, you don't need that in a Rainbow setlist. It says on my ticket Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow, not Ritchie Blackmore's music. It bored me to death. Well, my fault then, because everybody else was moving hands, heads and arms in front of the stage. By the way, the man in black put down on his knees twice along the show and took Romero three or four times to talk and later Ronnie told in Spanish snippets of conversation to the public. Anyway, I should change the setlist, erase from it Black night and Perfect strangers and get in Catch the rainbow or even Child in time (the first one is the best option) if they really want to play Purple songs.

Then they started Difficult to cure and I was in heaven. Never a favorite of mine, Ritchie played it really well, REALLY. And after his turn was over it was the band's moment. No drum solo and drummer, bass player and keyboard player started a little jam. A good one between the first two before another one started between keys and bass. I really liked until Johansson started on his own. The organ/keys part is more or less ok, but when he started the classical part it got really boring and I felt a real jam with the three of them would have been a better idea. I think in the pit the sensation was the same, and when suddenly Blackmore came back it was like a prissoner's release from jail. And his playing again was marvelous (with fireworks on the screen). But good things always finish too much soon...

All night long was next and to tell you the truth I was not to much for it. People yelled their loungs out again but i was like not there, in the show. It seemed also that Romero was not the adecuate singer for it. To get things worse (yes, again that sentence) the lettering in the screen was... for little kids. I felt as some cartoon character from my childhood was to be featured at one moment or another along the song everytime the chorus and title were on the screen, stupid election of lettering to say it gently. But that was not a real matter to me. I was really expectating the next song. I payed nearly 700 euro for those next ten minutes. That was my only aim tonight. So for the next ten minutes I was not on the festival grounds again. And this time for good. The drummer started his part with all his heart and my mind was in full flow seated up in the night skies of Fuengirola. My fists were striking the drumheads like ragnarok time had come. It was my dreamed moment. It was my song, it was my life going in front of me. It was not heaven, it was not hell also (of course). It was the end of my teenage period. I felt right then from then on I will be 20 years old, no more 19 years old. I grew up at least. my book was finally closed. what a moment.

The odissey was on drums, the sound of the night eaten out alive in front of me.... To me, the fact that David Keith stopped right then to make a too long dramatic pause was not a problem, eventhough I didn't like it at all. Nobody liked. The idea is sooooo stupid. To stop that song for some seconds before the guitar part starts is the most weird idea Ritchie ever had. And the song re-started with that familiar sound and my soul left my body. There was no time movement, no stellar overdrives, no stars rolling in galaxies around us, there was no heaven nor hell, there was no tomorrow, nor today, nor yesterday. It was just the best music ever been played sounding again in top of a stage in front of the converted ones. The wizzard was back with us. No more words needed.

At the end I was emotionally exhausted and felt completed at last after so many years of dreaming about that song. Could have take the road to the hotel at that very moment without turning my head a single milisecond. The teen was dead, the man was starting his life. Long live rock'n'roll was not in my mind. I was not there. It took some minutes before I was back at the festival site. Some singing and the song was over and Burn started. Ritchie did it well in spite of artrithis, age and whatever. No matter if the speed was not there. The soul was. Of course it lacks speed, but it was the perfect closing song (who really needs Smoke?).

People erupted and everybody was yelling once more. And then it was time for goodbyes (or farewells maybe?) as Peppa Pig "riff" sounded again through the loudspeakers (all newspapers talked about it for the next days) before the song started. No acoustic first verses this time. The full song in electrical mode. God bless them, it was the first time in so many years I really loved the song. It sounded pretty good and it was not Ritchie's playing but the general musical feeling that got it. I was really happy with it and usually I hate that song as it has been played too much. On the other hand, I have to say finally I could understand why Johansson plays so badly. It is not his fault. He plays what he is told to. Or so I felt it song after song. Once more, a real pity to have a good musician and cut his wings that way.

The show was over and the Blackmore family (the complete cast) stepped on the stage. Weird? Not. Ridiculous. On the other hand people were exhausted after 95 minutes but smiles where everywhere. The feeling still on ears and souls. Emotionally it was the maximum experience. Later on every soul on the show started asking themselves if musically was like that. Of course not, but the emotions, the primal emotions who led to primal screams were something you cannot pay for. It was worth it. They are not Rainbow in some people minds but a bunch of musicians playing the band's setlist, but the nostalgia inside our souls needs that scape way. So be it welcome once and forever.

That's been all folks...

© Jose Galvan - Un Legado Sin Fin

The day that Ritchie Blackmore started 'Smoke on the Water' with Peppa Pig

Ritchie Blackmore and his Rainbow dazzled this weekend in the newborn Rock the Coast of Fuengirola, where the day before Scorpions and Europe, among others.

"Today I'm nervous ... and it's not for you. With you I have confidence. It's because today my idol is going into touch. Today I saw him in the car!" In front of about 10,000 people, Opeth's vocalist, Mikael Akerfeldt-Miguelito, as he nicknamed himself during his show-could not hide his emotional state a few hours before he played Ritchie Blackmore with his Rainbow (of the 21st century). The brilliant guitarist who created groups such as Deep Purple and Rainbow and a dozen rock hymns show in the first edition of an amazing Rock the Coast that beyond the names that make up the poster, has its own light for its location (the beach of Castillo de Fuengirola) and concept.

Five minutes passed after nine o'clock at night. Behind the main stage of the Marenostrum Castle Park of Fuengirola the sun had left and, still with the blue sky, the moon was visible. Under it was the calm sea and the beach of the Castle with some bather still. It seemed like a movie because in that context, 22 years later, the guitar of Ritchie Blackmore was playing again in Spain with the 'Over the Rainbow' intro and the 15,000 spectators delivered from the first minute.

The atmosphere that this Saturday June 15 invited was unforgettable. And so it was because although Blackmore had some error in his performance, his hook with the audience was '10'. He was the headliner, with the permission of Scorpions (and Europe that from Rock the Coast went to play at the wedding of Pilar Rubio and Sergio Ramos), of a festival that after its premiere little or no 'but' could be put: comfort in the spaces, economic-especially for those who came from the 'milk' to the pocket of Metallica in Valdebebas, quality of the facilities-sound, bathrooms, access ... - and privileged views. So that they are not all flattery, perhaps some more food stall would not have been left over...

Returning to the show of Ritchie Blackmore, 74, the fact that his vocalist is an adoption-born Chilean-born, caused a greater closeness than expected. "Damn, how I wanted to say this in Spanish. Good evening, Rock the Coast, Spain! I already told Ritchie three years ago that this was the best audience he was going to find." Ronnie Romero, who rose to fame in Spain with 'Lords of Black', squandered his voice so that no one missed Ronnie James Dio, Graham Bonnet or Joe Lynn Turner. His sympathy was evident not only for the influence he exerted to convince Ritchie to choose Fuengirola as one of Rainbow's four stops in Europe in 2019, but for the nod to the late José Antonio Manzano wearing a T-shirt of his during the first half of the show (and showing it at the end). Spectacular detail.

Although Ritchie did not address the audience much through the microphone, he left some humor as if asking the audience, through Ronnie, if they wanted to hear "any of Led Zeppelin," or when just before the show's closing with 'Smoke on the Water' started some chords of the well-known Peppa Pig series (he has two children, ages 7 and 9).

"I can already die calmly," said a follower of Ritchie who did not intend to see him live after nearly two decades ago left rock for the mandolin and Renaissance music (along with the vocalist and woman, Candice Night).

I was thrilled to see the author of hits like 'I Surrender', 'Smoke on the Water' (with which he ended), 'Long Live Rock and Roll', 'Burn', 'Since You've Been Gone', 'Stargazer' or 'Man on the Silver Mountain' was interpreting them again, knowing that it will be difficult to witness it again. It was an important day for the rock lovers in Spain thanks to this iconic performance by Ritchie Blackmore ... and who knows if it is also the first edition of many Rock the Coast.

© Victor Garcia, El Confidencial - Spain

Rock the Coast 2019 (15th June)

Much has been talked about whether this new incarnation of Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow is or not up to the legend, but what do you want me to say: after seeing the undeniable repertoire of classics that Ritchie and his new faithful squire Ronnie Romero gave us, I think that whoever complains simply does not know who he is in front of. The concert was overwhelming in every way. Thus, and still in broad daylight (which caused some complaints about its location in the schedule) and after sounding through the speakers on the main stage his own version of the "Land of Hope and Glory" as an introduction, he followed the usual and famous melody from the "Wizard of Oz" film composed by Harold Arlen and used as an introduction since the 70s, after which the band starts with the melodic "Spotlight Kid" and "I Surrender" from Joe Lynn Turner. Everything sounds perfect, but the magic was to see the connection that took place between band and audience, and it was noticed that fans were very hungry for Rainbow in these parts for years. Romero greets the excited audience by speaking in Spanish and commenting that he has been trying for three years to convince Ritchie that Spain is the best audience in the world.

Ronnie is a versatile vocalist and defended perfectly each stage of the band: he sang as a ten, he left, if that were not enough, he had the precious detail of wearing a shirt with the logo of the sadly missing singer Manzano: incredible tribute for your part. With respect to the rest of the band, this line-up is completed by Stratovarius keyboardist Jens Johansson, while bassist Bob Nouveau and drummer David Keith of Blackmore's Night play solid roles at the rhythm base. The background singers Candice Night (woman of Ritchie) and Lady Lynn (also of Blackmore's Night) are an incentive more in this new incarnation of Rainbow, reinforcing the vocal parts. For the man in black is certain that he has lowered some tempo themes and plays with less speed than before and more improvisation, but we are talking about a musician who has been active for fifty years and has just turned 74 years old. There is nothing, the important thing is that his touch to the six strings is still magical, and he showed a lot of camaraderie with Ronnie and the audience, even joking constantly despite that black legend about his irascible personality. If even at a certain time when he left the stage, he played without cutting his wife's Candice butt, who showed surprised face at the audience.

Really, what we live has no name and videos leaked on YouTube from their concerts do not do justice to the show we live, which includes a repertoire and overwhelming sound, with several classics of Deep Purple as "Mistreated" (which also sang by Dio on the legendary live album 'On Stage') or 'Perfect Strangers'. In "Black Night", the same Blackmore applauds at the end of it, and in great detail for his part, the audience, for his delivery to chant. As for the rainbow classics, this time they also played "Since You Been Gone" and "All Night Long" from the days of Graham Bonnet, as well as "Man on the Silver Mountain", the epic "Stargazer" (the creeps) and the very funny "Long Live Rock & Roll" of the Dio days. The long instrumental piece "Difficult To Cure" was also present, the whole band, in what is still Beethoven's 9th Symphony in rock version, with two more Deep Purple classics such as "Burn", from the homonymous album of 1974 (and that the current line-up with Gillan plays, although Glenn Hughes and Whitesnake do), and above all, the tiresome but essential "Smoke on the Water", with the most famous riff in rock history, we reached the end of a historic concert, which was full of jokes between Ritchie and Ronnie, he even came to sing a fragment of "Whole Lotta Love" by Led Zeppelin when asking the audience what they wanted to hear.

That if there were missing subjects, that if there are too many of his times in Purple and too few of Rainbow ... Let's see, it's Ritchie Blackmore, many of us can die peacefully after seeing him in action. What we experienced was pure magic, even stageically, with the covers of the albums and other beautiful projections illustrating each song. Memorable download that I think will rethink Blackmore and company to play new concerts in Spain in the near future, given the overwhelming response it had, because there was not a moment where the audience stopped singing each anthem. The band said goodbye hugging on stage, even making a selfie final. Impressive is to fall short.

© Andrés Brotons, Mariskal Rock - Spain / Photo: Hughes Vanhoucke

Somewhere over the Spanish Rainbow

Up next and our main reason for attending the festival, Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow. Previous concerts from the band had suggested that the sets focused too much on the Dio era of Rainbow songs when the crowd pleasers, the big radio friendly hits that your Nana knows, all came from the Graham Bonnet onward albums.

Thankfully, they’ve had a team meeting where Ritchie may or may not have pulled a Brian Clough by listening to everyone’s concerns and then confirming that they’ll be going with his plan, but the end result was just the best of all worlds. Vocalist Ronnie Romero adapting to every Rainbow era and delivering everything Dio, GB and JLT could offer and more. I Surrender, an absolute belter from the moment the unforgettable riff opening up the song to the end of the track with Romero proving why he’s on so many artists speed dial when in need of a vocalist. If you bought a weekend ticket and only turned up for this, it would have been worth it! Thankfully, those of us in the know came for more and we got it. With one band (for us) left on the planner, The Darkness were our closers for the weekend.

© Adrian Hextall - My Global Mind

Rock The Coast

Rainbow kick off with Spotlight Kid, I Surrender and Mistreated. Three songs, three original singers, one Ronnie Romero. He's an absolute star, and entertains the crowd in fluent Spanish, making the show feel like a homecoming.

Ritchie is in playful mood, interacting with the crowd in a way we're often told he doesn't, and asking Ronnie to translate. "I think they want a Led Zeppelin song," he says, before launching into the riff of All Night Long.

It all plods a little, lacking the loose-limbed, athletic ferocity of youth, and Black Night almost falls apart halfway through. But Stargazer is appropriately epic, and Burn even manages to capture some of the wild momentum of old.

© Fraser Lewry, Classic Rock Magazine UK - Issue 205