|» Dvd reviews||
Probably nobody has missed that Ritchie Blackmore resurrected his band Rainbow for 3 shows this past summer, yet also including Deep Purple songs for pretty much half of the set. The notes on the back cover say about the setlist that this was exactly what the fans had wished for, but that's of course highly unlikely considering what has been written on the web about those concerts. People have been getting plenty of openings over the years to see Purple songs live with Ian Gillan, whilst only a few Rainbow songs were performed by the great Ronnie James Dio before his death in 2010.
I believe that most fans, including myself, were looking at this as an opportunity to see the Rainbow songs only and maybe specifically from the 3 initial records, meaning the self titled effort, Rising and Long Live Rock 'N' Roll, where Dio was still in the band, and vocalist Ronnie Romero is definitely the man to pull it off because he certainly would give all those amazing songs justice. I'll be the first to admit though that the Purple songs are good too and they are all definitely classics, but it's just that they've been played by that band ever since Ritchie parted ways with those guys for the last time.
This DVD was filmed outdoors at both Loreley and Bietigheim and it jumps back and forth between the shows throughout the whole disc. The props on both locations include basically just some kind of a rainbow with spotlights and is neither beautiful nor impressive. The film is edited in a way that I like, with longer sequences, giving you a good look at what's going on, instead of having those so frequently used rapidly flashing pictures that basically makes it impossible to really get a good view of the show.
The boys and girls in the band are kind of like cemented to the floor over the entire shows and they don't make use of the stage's size whatsoever and they are pretty much standing all the time together in the center and a little bit to the left, in a viewer's perspective, and 3/4 of the space is often unoccupied and it's like Ritchie wants it to be like a jam in a garage or a basement somewhere. Speaking about jamming, the man himself and keyboarder Jens Johansson could most likely become a good unit eventually if they were to give this thing a couple of more chances, which they hopefully will do next summer when the festivals in Europe kick off again.
The musicians now performing as Rainbow are of course handpicked and most of them have some connection with the Blackmore's Night project in one way or another and thus Ritchie has included his own wife Candice Night in the lineup as well and the decision to have her and also Lady Lynn on backing vocals is actually a great idea that's far superior than having everything on tape.
My feelings are definitely mixed when I look at the film. On one hand it's like seeing just any cover band on a stage that's way bigger than needed for a band wearing that epithet, but on the other hand it's indeed very nice to see that the man has come to realize that all these old Rainbow songs deserve to be performed on stage by the guy who wrote them in the first place and not just letting them kind of fade away without giving them a proper ending.
Regarding the bonus material there's really not much to add to what's already written above. It's just 4 songs from the alternative show and those songs pretty much follow the pattern all along. As I have pointed out before, my favorite DVD isn't the one that contains only stuff filmed on stage, as I for the most part prefer the documentary side of these films, even if it's in this case fully understandable that a live performance would be in focus, considering how long it was since Ritchie gathered the troops.
I ask myself just how awesome this could have been if
a few changes were made. It would in all probability have been absolutely
amazing, but when all cards are shuffled it stays at only something
fairly good. The songs' original great quality is basically what makes
this film to something worth spending some time on, because I don't
think that the group is really able to rise to the occasion at the end
of the day and the only persons on stage who seem to really enjoy the
moment are Romero and Night. I didn't expect to see a band running around
the stage like maniacs, yet some movement and action must be there on
a rock concert to get people's full attention for a whole show.