European Tour 1976

Konserthus, Stockholm, Sweden - September 20, 1976

I was at the Rainbow concert here in Sweden, though from where I was sat I didn't see too much. When I went to get my tickets I was met by a sign which said that tickets would be on sale in two days. I returned later the same day to ask the reason for this, and the concert was almost sold out! They had changed their minds, putting the tickets on sale after all, a big disappointment. I was lucky to get any tickets at all.

The concert was very good, even though the sound wasn't at it's best where I was sat - by the speakers. Stargazer was fantastic, and the intro to Greensleeves was so beautiful you almost had to cry. During Silver Mountain, the whole audience were on their feet, which is uncommon at Swedish concerts; people mostly stay sat, and listen. Ritchie's guitar smashing was spectacular, but looked like a well rehearsed act done automatically, disappointing.

They got very bad reviews in the press:- 'Violence', ' cynical massacre of a guitar', 'too loud', 'Ronnie Dio-Catastrophe' (joke!), and complaints about the flare, which they were forbidden to use for security reasons, but did anyway! Anyway we all liked it. Also we managed to get a quick word and autographs backstage, I guess that's much easier here than England. Here you can just walk in and say hello. Asked Ritchie about a Purple reunion and he said "well, in ten years", so if you can only wait.

They were supposed to do a concert in Lund, South Sweden, but it was cancelled as the Rainbow was too big to get into the hall!

Lisa Carlen

Palais des Expositions, Geneva, Switzerland - October 9, 1976

Deep Purple fans will be at the party. And they are numerous since it is said that the group is, with Pink Floyd, the one with the most sold records in France and with us. They will be delighted because if Deep Purple is only a memory, individually the musicians continue their career and one of the most important, the guitarist Ritchie Blackmore will be at the Geneva Exhibition Center on October 9th.

It will be interesting to listen to his music and see what a certain conception of rock has become. The times have changed, so are the fashions, what remains of a movement that sold out four years ago? Maybe a little "Smoke on the Water".

Tribune de Lousanne – Le Matin 8th October 1976

Congresgebouw, The Hague, The Netherlands - October 18, 1976

Electronic Rainbow

The concert of Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow in The Hague was very rewarding, both musically and visually. We know Blackmore, a brilliant guitarist, specialized in the heavier work. His band, with Cozy Powell on drums, Ronnie 'Love Is All' Dio, on vocals and Jimmy Bain and Tony Carey respectively on bass and keyboards, can almost be described with the term 'supergroup'. An electronic rainbow and an enlargement of the castle that we already knew from the record sleeve made everything attractive to the eye.

The group entered the stage to the sounds of "Wizard Of Oz" and Judy Garland's "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" and immediately plunged into "Kill The King", in which Blackmore immediately gave us his business card. "Mistreated", 16th Century Greensleeves "also turned out very convincingly and in "Catch The Rainbow" Ronnie Dio could show what he has to offer. "Man On The Silver Mountain" and my favorite song "Stargazer". Blackmore's solos were razor-sharp and never really got out of hand. Maybe he could have put himself to some limits, but it seemed the audience thought it was excellent. Tony Carey's soloing at the beginning of "Stargazer" and Cozy Powell in "Still I'm Sad" (remember The Yardbirds) was also well received by the audience, even if I thought it could have been a little less. The group came back with "Do You Close Your Eyes" and left with that a good impression.

It was the closing concert of an extensive Rainbow tour and a party was thrown afterwards. Rightly so, no one is by no means supposed to be dissatisfied.

Bert van der Kamp, Muziekkrant Oor - 3 november 1976

Congresgebouw, The Hague, The Netherlands - October 18, 1976

Blackmore's Rainbow is usually a scorge of sound

Last night the English hardrock group Blackmore's Rainbow performed in the Congress Building, with as support act the Australian discovery AC/DC, a group that managed to prepare the audience in a reasonably reliable way for the decibel violence that was yet to come. As the disc jockey, who made the break with additional information about hard rock, said. There was only peace to be found in the toilet. Now hard rock fans are very consistent when it comes to their favorite music. They give themselves with heart and soul, know no point of satisfaction. In short, it can never be enough.

The five peculiar boarding school kids from AC/DC were therefore immediately successful. Their vision on the theme song "Baby please don't go" delivered a small spectacle, in which the guitarist made a tour of the venue on the shoulders of the singer while playing guitar. Blackmore's Rainbow, named after guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, one of the founders of Deep Purple, known at the time for his deafening volume, took a long time to come. Once the group had arrived, however, they also played an exhausting length of time. An elaborate song like "Stargazer" already took up a lot of the time.

The scourge that sent Rainbow over the eardrums was accompanied by a dazzling visual show. Its main ingredients were a Disney-esque backdrop and an immense crescent-shaped, stage-spanning rainbow that changed color to the rhythm of the music from the hands of the special man behind the lightdesk. Nice for a while, but just like all those other effects in pop music you quickly get bored of it. Hard rock groups like Blackmore's Rainbow still swear by very long hair. It is only an appearance, but it is striking that their music is just as unfashionable, even on the conservative side. Rainbow, along with similar groups such as Bad Company and Led Zeppelin, used a tried-and-tested, but worn-out formula. Ritchie Blackmore often released technically well-played guitar explosions after Baroque-style intros, the American singer Ronnie Dio brought out a brooding sort of drama full of pathos and keyboard player Tony Carey, bassist Jim Bain and Cozy Powell, the drummer, turned out to be well-versed colleagues. Yet this offshoot from the Deep Purple ranks achieved precisely those achievements no more than predictability, excess and kitsch, as in the blaring triumphal march at the end where Powell was central.

How a guitar is smashed to pieces was expertly demonstrated by Blackmore for the first time in a long time in the encore "Do You Close Your Eyes". Even then he was unable to touch the sensitive chord.

Peter Koops, NRC - October 19, 1976

Congresgebouw, The Hague, The Netherlands - October 18, 1976

Everything is focused on effect with Blackmore

One day after Robin Trower, the former guitarist of Procul Harum, performed here, Ritchie Blackmore was here, until recently guitarist for Deep Purple. He performed in the Congresgebouw in The Hague. The comparison between the two guitarists approximately ends here.

Blackmore has continued the Deep Purple tradition in his own way. That means that he makes very heavy rock, which for the most part is totally instrumental is closed. An opaque thick mash of sound. He is without a doubt a good guitarist and fortunately not a poser, but his ideas about rock have to be questioned. He has surrounded himself with four musicians who in any case support these views and who do so in a very thorough way. Cozy Powell is just about the most heavy drummer behind the drums at the moment and Jimmy Bain on bass guitar at least manages to stay upright next to him, even though his contributions aren't too obvious in Rainbow's avalanche of sound. As a singer, Blackmore has Ronnie James Dio, a muscular vocalist, who, however, has more pathos than feeling. On the keyboard instruments is Tony Carey, a certified force without a doubt, but his contributions must be the biggest question mark of all. Carey's organ parts churned out every guitar sound and it was mainly that which completely closed the music.

Catch the Rainbow, for example, was a fairly low-key song by Rainbow standards, and so it outperformed the indistinguishably massive rest. But the dry effect of the guitar was totally concealed by the overgrowing organ that, because it all went along with the tone, was not even noticeable as an independent instrument. Dio and Bain sang a beautiful double solo, but it was not always clear. This lack of nuance, of perfection in the execution is another flaw of this music.

To go on with that, everything at Blackmore is aimed at impressing, on the grand, on effect. He brought spectacular sets, a rainbow spanning the stage and numerous lighting effects. He is concerned with a grand pathetic style, which occasionally comes across, at least to a critical spectator, but which is ninety percent more tired and finally bored than convincing. As a counterbalance to that pathos he has built in contrasts, but they are of the simplest and crudest kind, even though they give the music some profile.

Sixteenth Century Greensleeves was a good example of this. Blackmore used the tune written by Henry VIII as a far too emphatic contrast to the hard rock he had connected to it. Man on the Silver Mountain in its focus on impressing was finished downright lazily, also in Blackmore's own solos. If it concerns the audience, there is no need to do much more on stage, is apparently the idea. In Stargazer, Carey was allowed to come to the fore in the role of "wizard at the keys". He immediately demoted himself with a sad display of nothing. Blackmore's solo on this song was a very consistent contribution to the style of his own music, which is why it was good. But he couldn't help but say that his concert was a model example of the proverb "a lot of shouting and little class".

Elly de Waard, De Volkskrant - October 20, 1976

Congresgebouw, The Hague, The Netherlands - October 18, 1976

Rainbow Concert: Hard and relicious

Quite rightly, a number of people leave the Prins Willem Alexanderzaal of the Congresgebouw in The Hague when the Australian rock'n'roll band AC/DC tries to warm up the almost exclusively Blackmore visitors on Monday the 18th October with endless, uninteresting songs. The 17-year-old guitarist in shorts runs like an idiot across the stage and is carried on the back of the singer by the not completely full hall. It only remains interesting for a few minutes. Unfortunately the band plays way too loud to fall asleep to it. Rainbow makes the audience quite aggressive by starting too late. Judy Garland's "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" blares from the speakers from a tape.

In the dark, five people enter the stage and then all hell breaks loose. Ronnie James Dio, Jimmy Bain, Cozy "The Hammer" Powell and keyboard freak Tony Carey plus Mister Blackmore himself open hard and relentlessly with a new song: "Kill The King". The blues piece "Mistreated" (better than Deep Purple ever performed) and the beautiful "Catch The Rainbow" stand out because of the extremely cool solo work of the fun-trapping Blackmore and the excellent vocals of Ronnie Dio and Harlot bass player Jimmy Bain. Rainbow's crew took twelve hours to build the gigantic installation. A fine example of modern technology is the stage-spanning, electronic rainbow that forms a beautiful whole with the life-size set of backdrops from the two Rainbow albums. At the end of the drum solo (a bit disappointing due to the use of another tape) a heavy magnesium bomb explodes.

Guitar rapist Ritchie Blackmore steals the show. He still has to make up for the infamous Deep Purple performance in early 1973 in Amsterdam's Oude Rai. His solos are flawless, lightning fast, sometimes too loud and a little later wonderfully sensitive again. As usual he smashes the guitar to pieces in the encore "Do You Close Your Eyes" and wet the audience in the front row with sparkling water. The fans almost pull him off the stage when he shakes hands afterwards. But Ritchie Blackmore is capable of much more. Ronnie Dio, who sang Roger Glover's single "Love Is All" into a hit, later recalled, "Ritchie could well make a Jeff Beck album twice as good as "Blow To Blow". I won't push him to do that though!" Rainbow has a bright future ahead. Although they never get as big as Deep Purple, because times have changed. However, one question remains in the back of my mind. When will Ritchie Blackmore finally come up with his masterpiece?

Bart Hekkelman, Get It - December 1976

Congresgebouw, The Hague, The Netherlands - October 18, 1976

On the 28th of January 1973, Deep Purple was for the last time in the Netherlands and, as you all know, that turned into a complete battlefield. Deep Purple's installation was turned into one big mess. An angry crowd shattered everything, because the band refused to give an encore after a mediocre set. Since that time, the Dutch fans have not really gotten their money's worth.

Deep Purple no longer needed The Netherlands, and the concert promoters did not want anything anymore to do with Deep Purple. A big disappointment for the thousands of fans, but their chance was yet to come. And indeed, that opportunity came in the form of Rainbow, that would give a concert in the Hague Congress Center on October 18. Finally, after waiting nearly four years, we could see Ritchie Blackmore live again.

It is seven in the evening when the entire fan club board arrives at the impressive Congress Center. We had come early because the record company Polydor would try to organize a meeting with the band members for us. After we had received the free tickets at the cash desk, we visited someone from the organization office APE. Through them we got in touch with the concert promoter, who told us that we were not allowed to go backstage, because that was prohibited under the contract with Rainbow. However, we agreed that he would put us in touch with Harry Knipschild from Polydor during the break. He might be able to help us further. Meanwhile, the doors of the hall were opened and people entered. The immense installation of Rainbow was of course already set up. A large rainbow in front of the stage, with dozens of spots behind it that would set the stage in the strangest colors.

The support act was provided by the Australian rock band AC/DC. The show was nice to watch, but musically it left a lot to be desired. Many thought this with us, because after a few songs the audience started shouting for Blackmore. It was clear that AC/DC had to get off the stage as soon as possible. After a few more simple bang-bang songs, AC/DC left the stage and the wait was for Rainbow. We now quickly took the opportunity to contact Harry Knipschild. This worked out wonderfully, and he advised us to go to the Bel-Air Hotel where Rainbow stayed that night after the concert.

In the meantime, the break, which lasted quite a long time, has ended and the audience is back for the seats. Suddenly the lights go out and the venue is filled with the tones of Judy Garland's world famous "Over The Rainbow". It is pitch dark when the first notes of "Kill the King" thunder through the venue. The stage light switches on and everything gets a fairytale atmosphere, because a gigantic picture of the first Rainbow LP hangs behind the stage.

There is Rainbow, with Ritchie Blackmore all the way to the right of the stage! Ritchie loves enthusiasm. Waving his head fiercely, he is smiling and playing his white Fender guitar. How great this new Rainbow sounds! They completely control the public. This band is as young and fresh as Deep Purple in their early days.

During the two hours that Rainbow is on stage, the songs "Kill The King", "Catch The Rainbow", "Sixteenth Century Greensleeves", "Man On The Silver Mountain", "Stargazer", "Still I'm sad" and "Do You Close Your Eyes" plus the big surprise "Mistreated" are performed in a very good way.

The band came up with a dazzling show, in which each member was given the opportunity to prove themselves as a musician and made eager use of it. It became clear that it is not just Ritchie who is in charge. The superbly singing Ronnie Dio works closely with Ritchie. In addition to a good show and background vocals, Jimmy Bain also delivers flawless bass work. Then there's the super drummer Cozy Powell with an impressive drum solo, complete with an exploding magnesium bomb. Tony Carey brings technically gifted keyboard work and time and again there is a fierce battle between organ and guitar. And of course there is Ritchie, the guitarist of the guitarists. The screeching fast solos follow each other. He is completely one with his guitar. He uses the time available between songs to play blues and classical pieces. It is truly an excellent concert. This band will make it all the way!

The encore that Rainbow enforces is "Do You Close Your Eyes". The people have now gotten off their seats and are storming the stage. After Ritchie has poured a bottle of wine into the audience, he throws his guitar meters high into the air. The instrument crashes onto the stage, while the amplifiers make the craziest sounds. Guitar executioner Ritchie worked it with his feet, picks it up and throws it at the amps with tremendous speed.

Still it is not enough, because he picks up the guitar again and starts hitting the stage with the neck until the guitar is in two pieces. Satisfied, the black-clad guitarist tosses the remains into the audience and picks up another guitar. But this one too has to believe it, at the end of "Do You Close Your Eyes" the stringed instrument is smashed on stage with a lot of allure. Just as unexpected as the concert has started, it is also over. Ronnie and Ritchie thank the audience and then Rainbow leaves the stage. An unforgettable concert by a new, very enthusiastic band is behind us.....

The Book Of Taliesyn no 5 (Dutch Rainbow Fanclub) - December 1976

House Of Culture, Helsinki, Finland - October 21, 1976

Blackmore canceled.

Former Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore and his band Rainbow in Finland has been canceled. Seppo Pieti-Käinen, the representative of the concert organizers, said of the situation: "Helsinki was planned as the last venue for the Rainbow European tour. However, the band is tired of the long tour and will leave out the last Helsinki concert."

Blackmore and Rainbow were scheduled for a concert on October 21st.

Helsingin Sanomat - 11th October 1976