European Tour 1981

Johanneshov Isstadion, Stockholm, Sweden - June 4, 1981

We got there early to get good seats and because it was raining, we got to the front at the entrance. When they started to let us in, we rushed up to the stage and got some dream seats to the right, only five meters from Blackmore!

It was pre-announced with Def Leppard as the band, but they were recording an album at the time, and couldn't come. Instead we had to settle for EF Band. Although they are good musicians and played several good songs, they still managed to get the crowd going. It was probably mostly due to the bad sound, but they continue to take the fall place as Sweden's best fall place as Sweden's best group.

After half an hour's wait, the light went out and a tape with "Pomp And Circumstance" started. It was followed by "Over The Rainbow" and then Blackmore & Co came out on stage and started the concert. They started with "Spotlight Kid", and a massive cloud of smoke spread across the stage, creating a fantastic effect in the masses of light. The move was top notch. Rainbow gave 100% and me and the other fans screamed, sang and raged. The sound was loud and relatively good (you were a bit deaf afterwards).

Only about 3,500 people came (6,000 last year) and it was probably due to the fact that they are married who have been told that they have become worse, which is completely wrong. It went on for almost 2 hours with the most in the songs "Can't Happen Here", "All Night long, the Purple song "Smoke On The Water" (the one they did well), and "Long Live Rock'n'Roll", where the singer Joe Lynn Turner arranged a sing-along and the mood was max.

Turner is a better singer than Graham Bonnet and did "Catch The Rainbow" excellent. That and "Difficult To Cure" were the only long loads and there organist Don Airey and drummer Bobby Roudinelli had their solos and really proved what damn good musicians they are.

I simply forgot about Roger Glover during the entire concert. I concentrated all the time on Ritchie Blackmore, dressed as usual in all black with white boots. It's amazing to see how easily he plays and improvises with his guitar. Every single solo is different from the disc version and his enormous playing skill and charisma make him completely superior to the other guitarists.

There is no invented, studied hardness and rawness like in some other hard rockers. It is clearly noticeable how he lives into the music. Sometimes he stands completely still, closes his eyes and shakes his head characteristically, and sometimes he is at the edge of the stage challenging the audience. His game is indescribable....

He used his favorite guitar the whole time, the white stratocaster, the one he never breaks, and when the audience called out Rainbow for encores, I was suitably disappointed when he still had the white guitar. By the time they came in for the third time, he had switched guitars and I let out a squeal of joy when I realized what that meant. They then played "Kill The King" which ended in a seven-hell audio orgy where Ritchie ran around and rubbed the guitar against everything, threw it in the air and let Bobby play it, and the fans roared with joy.

Finally, he jumped onto the speaker mountain and pounded it against the vocal system. When it was broken, he threw it down and Rainbow left the stage. Idol-worshipping fans threw themselves over the riot fence to get a piece of the prized possession, but were soon pushed back by the guards. Blackmore is the world's best rock guitarist and it was a superbly executed concert with the guitar smashing as the highlight and the audience must simply be satisfied!

Monsters of Rock Magazine issue no 2 - Sweden 1981

Brøndby-Hallen, Copenhagen, Denmark - June 5, 1981

I remember Ritchie going completely beserk at the end of that show. Brøndby Hallen has one of the worst acoustics and maybe felt he had to make up for the terrible sound. He threw the remains of his demolished guitar up into the lighting rig where it stuck and Ritchie tried to pull all of it down. Two minutes later he actually leaped out into the audience and was carried off stage by two security guards!

Jacob Hastedt

UKK Hall, Helsinki, Finland - June 7, 1981

Heavy rumbling

- I guess the thing is that you either like heavy rock or you don't.
- Yesterday's Rainbow concert at least showed that there is more to Finland four thousand heavy rock fans.
- And more entrants would have been there, if only there were enough tickets for everyone who wanted them.
- Heavy seems to be back again heavy, loud — and also rather boring.

Rainbow knew the job. That was already clear in advance, but the whole time the show exuded coldness and indifference. Or maybe heavy bands don't try to give something to think about.

In the rock music of the first half of the 70s, the buzzword was heavy. Now it feels like an avalanche, more like a rollercoaster. Again, if from a mandolin, as an equally strong wave in the wake of rock's current bands. Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath were there. It seems far away now. The messiah of youth and the heavy phase of rock, who opened the ears of young people at least in the western world.

Guitar heroes and drummers of the youth were role models, who actually wore a magical halo. At least that's how it feels now when looking through ancient music magazines, where bands announced that they were looking for a guitarist who looked like Ritchie Blackmore. Blackmore himself would also have been suitable.

If we weren't talking about a heavy renaissance, it would be appropriate to accept that fact that heavy is here again. And what's most amazing: the same heroes as the flag bearer of the new avalanche. Who hasn't seen Blackmore, Gillan lately. Cozy Powell and Whitesnake's names on the pages of music magazines.

Not everyone may be excited about the new popularity of heavy music. After all, heavy has been known to be the cheapest and most imaginative form of music. Additional lighting for heavy rock enthusiasm is also brought by Sleepy Sleepers, who parodies in the style "heavv tule — heavy kills", and I hear that there has been a store open in Stockholm for some time now, which in its menu is focused only on the sale of heavy rock.

Cold metal

Currently, Rainbow's line-up is Ritchie Blackrnore (guitar), Roger Glover (bass), Bob Bondarell (! ed.) (drums), Don Airey (keyboards) and Joe Lynn Turner (vocals, guitar). There has been a change in the band lately, when Graham Bonnet, Ronnie Dio and Cozyy Powell went their separate ways.

The band's latest album, Difficult to Cure, may not be the best of their six albums, but it represents above average level in general in the heavy offering. When Kassu Halonen, who was the warm-up artist, had left the stage with his band, Rainbow only landed in our country.

The break, which was longer than expected, made the most eager to cheer on their favorites. Rarely does a concert start with such strong encouragement as yesterday. When Rainbow started their show, before long the loud and heavy music became boring and unimaginative.

Catch The Rainbow and the band's current hit I Surrender slightly changed the perception of Rainbow's one-sidedness. Especially the last mentioned is a catchy and nuanced song that swears by motorheads probably think it's pop.

The worst shortcoming of heavy bands is probably that they can't come up with anything new to express themselves. You can also always wonder at the inconsistency of the lyrics.

A large part of the audience was dressed in Rainbow products, which were still on tap - available for purchase even after the gig. The musicians' macho fashion looked childish rather than manly.

Yes, you can listen to compositions like the already mentioned I Surrender and the last song Long Live Roll for a while, but the heavy and cold general look in the one and a half hour show is too much. But at least Rainbow made four thousand people happy. Good!

Long Live Rock'n'Roll, i.e. long live proper rock'n'roll! Fortunately, the requirement set by that sentence is not only on Rainbow's shoulders, but Rainbow nevertheless gives its own contribution and perspective to the general mixed carnation guide.

Kari Ylanne, Ilta Sanomat - July 8, 1981
Photos: Timo Hämäläinen

UKK Hall, Helsinki, Finland - June 7, 1981

Smash all noise records in the UKK hall, Rainbow plays LOUD

Wait for Rainbow to come. The band plays really hard, said Dire Straits' manager a week ago in Helsinki.

Yesterday, Rainbow played at the same place. And that manager knew what he was talking about: if Rainbow's visit is nothing else, then at least the group broke the previous decibel level of rock bands that have played in Finland.

A heavy concert is always like a party. The strong in faith see their ideal, encourage each other and approach the climax during the drum solo. The pagans who got lost in the mix look at each other in amazement... They say they don't play loud, but I didn't think they could play so loud...

At this stage, however, it is too late to back down. You have to choose a side. Either you share in the ecstasy of the believers or you sit and suffer (and wish that the clock would go faster or that the guy behind the mixing desk with headphones would finally come to his senses).

The English band Rainbow's concert in Messukeskus' UKK hall fulfilled all the dimensions of a heavy concert — for better or for worse.

Four thousand heavy diggers raved to their heart's content and will surely be talking about the concert a month from now. But for anyone other than Richie Blackmore and Rainbow die-hards for the fans, the evening was a fortefortissimo performance. Literally.

But it's everyone's choice, right?


Rainbow played what the audience expected. Rainbow played even harder than expected (and feared). Rainbow is an effective stage band that gets the audience involved...

For practical reasons, it is difficult to weigh the musical values of the concert. UKK-halli has also played tricks on bands playing at normal volume, Rainbow's rumbling created a total mass of sound falling on the listener in the hall.

The stage show included all the rites of heavy bands: in front of the audience to the rhythm of Wagner's magnificent tunes, smoke billowed from under the stage throughout the concert, black leather and flamboyant vocals were enough...

And that drum solo was heard, of course. Truth be told, Rainbow's drummer was able to keep the tension up until the end of his solo. A few show gigs were quite funny.

As a performer at a big outdoor festival, Rainbow is suitable, it is undoubtedly one of the best heavy bands. But on the basis of yesterday, it must be stated that its cramming with the cabinet linings Going to the UKK hall is wrong both for the band itself and above all for the listeners.

Kassa Halonen's group, forced into the thankless task of the warm-up band, survived their task quite satisfactorily. I warmed up best in the strange surrounded by Juha Björninen, who played the tastiest solos of the evening on his guitar.

It's too bad to say anything about Richie Blackmore's guitar playing. The fingers did go around the neck, and the sound went around the hall....

Illka Yrja, IL Finland - July 8, 1981
Photo: Hannu Häyhä

UKK Hall, Helsinki, Finland - June 7, 1981

In the midst of smoke and noise

Long live rock'n roll, a shrill scream was heard among the smoke and unbearable noise.

Long live rock'n roll, repeated four thousand heavy-diggers faithfully. They were going strong. They had come to see and listen (?) to the English band Rainbow at the Helsinki exhibition center and they got what they wanted: classy in its own series, but unsurprising heavy concert.

However, Rainbow's metallic rumble has very little to do with genuine or personal rock'n'roll. The activity exuded coldness and the pomposity characteristic of all heavy bands, even taken to the point of being amusing.

Rainbow's concert showed once again that the UKK hall is uneducated a concert venue for (too) loud bands. The mass of sound emanating from the huge speaker mountains was immediately dulled at the handshake and went around the hall until the last bars.

Ritchie Blackmore is still a skilled and charismatic heavy-rock guitarist, but even his playing could not be properly enjoyed in the miserable conditions.

But the 4,000 Rainbow fans seemed to enjoy themselves, and theirs was the night. It's just a pity that their moods were also disturbed by the lights of the UKK hall: the orderlies were apparently afraid of the audience rioting and turned the hall lights on in the middle of the concert.

Underestimating the audience that bought an expensive admission ticket is still unfortunately a daily occurrence at rock concerts.

U-Sanomat - July 9, 1981
Photo: Hannu Häyhä

Patinoire de Boulogne-Billancourt, Paris, France - June 11, 1981

This gig was in a big tent! On this gig Ritchie Blackmore was electrocuted! 270 Volts measured between his bass pedals and the onstage snake.... he just stepped onto the riser and I literally saw the hair stand on his head! He came back behind his stacks and told me he just got the worst shock of his life and he touched nothing! Later found out that the stage was metal under the wood floor!

I remember this gig for a very disturbing reason. On this gig in Paris Rainbow played in a giant tent that was packed chock full of loyal Parisian fans. Now French electric is dodgy to begin with and in my past experiences... as usual we had to deal with a huge buzz... 450 Watts of Marshall Major Amplification plus dirty power and with dodgy grounding can usually cancel a show before it began!

Buzz was lowered enough for Ritchie to be able to play and of course this being Paris it was a huge gig prestigious wise... so the band were fired up and ready to rock. Ritchie seemed to be in good spirits and had no idea he was about to get a tremendous wake up call in a life changing event. Everything was going fine till he jumped onto the metal drum rise as he does every show especially when he's feeling great!

Well evidently under the wood planking of the stage was metal and I as usual nailed his bass pedals to the stage to stop it from moving like I always do. This evidently completed a circuit with the mic snake and drum riser... when Ritchie jumped onto the drum riser his hair stood on end and I could actually see it and the look in his eyes as he immediately came behind the stacks... terror in his eyes and said to me "That was the worse shock I've ever got in my life and I didn't even touch anything!" except his boots!

If that was his hand or even the guitar he would have met his maker right there onstage! After the show we measured the voltage between the snake and drum riser at 277 Volts very alive! Funny too that he wasn't even mad and I think he actually got fired up to really play a wild one! As Ritchie didn't sing I never had to check the polarity before this. Of course I did every show afterwards and he always trusted my judgement as we always had a team of electrical experts on hand especially Raymond D’addario our production manger who was on every electrician we worked with to make it all work...

Clif Cooky Crawford

Ahoy Hall, Rotterdam, The Netherlands - June 13, 1981

That's the way

It is starting to seem that Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow can be seen in a new composition on every visit to the Netherlands. On the one hand that is a bit annoying because you don't know what to expect and because then you are not able to follow the development of a group, but on the other hand Blackmore proves capable every time with an excellent group to come back and give a great concert. Also recently in the Rotterdam Ahoy Hall.

The evening was opened by the young British group Def Leppard who, despite a pretty bad sound, managed to convince. Def Leppard has become a lot rougher since the debut album from '79 and that was particularly noticeable in the few new songs that were played, in which the emphasis was more on the guitar work and the close harmonies almost disappeared.

After 25 (!) Minutes Leppard already left the stage (Blackmore's regime), after which Rainbow entered the stage with newcomers Joe Lynn Turner vocals and Bob Rondinelli drums. Of course Turner sang songs from the album Difficult To Cure flawlessly, such as Can't Happen Here, Spotlight Kid and especially I Surrender, but he also knew what to do with the work of Down To Earth, such as Love's No Friend Of Mine and Lost In Hollywood.

Only in older work such as Man On The Silver Mountain and Catch The Rainbow he could not match his predecessors. But the star of the show remains of course Blackmore himself, who again did a good job on his Stratocaster. The group as a whole sounded quite close and surprisingly enthusiastic, so that despite the endless guitar and organ solos it was still a great concert. Oh yes, in one of the encores Rainbow played some Purple intros, after which Smoke On The Water was played and we hadn't heard that for a long time. Blackmore had a good time, because at the end of the show he smashed his guitar to pieces. And that's the way.

Kees Baars, Muziekkrant Oor - July 1, 1981

Ahoy Hall, Rotterdam, The Netherlands - June 13, 1981

Around half past nine the lights went out and the lighters turned on. The theme 'Over the Rainbow' heralded the start of a promising evening. They started with the temporal 'Spotlight Kid'. This strong song was followed by 'Love ain't no friend of mine'. The beginning of this blues song was way too commercial, but luckily there was some speed towards the end, so it could be heard. Very bad was (the singletrack) "I Surrender". It's ridiculous that a band like Rainbow needs a Russ Ballard song to score a hit. Anyway, the very strong "Man on the Silver Mountain" quickly made us forget everything. Ritchie Blackmore tested the hardness of the floor with his back for the first time that night.

The highlight of that evening was the 15-minute performance of "Catch the Rainbow". The Rainbow talents can develop in this song. Ritchie played two excellent solos during this song, and singer Joe Lynn Turner shows that he is capable of singing an atmospheric, quiet piece in a pure way. Although I should note here that he didn't has the level of R.J. Dio (now Black Sabbath).

Roger Glover played bass excellently throughout the evening. With "Can't Happen Here" it went fast again. After this came a keyboard solo from Airey. Well I was not at all impressed with this, sometimes it sounded just like a church organ. I was relieved when Ritchie's guitar came back in.

We got a long instrumental part that ended in a drum solo by Bob Rondinelli. During this excellent drum solo, Bob fired his drumsticks into the hall and continued drumming with his fists. Before Rainbow could start their series of encores, they played "Long live Rock 'n Roll". In this song the audience had the opportunity to demonstrate that they could also sing. In the first encore Rainbow played "Vielleicht das nächster Zeit". The audience was allowed to sing along once more with "All night Long". Of course they did not let Rainbow go. The second encore commemorated the Deep Purple period. Ritchie Blackmore first played the intros of "Lazy" and "Woman from Tokyo". and then the entire "Smoke on the Water" was played. Blackmore's guitar was still intact, so a third encore was needed to give him the opportunity to smash his guitar. After 1 hour and 45 minutes Rainbow, we can get to come to the following conclusion: The repertoire contained many good pieces and some bad ones. The sound was good and the light show great.

Stefan Rooyackers, Aardschok no 6 - 1981

Ahoy Hall, Rotterdam, The Netherlands - June 13, 1981

Rainbow fascinates in variety

Even before Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow had even played a single note on Saturday evening, the evening turned out to be successful: a tape-recorded orchestral version of the atmospheric 'Land of hope and glory' quickly forgotten the disastrous support act Def Leppard and paved the way in an inimitable way for the achievements of the group that can be seen as the successor to Deep Purple.

A lot has happened with Rainbow between the concert of about two years ago and that of Saturday. The changes of the group members was great and in particular the departure of Cozy Powell and the arrival of Roger 'love is all' Glover were the most striking in that regard. However, there is no sign of any damage to the recognizable Rainbow sound, as ex-Deep Purple guitarist Blackmore is in good hands; after all, it is he who determines the musical direction.

During the almost two-hour set, Rainbow managed to fascinate in a very varied and colorful way. A very melodic, rather commercial hard-rock, which nevertheless still leaves room for some quieter work, such as 'Catch the Rainbow'. Rainbow often played long compositions, in which each group member was allowed to contribute on demand. Nice were the literally hand-and-footed mammoth solos by Rondinelli and the Wakeman-like pieces by Airey, who just added some Scott Joplin-rags for fun. Certainly because of Airey's playing the whole occasionally plays quite classically, culminating in 'Difficult to Cure', a flawless and very swinging adaptation of Beethoven's Ninth.

Rainbow offered something for everyone, including less complicated work in the form of songs like 'Man on the silver Mountain' and the recent 'Spotlight Kid'. Together with the more complex songs they provided an excellent balance, which was certainly representative of Rainbow's music. Not a bad word about this beautiful 'rainbow'.

Arnoud Oosterholt, Haagsche Courant - June 15, 1981

Ahoy Hall, Rotterdam, The Netherlands - June 13, 1981

Sleep-inducing Rainbow

The concert, which the English Rainbow played in front of a sold-out Ahoy Hall in Rotterdam on Saturday evening, was a sleep-inducing thing. The audience was forced to listen to classically tinted "snacks" such as Land Of Hope And Glory and Sing A Song of Joy and overly long guitar and drum solos. Rainbow has to be retired, after all, a rainbow cannot always remain tense.

Rainbow with celebrities such as guitarist Ritchie Blackmore and bassist Roger Glover did shine briefly in the barely an hour and a half long concert, actually only in Catch The Rainbow and Love's No Friend Of Mine, in which Blackmore lived up to his reputation as a star guitarist with a number of beautiful guitar soli. After that it was over.

The audience was then "treated" to fifteen minutes of synthesizer improvisation by Ex-Coloseum II keyboardist Don Airey, resulting in a thumbs down from the audience. A little later an uninspired drum solo by Bob Rondinelli followed, with countless drum sticks flying into the hall. Rainbow couldn't interest. The audience seemed only to come for the old work, because songs like I Surrender and the title track of the last album Difficult To Cure were received quite coldly. Only the light show deserves some appreciation, because it was very impressive.

Hans Piët, Binnenhof - June 15, 1981

Ahoy Hall, Rotterdam, The Netherlands - June 13, 1981

Sophisticated hard rock show from Rainbow

The two personnel changes have done the hard rock formation Rainbow well. The English group around guitar virtuoso Ritchie Blackmore made a much better impression in a new set-up Saturday evening in an Ahoy filled with more than 6000 fans than on the previous visit a year ago. As can be heard on the latest Rainbow album "Difficult to cure", absolute leader Blackmore has coped well with the loss of old-timers drummer, Cozy Powell and singer Graham Bonnet by appointing competent replacements.

The arrival of Bob Rondinelli behind the drums and Joe Lynn Turner as singer has clearly given new inspiration to the remaining core, next to ex-Deep Purple front man Blackmore consisting of bassist Roger Glover and keyboard player Don Airey. Enthusiasm radiated from the performance. It goes without saying that the two newcomers in particular did their very best. So plenty of effort, sophisticated show effects galore, but few surprises as far as the musical bite is concerned.

The intro ("Land of hope and glory", "Somewhere over the rainbow" on tape) was the same as last time, the climax was as usual the breaking of his guitar by the Great Master himself. In between, the most recent album included "I surrender" and the title song "Difficult to cure, inspired by Beethoven's Ninth. A surprise was the Deep Purple medley (" Smoke on the water, "Lazy", "Woman from Tokyo ") after the first encore "All night long".

In the opening act, the young group Def Leppard fully lived up to their already built-up fame of "Deep Purple of the eighties".

Louis du Moulin, Het Vrije Volk - June 15, 1981

Theatre de Plein Air du Parc Expo, Colmar, France - June 21, 1981

Like me, everything has not aged very well! moreover, a personal resentment with the master! let me explain .. June 21, 1981, Colmar, my very first concert .. Rainbow, tour "Difficult to cure"; an excellent pre-group, I'll come back to it later and the Man in Black .. 10 minutes of concert! and a "Fuck offf Colmar!"

Reason? a crate of tomatoes thrown on stage .. while the excavations at the entrance were very strict at the time! Ten years later, I met, through a job on the site itself, with the "thrower" of tomatoes! 500 francs to do it?!? ; nice sum! the ticket at the time was worth 30 francs! This story is true! the guy in question was chief of staff of the "wine fair" during long time and responsible for the site during the other concerts ...

Concerning "Difficult to Cure", it is from this disc, (I do not criticize the compositions), that I can not get used to it anymore, to get used to what? AU SOUND !!! This is not a personal revenge at the time I continued to buy the group records), but about the sound of the 80s .. I think Rainbow really suffered! The satisfaction of my first concert, was the support-act, very little known at the time, which for nearly an hour played their show! a certain Def Leppard!!

Jean-Marc Gaebele
on Amazon France

Theatre de Plein Air du Parc Expo, Colmar, France - June 21, 1981

I was at the 1981 show in Colmar (21/06/81), front row, in front Ritchie. The oranges did not come from the audience but from the big pit in front the stage. This pit was dark, but I saw the man who threw the fruit on the stage. Look in the article (from a French newspaper), Joe was alone on stage. And it is easy to guess who was able to make a joke to Joe Lynn Turner.

Jean-Marie Voisin
on Facebook

Estadio Roman Valero, Madrid, Spain - July 4, 1981

Rainbow in the Moscardó: an event

Three groups, three, scratching the dusk, first, and then the dark with claws of heavy metal. Two supports - UFO, substitutes for Scorpions in the package, and Def Leppard - and unconsecrated: Rainbow, the penultimate "rock" screening from the gutters of England, dotting the sparse pedicide of the Moscardó camp in Usera, a "neighborhood" landscape for sculpted music. In the cement "an event".

In a way, the concert on Saturday was undoubtedly one of the longest that is remembered: about six hours with delays and intermediate and one of the most abrupt, although this is a quality less measurable at the time of establishing a table of "records." Around ten o'clock - with only thirty minutes of delay - UFO opened the fire. They retired after having offered what was expected of them: an elementary rhythm and crush, correct execution and extremely poor in concept. Poor, but honorable, they managed, to use, without forgiving one, all the clichés of the genre, to calm the environment.

Afterwards, to cool it, Rainbow would arrive. Ritchie Blackmore and his boys waited at midnight to get on stage. In the meantime, the technicians of the troupe placed a string of firecrackers on the edge of the stage to make explosions during the first song. Everything worked according to the pre-seen: the firefly became smoke and threatening to do same with some clueless photographer who had not taken the precaution to be put to the ground. But the "mise enscene" offered yet another incentive. Braced by one of the "baffles", Blackmore plucked the cords of his guitar to deleite from the hard-working occupants of the first rows and, above all, to fulfill the rite before the cameras.

Then, once the apocalyptic "introit" was completed, Rainbow - Roger Glover (bass), Don Airey (keyboards), Ronnie James Dio (vocals) and Bob Rondinelli (drums), plus Ritchie Blackmore and his mythic guitar-started. Impotent power, the ex-guitarist of Deep Purple attacked with a theme of the last group's elepéconceived as a decatalogical species of his instrumental skills. Later he would pass the testimony to his keyboard player who, surely to fall sympathetically, explored with "Long live Spain" before moving on to a version of the "Himnoa la alegría" and, to top it all off, a Bach fugue that, in the absence of partitura, left sketched.

Glover, meanwhile, held the rhythm well with his bass and proved to be far less unfriendly than his Deep Purple companion. And both the singer and the drummer played well, the first, a beautiful voice for the half-beams type "I Surrender" and, the second, the wild energy that is rigor in these cases. However, his music, at least the one they did the Saturday, it was nothing. Blackmore affirms that his group has two faces: one intension and another technique. The one that was planted in the Moscardó field was the product of a de anti-natura cross between Supertramp and Deep Purple. It was, in the worst moments, irritating of pure fatua. The good ones, rather few, were those in which Ritchie Blackmore made use of the repertorio of the old times - "Long live rock and roll" and "Smoke on the water" - to round off an act that ended with the usual demolation of a derelict guitar - the "real" one was guarded lovingly - encaramado to one of the towers.

Then, showing a strange kindness, people started to march towards the street. It was one-thirty in the morning and it was beginning to be cold in the grassy rectangle. And Def Leppard? At that point no one seemed to care much if they read a part of what they had paid for the entrance. When someone went ahead to the microphone to announce that within twenty minutes the second opening group would appear on the scene, only a part - half, more or less, of the eight milasistentes decided to go back over their steps and stay. The promised twenty minutes became, as expected, three quarters of waiting time and, in the absence of another thing to do, began to form around a few bonfires. When members of the security service were deployed through the field to put out the fires, Def Leppard started the first song. Nobody made much difference to them and they corresponded with the same dose of enthusiasm. Half a minute later they left, nobody asked for an encore and nobody, therefore, needed to be granted it. The lights went on and the parade of the few who were inside started. Outside, in the midst of an utterly disproportionate display, more than a hundred policemen were watching a troop of drowsy youngsters.

Tomás Cuesta, ABC Madrid - July 7, 1981

Estadio Roman Valero, Madrid, Spain - July 4, 1981

15,000 People attended the Usera Hardrock Festival

The trouble with a hard rock festival is that everything sounds bleakly the same. The differences between one group and another are always nuanced, but what nuance can be distinguished in thunderous music that seeks to provoke the most basic feelings and reactions? That is what happened last Saturday at the Román Valero stadium in Usera. Some 15,000 people gathered there to listen to three figures of style: Def Leppard, UFO and Rainbow.

The entrance to the field, which was presumed conflictive, was almost a pool of oil due to the dissuasive presence of some twenty National Police minibuses and the broken glass and barbed wire that festooned the walls. Nothing or almost nothing on that side, much to the relief of the dozens of beach bars selling the most varied ingestible materials (from the perfidious absinthe to a super vegetable sandwich).

So, we entered to contemplate an impressive scenario on which UFO, the first group of the list, was already evolving. As far as it goes, UFO are the melodic ones in this matter, but they already made it very clear what the axes of what we were going to listen to over the course of about five hours were: torn and shrill voice (memories of Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and others), a trilling guitar, full of fast scales and strange effects (thanks to them), and a rhythmic section that grinds until it's enough (just like before).

A music that, however, managed to lift people who had not sat down and who raised their arms to the sky in an emotional image of motivation and dedication. According to Roger Glover, current bassist of Rainbow and former member of Deep Purple, the grace of this music lies in being able to play it live. Logical; if you take into account that he has been doing the same thing for more than eleven years, that he has already done it all. On the contrary, the most recent Def Leppard (ranging from seventeen to twenty-one years old) were better explained by the mouth of their singer (throat they say) Joe Elliot: "We have no interest in doing something new; we just want to do this the best we can. Hard rock develops, improves, but doesn't change, and we bring freshness, excitement and ideas to that development."

From where we left to see Rainbow, who use, at this point, a lot of smoke, reflectors to illuminate the sea of upraised arms and end with a nice set of flares and a destroyed guitar.

Joe Lynn Turner sings well, and Ritchie Blackmore, one of the greatest myths of this invention, shows that he has many years of experience and less imagination. They even attack Beethoven's Ninth with worse style than the Rivers (Miguel and Waldo). But it's the same, people are delighted, hilarious, it's a beautiful night, the herbs are welcoming and this is pure party or almost. What was sought.

As Rainbow ends, a sizeable crowd filters down to the last meter, but there's still enough that Def Leppard's performance isn't a disgrace. Actually, they are the most exciting, the fastest, the youngest, the ones who believe it the most. They seem almost androgynous in a world of macho wigs, but their music has muscle even if it is just as repetitive as that of their predecessors.

José Manuel Costa, El Pais - July 7, 1981