Rainbow – Live at Glasgow Hydro 2017

I finally made the sacred pilgrimage to see The World’s Greatest Guitarist®. My expectations had been lowered after seeing the enjoyable but sluggish Memories In Rock footage and then hearing the banal single released a few weeks back but… Ritchie F. Blackmore! It was incredibly exciting to know I was finally going to, not just see him play live, but see him play rock.

The band’s recent recording of Land Of Hope And Glory played over the PA before the “we must be over the rainbow” sample heralded the band’s arrival on stage. Opening with HMO fave Spotlight Kid rather than Highway Star was a good move. Blackmore played tentatively and awkwardly but come the closing outro of the next song I Surrender he was warming up. He was taking some shortcuts in his lead and rhythm playing throughout the night but given his age (and arthritis?) it’s unfair to expect the intensity of his youth. He still played well and had that mercurial, unique quality. It was great to hear his instantly recognisable guitar voice in person.

Sorry, didn’t take any photos but this YouTube still from the O2 show is similar to the view I had.

The band was good too. A definite improvement on the 2016 footage/recordings with a much more convincing performance from the rhythm section in particular. Ronnie Romero was in superb voice and an entertaining, personable frontman. He suits some songs more than others but he was impressive all night. He’s a huge talent and a great find.

My only quibbles were an interminably long keyboard solo and some overly shrill shrieking in Child In Time, a song I can’t be arsed with at the best of times anyway. And, although it’s good to hear Blackmore playing them, I wasn’t too fussed about hearing other Purple stuff like Black Night and Smoke On The Water either. That said, some of the sets best moments came from the Purple albums: a stunning version of Burn and a very moving Soldier Of Fortune. The Rainbow selections were similar to previous shows with the welcome addition of I Surrender, All Night Long and a hugely unexpected and wonderful Temple Of The King. But the mighty Stargazer remains the absolute standout track of the set: epic metal bliss delivered with deadly conviction by Romero. Goosebumps.

Ultimately, I went to see a guitarist whose music and playing I have obsessed over for years. And I was not disappointed. In fact, I was often thrilled and excited. That’s pretty good going. Age and arthritis be damned, Blackmore is still the man.

Luckily, my friend Jo is better at taking photos than I am

50 thoughts on “Rainbow – Live at Glasgow Hydro 2017”

  1. I am so damn jealous. I love that last photo. Jo did a great job.
    I want to see Ritchie play before he/I die. Maybe he’ll venture across the pond wearing a leather jacket and sans tights.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Awesome review from an actual fan! No worries about not taking photos! I find I would monkey around to much with the camera than enjoy the show….
    Glad to see Rainbow still had it. Perhaps a smart move for Blackmore to go with this young fella at the mic.
    Changing it up ….nothing wrong with that in most cases. Father time is catching up with everyone so cool that u had the experience!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Excellent. Glad that Blackmore guy still had the chops to get your, eh, Blackmore senses tingling.

    But ‘The World’s Greatest Guitarist®’? I thought we already established that was that guy whatshisface?

    Liked by 2 people

      1. That’s the best one! His playing on that is otherworldly! There’s some great dual shredding with whatshischops on whatsitcalled… magic.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Fantastic! I knew you were going but had forgotten when and then here’s the review! Blackmore out of the blue!

    Sounds like a wonderful show, and your quibbles minor. In Sum: I think you were VERY fortunate to get to go to this show. That’s an all-timer memory!


    Liked by 1 person

  5. That’s what it is all about, man. Seeing and enjoying, age be damned! You’ve still got the albums for when you seek studio/youth perfection. But now you’ve got the added bonus of the personal to enhance your Blackmore love. Way cool! (And “Temple of the King”!!!)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s got the registered trademark symbol & it’s tagged in the post – I think that makes his status official as the world’s greatest!
    Incidentally, we’ll be making a carrot cake at our house tomorrow that the cookbook named “Canada’s best Carrot cake” – it appears they weren’t quite willing to go ahead with the post-tagging/trademark-registering/expand-title-to-world’s-best just yet!
    I’m glad to hear he delivered in person, nice to hear the band was worth the trip too

    Liked by 1 person

  7. GREAT REVIEW! What does the F in Ritchie F Blackmore stand for?

    Child in Time…interesting he’s playing that. Maybe because Purple cannot?

    I like Ronnie but after listening to Black Masquerade a few times over the last couple weeks, I really like Doogie. A very good frontman for that band.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ritchie F**cking Blackmore!

      I think he’s doing Child In Time for exactly that reason. I heard a few people talking about it being a highlight for that reason too. I thought it was quite boring though and the high notes were wince inducing.

      I think Ronnie does really well to cover all eras. Is Doogie as versatile do you think? I don’t really know enough about Doogie to know. I’ll need to get that Black Masquerade though, it looks good.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I found Doogie to be…not versatile so much…he sounded like Doogie at all times, but he didn’t have problems with much of the material. I also liked his humour.

        Child in Time is a song that…well, I don’t think anyone can really sing it without a time machine! Maybe Paul Stanley could have a go at it.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. I heard that before the show was cancelled fans were going to be given a choice of 3 potential variations on the show.
        1) a Neanderthal throwback complete with caveman costumes, grunts and banging of sticks.
        2) Fan request night in which fans can choose between 90’s Boy Band or Village People songs
        3) Nautical night where all of the songs are played underwater and sung in whale and dolphin voices

        Liked by 2 people

  8. Sutch ran (or, as they say in Blighty, stood) for Parliament, with the Official Monster Raving Loony Party. Of course, he was seen as a prankster, a loony himself, and no-one took him seriously. He also featured a radical platform containing such subversive elements as private radio stations and the right to vote at 18.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Rainbow Lite was a good gateway for me into Rainbow, but now I find it too slow for my liking and I’ve moved on to the infinite superiousness of Boston Live 1981

    Liked by 1 person

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