13.4.2018 Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow @ Hartwall Arena, Helsinki

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A couple of years ago I went to see Ritchie Blackmore‘s son Jürgen who was then in a tribute band with among others Joe Lynn Turner and some other old Rainbow members. The band was called Over The Rainbow. I always thought that I’ll never experience anything closer to the real thing like that. Up until Ritchie Blackmore announced that he had formed a new Rainbow and they’d play a couple of shows. Well you never really know with these new formations, but then I saw who’s in it and it caught my attention: Jens Johansson (Stratovarius) on keyboards,  David Keith on drums (Blackmore’s Night), Bob Nouveau on bass and Ronnie Romero (Lord of Black) as a vocalist. I waited for a couple of years, up until they finally announced they’d play at Hartwall Arena at Helsinki. Just my luck!

I usually never do reviews without visuals, unless it’s a gig I coincidentally attended. I was too late to get a photo pass unfortunately, but I decided to solve it this way. No photos means more crappy videos to somehow be able to grasp the atmosphere of the concert with me. First of all, again, I arrived a little late, so again, I missed the support act. But I was right on time for Rainbow, unfortunately like me, Rainbow was a little late as well. Anxiously I was waiting until it was time for them to begin. “Land of Hope and Glory” started playing and marked the beginning of an amazing night. Ritchie Blackmore came a bit early to the stage, which was surprising, as he wasn’t really playing. Maybe he wanted to feel the audience’s excitement? Because wow, the crowd really was. After two intros, “Spotlight Kid” kicked in with a lot of energy. We get acquainted with Ronnie Romero as a vocalist. First thing that comes to my mind is the resemblance to Paul Rodgers in his essence. Romero has an amazingly powerful voice, but he doesn’t go around running along the stage. He doesn’t have to. His voice is impressive enough, which reminds me a bit of Paul Rodgers, who has the same kind of glow over him. Romero seems like the appropriate choice to sing for the band, his voice can handle most of Rainbow’s respective singers. After a very strong beginning, the audience was really excited and immediately got answered by their cheers in form of “I Surrender”. The song was followed by Deep Purple‘s “Mistreated”, a song from “Burn”. “Mistreated” is a very bluesy song. It kind of stood out for me in the setlist. Romero doesn’t have that full-bodied voice that Coverdale has, but his voice sounds good in the lower registers as well and in general he can handle Coverdale very well. The band sounded really tight in the song, which is really important.

Setlist