Rainbow – On Stage
I know more OF Rainbow than I have heard their songs, so when Mike sent me a couple of their records I was very excited indeed. You see, I love Dio. His vocals are just superb. So any band he hung around has to be alright in my books. And then I find out Blackmore was involved… oh baby. Anyway, all of this to say that sometimes a live album can be a great introduction to a band. And this one? HOLY HELL THIS ROCKED!
Kill The King has a funny Somewhere Over The Rainbow teaser intro (haha). Then the band just takes right off with a great driving beat. The whole thing is one helluva intro. Imagine being there for this! Mind. Blown. The keys really stand out here, for me. Right around the 3:20 mark is incredible stuff. Damn.
Then we have a medley track, kicking off with Man On The Silver Mountain, which is a great classic rock track. The soloing really stands out here. There’s a bit of a pause and then we move into the simply-titled Blues, which is a cool jam session. It’s the sound of a band stretching out, unwinding a bit, being playful. Loved it. There’s some handclaps which lead into Starstruck, another great rawk track. Stand-out vocal section in the middle. A massive song. What a collection!
Catch The Rainbow is next, a beautiful slow song with great bottom end. It just builds and builds into a full band rock-out before coming back down again, then building back up… Really plays on energy and emotion. Huge solos, the works. At 15 and a half minutes, this is a tour de force.
Mistreated’s beautiful guitar intro becomes a slicing rawk buzzsaw. What a brilliant slow blues stomper of a tune. Total showcase for the guitar that just goes on for minutes in the most beautiful way. Talk about dynamics, bringing things way down and letting the mood shift… Dio probably went for a beer haha! I love the way it picks up to full gallop before the guitar and vocals noodle us on out of there…
Sixteenth Century Greensleeves is a really unfortunate title for a rock song, but hey it’s Dio. Whaddaya gonna do? This one’s two and a half minute intro was too long, but it leads into a lovely rawk organ tune. This one, like the others, sounds like a pure classic rock tune, all the trimmings, top to bottom. I found myself getting lost in the tale as the song tromped along. Truly fun!
Still I’m Sad takes off right out of the gates. The organ features again, here. Love the instrumental sections, showing off that these are superlative players. Stunning once again – this album is full of those!
And that’s it. A short set list, but all the songs were so long it was a full concert regardless.
Two final points:
1) Everyone on that stage played their asses off to achieve a stellar gig, but I do have to give a shout-out to Ronnie James Dio for the fantastic vocals (as ever). That guy could WAIL! Hot damn. And,
2) I tried to imagine myself in the crowd for this show… I can only think that I’d have achieved lift-off to have been there to witness such prowess and sheer powerful rawk. Wow.
Huge thanks to Mike for getting this record in my ears. This was awesome!