Another man in black

Tim Summers managed to get across to Munich the other day and dodge tennis ball sized hail stones to catch Rainbow’s latest short live outing:

Rainbow Ticket Munich 2019.png

The Olympiahalle is a bit of a legendary venue, with Rainbow’s ‘Rockpalast’ footage from 1977 being filmed there of course, so I was very interested to see it in person.  Set in the Olympic Park created for the 1972 Games, the venue has the air of a sort of permanent circus tent from outside – well, sort of that crossed with the Millennium Dome (as was).  Inside it’s pure arena-style music venue – almost a let-down after the exterior views, but amazing when considering its age (1972 is NOT old. DTB Ed).  We paused at the merch stall to grab the tour-only-don’t-sell-this-anywhere-else-on-pain-of-death 3-track CD of recent Rainbow (re)recordings (they were flying off the shelves faster than the staff could re-stock them – 10 Euros each, or 40 Euros for one’s signed by Ritchie…).   The support band came and went and eventually ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ drifted across the ‘halle.

Set-wise there weren’t many surprises, but I would say the trend to gradual improvement as more shows are played has continued.  I didn’t notice any obvious fluffs, and the band even looked like they were starting to stretch out a little – there were jamming moments before Man on the Silver Mountain and Perfect Strangers – and a bassist-sung RJD-style improv link into the Woman From Tokyo snippet.

And despite saying in a pre-tour interview that holding a heavy Stratocaster for a full gig was tough on his bad back, Blackmore did just that, no sitting down and no acoustic guitar (I think the only time he was off stage was during the keyboard solo in Difficult to Cure).  Munich was the only indoor gig this tour (the others all being outdoor festival dates), and we were rewarded with a tour-exclusive airing of a moving Carry On Jon – a nice touch, with it being soon after JL’s birthday (and I don’t mind admitting that the pics of Jon on the big screen fair moistened my eye – heart-warming that each new picture was greeted with approval by the crowd too).

Ritchie seemed in very good mood throughout, down on one knee, fist-pumping the air, etc.  Oh, and the pre-encore ‘audience activities’ that showed up on one set-list posted online were (in our case, at least) the guitarist throwing merchandise out into the crowd – frisbee-ing CDs out at quite an alarming velocity.  Overall, whilst modern day Rainbow might not be for everyone, I enjoyed it – there were moments of the old magic (particularly during Mistreated and Carry on Jon).  Apparently Black Sheep of the Family was played during the soundcheck, but that’s as far as it got.  Ritchie seems to have had a go at recreating the cover shot of Finyl Vinyl at the soundcheck too (see attached) (I have attached, but don’t know who took this, so if it infringes copyright let me know and I will remove. DTB Ed).

Munich 2019.png

Elsewhere, the Olympic Tower in the Park, has as well as the usual things you might expect up there (a small café, viewing platforms with pay-per-view binoculars etc), a small ‘Rock Museum’ – which as luck would have it is currently hosting a display of Didi Zill’s Deep Purple themed photography.

Rainbow 2019 line up.jpg

Set list

Spotlight Kid / I Surrender / Mistreated / Since You Been Gone / Man on the Silver Mountain (+ Woman From Tokyo snippet) / Perfect Strangers / Black Night / Difficult to Cure / All Night Long / Stargazer / Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll / Carry On… Jon / Burn. Encore: Smoke on the Water.

Thanks Tim.  The local paper had a shot of the current line-up (above)…  I must admit the first tour at the NEC in 2016 was probably enough for me, but it’s nice to see the man can still draw a decent crowd.  As for Tim, the billboard was confiscated at the airport before he was allowed to go on his way.

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