Features

Blackmore's Night Shines Bright

Raleigh, NC; October 23, 2007

by David Bowling

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I have been a fan of Ritchie Blackmore for decades. I have followed him from Deep Purple to Rainbow, back to Deep Purple, and back to Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow.

The tickets to the concert were free so I headed up route 1 to see his latest incarnation, Blackmore’s Night. I had some knowledge of the musical direction of Blackmore’s Night via the Vault archive,s but I don’t think I have ever attended a concert where I was not familiar with one song in the catalog. That’s right -- there was no Deep Purple or Rainbow played that night.

Blackmore’s Night can be best described as rock renaissance. Fronted by lead singer and lyricist Candice Night and guitarist Blackmore, the band creates a unique rock sound that harks back to medieval minstrels and heraldry. Night has the voice to pull this off; think Stevie Nicks meets Enya. Her ethereal vocals float about the guitar playing of Blackmore; the fact that she’s quite stunning to look at adds to the effect.

Blackmore seemed at ease and happy in this musical environment with Night. They created an intimate setting with constant bantering with the audience between songs. The concert consisted of about 18 songs and the people sitting next to me were gracious enough to supply me with many of the titles. “Fires At Midnight,” “Under A Violet Moon,” “Village Lanterne” and a great version of “Diamonds And Rust” were all highlights of the show. The songs flowed into one another and created a laid-back mood from a different time and place.

Ritchie Blackmore is still an excellent guitar player, but his acoustic playing enabled him to show a superior technique that was not really visible in his work with Deep Purple and Rainbow.   But the key to the show was that Blackmore is more than just his back catalog with his former bands, a rarity for artists of his age who are content to do the same thing they did in 1972. The best part of this concert was that it was a unique experience filled with many surprises, which is what concerts always should be about.

 




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