Ritchie Blackmore - guitar; Bobby Rondinelli - drums; Roger Glover - bass; David Rosenthal - keyboards; Joe Lynn Turner - lead vocals
Guitarist Ritchie Blackmore formed Rainbow after Deep Purple's Mark III version (which included himself, singer David Coverdale and bassist Glenn Hughes) fell apart during 1975. Purple eventually re-grouped, but Blackmore chose to form his own band, Rainbow, with singer Ronnie James Dio. Dio had supported Purple as an opening act with his previous group, Elf. Nearly all of Elf became part of the initial version called Blackmore's Rainbow.
The group saw success right away with their first single, "Man On The Silver Mountain." The group would continue to find success while changing all of the members several times. Dio left after the third LP (Long Live Rock 'n Roll) to join Black Sabbath after Ozzy was fired in 1980, and Cozy Powell, another key member, left to work with a number of others, including (some years later) Keith Emerson and Greg Lake.
In the end, Rainbow would have a revolving door tied to its membership, but eventually former Purple bassist Glover joined up and American singer Joe Lynn Turner came in as the band's third lead vocalist in less than seven years. This recording, done in 1982 while the band was enjoying considerable success with a number of FM radio hits, was recorded for the King Biscuit Flower Hour, and is a good representation of what the band had become: a more commercial version of classic Deep Purple.
While Purple often experimented with a soaring blend of British hard rock, neo-European classical and American blues, Rainbow was a straight "corporate rock" band. Their signature style was complete with radio friendly hooks and the familiar Purple trademark sound that incorporated heavily amplified guitar and a prominent Hammond B3 organ played through a Leslie cabinet to give it a "swirling effect."
Rainbow opens this San Antonio show with a sound bite taken from the Wizard of Oz that goes into reverberation when Judy Garland says: "We must be over the rainbow," then launches into an instrumental metal replay of the standard "Over The Rainbow." But that proves to be a tease; within a few minutes they are deep into a solid set of pop-metal songs that are all anchored around Blackmore's over-the-top lead guitar antics. Although some of the biggest songs of the band's career had yet to be recorded when this show was captured, Rainbow left out a number of key songs that were recorded prior to this tour, mainly because Blackmore was trying to move past the success he had found when Dio was the group's singer. Still, this show includes some of their biggest hits, including "Stone Cold" and "Long Live Rock N' Roll," but in the end, it is thickened with considerable filler such as a lengthy Blackmore solo that becomes a little tedious; a drum solo by Bobby Rondinelli, which is unnecessary; and a long instrumental jam.
If you love what he embodied, then you will find Blackmore in fine metallic form on this recording, made two years before he disbanded Rainbow to re-join a reunion of the Mark II Deep Purple. During the concert, Blackmore teases the audience with the opening chords for a few Purple classics including "Woman From Tokyo," before breaking into a standard Rainbow song. He finally fulfills the promise when they close the show with Rainbow's own take on the Purple hit "Smoke On The Water."