RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow – Black Masquerade
Eagle Rock Entertainment


Rating: B

This concert from 1995 features the final version of Rainbow, one that included Ritchie Blackmore’s current wife Candice Night, and did not include any of the famous singers that used to be in the band.  While Candice is not a lead vocalist for Rainbow, and she is very easy on the eyes, she is not enough to make one forget that the guys who used to sing for this band were named Ronnie James Dio, Joe Lynn Turner and Graham Bonnet.  So, just who is this Doogie White guy and why does he spell his first name so funny?

Okay, it’s not fair to Doogie (although still not much of a Metal name) to compare him to the others.  Or maybe it is fair, as he IS singing their songs.  Okay, yep, it’s fair.  Doogie gets an A for effort and a solid B for execution.  He is nowhere near the fire and brimstone of Dio on songs like “Long Live Rock ‘N’ Roll” or “Man on the Silver Mountain.”  He is nowhere as cool smooth as Turner on “Spotlight Kid” and he is nowhere as pop on “Since You’ve Been Gone” as Bonnet.  Yet, when you ponder that he had to do all three in one concert, he did a damn fine job.  White also reminds us all how good he and the band was on Rainbow’s studio album Rainbow, Stranger in Us All

The Man in Black plays his ass off all night and the band rocks out.  While the many Rainbow classics are enjoyable, it is Ritchie’s forays back to Deep Purple that make this one special.  “Black Night,” “Burn,” “Smoke on the Water” and “Perfect Strangers” are downright joyous.   The only downfall is that Blackmore has abandoned rock shows in the current day.  This DVD makes one pray to the Rock Gods that maybe, one day, for one more tour, we might get these songs to come back to life.  Until then, however, we have this great concert from an October evening in Germany to help us get our fix!

By Jeb Wright