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Awesome! This DVD feature of the original 1977 infamous sold out concert in Munich offers us the best Rainbow version ever. For those (of us) who had the chance to watch at least one of the many VHS bootleg releases, this is something way beyond. The analog recording had all kind of flaws and like any tape unavoidably deteriorated with time, but this digital conversion not only adds a great number of interesting and emotional extras, but also comes with an outstanding Dolby Digital 5.0 sound and the even more impressive DTS Digital Surround sound improvement, which kicks every other '70s concert’s ass.
The selection of the tracks for this concert might be a bit controversial since Rainbow’s masterpiece and highlight for that tour, Stargazer, was left out (not a personal opinion, check out the slide show), but every song here was interpreted the way any fan of the band would expect: Dio’s unique voice and his devotion and dedication to the audience, Blackmore’s majestic guitar riffs and solos, and of course, the brilliant accompaniment by the rhythm section of two other legendary names as Cozy Powell and Bob Daisley. David Stone never reached the popularity of the above names, but his performance here and on the upcoming album was unquestionably excellent.
The most remarkable feature of Rainbow’s live performances was always the long extended versions of all songs, a Ritchie Blackmore personal signature which explains why only 8 songs last almost two hours, the same playing time of the first three Rainbow albums altogether. Not only do the guitar solos go really long at some points, but also do the bass and keyboards, and there’s also one great and long drum solo at Still I’m Sad - Powel’s at his best! Besides this (and the lack of Stargazer), there’s nothing to criticize on this wonderful concert.
It all starts with some notes from Deep Purple’s Lazy marking the entrance for a short intro while the performers are presented and after the title appears on screen, comes the unforgettable Kill the King and the even more unforgettable, dizzying, giant, metallic rainbow assemblage all over the stage. Then comes DP’s Mistreated, a totally hallucinating version so much better than the original. Before playing Sixteenth Century Greensleeves, Mr. B delights us with a piece of Bach‘s and so they go, a couple of guitar-playing-proficiency solos here, a classical piece there, all perfectly timed and sublime.
During the final song, Do You Close Your Eyes?, Dio sings on a malfunctioned microphone while you can see a rare image of his majesty with a lightened cigar in his hand. R. Blackmore explodes at the very end, throwing his guitar to the stage floor and creating some feedback with his high heeled shoes and right after that, he brutally destroys his beloved (?) instrument against the stage floor - horribly fascinating. Then the rainbow fades out and you know it’s definitely over.
There’s a lot of interesting stuff in the extra material like a gallery of pictures from photo sessions from this and some other concerts on this tour, tickets, promotional flyers, and Blackmore’s arrest headline. Also comes with a slide show with commented pictures about everything – and I mean everything – related to this show, like how the tour was made, how the stage was constructed, details on every instrument, lights, amplification, scenery, formation of the band, comments for every song, and each member’s timeline up to that date. This is a never-seen-before documentary/complete biography; if there’s anything you ever wanted to know about Dio-era Rainbow, here you’ll find it. Priceless!
There are 3 promo videos for their upcoming album (also in the original version), recorded live on pretty well-arranged sets that's nothing extraordinary, but is great classical visual material shot professionally: Long Live Rock ‘N’ Roll with slightly different lyrics from the original, The Gates of Babylon with Blackmore’s typical “I’m-the-best-guitar-player-ever” attitude, and L.A. Connection.
In the interviews section, the most remarkable thing is the use of images from that period to enlighten their involvement with Rainbow, fun stuff such as Blackmore’s arrest in Austria a couple of nights before this concert and some others truly touching, such as reflections on Cozy Powell’s regrettable decease.
A special acknowledgment to the people responsible for the subtitles and the menus which come in English, Spanish, and Portuguese for both the concert and the extra material. That little detail makes this DVD even more enjoyable.
To summarize, a marvelous release that will fully take you into the most brilliant moment of one of the greatest bands from the seventies. An unforgettable concert and a brilliant documentary.