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USA 2005

House Of Blues, Las Vegas, NV, 27 January

I just returned from Las Vegas and am still trying to catch up on my lost sleep from all those late nights out!!! We arrived in Las Vegas on Wednesday night (very late) and ended up staying up that first night until almost 4:00am which was actually 6:00am due to the 2 hour time difference!!! Thursday was the concert!! I'll explain first, the venue, which was the House of Blues in Mandalay Bay. We spent the earlier afternoon having drinks at the bar in the restaurant portion of HOB in hopes that we might catch a glimpse of someone from the band while rehearsing but no such luck. I read a sign that said the seating capacity was 1900 people. The decor in HOB is very eclectic. Inside the concert hall, there is a main floor where there were several folding chairs set up. There is also a balcony that sort of horseshoes around the stage. They had the usual panels hanging on the sides of the stage that look like stone building facades and the obligatory bales of hay and barrels strewn about.

The doors were to open at 7:00 pm. As we were staying at Excalibur (a hotel themed like a renaissance castle) we felt quite comfortable walking around in our costumes here. Many people thought we worked there. Our hotel connected directly to Mandalay Bay by a tram so getting there was a breeze! We arrived at around 6:30 and were surprised at how few people were there. The people in costume were given pink stickers to wear to indicate they were to be moved up to the front rows. The first bit of aggravation came when we went to give our tickets and were searched with a metal detector. We were told absolutely NO cameras (even the disposable) were going to be allowed. Also, Terry was wearing a pewter mug attached to his belt and he was told he could not bring that in because it was metal??? This made no sense at all, but we did not argue and ended up having to pay $2.00 to check our cameras and his beer mug. This is obviously the rules of House of Blues and had nothing to do with Blackmore's Night.

Upon entering we were excited to discover we would be sitting in the very first row, but were quickly dismayed to see that the stage was set up so high that while sitting you could not even see the drums set up at the back of the stage. We were soon to discover, that we would be craning our necks throughout the whole concert and still not get to actually see anyone who was situated in the back of the stage (Sisters of the Moon, Tudor Rose and Squire Malcolm).

The theater was still quite empty, but we were happy when Gil and Barb Hinojosa (fellow street team members we met from the Long Island Christmas show) came in and sat next to us. There was one other street team member Steve from Wisconsin who also made it. As 7:00 pm approached, the theater remained quite empty. We discussed how bad we felt that there were so few people, but then thought, well this will make for a nice and intimate show. I don't think there could have been much more than 600 or so people there total.

THE CONCERT

The opening act was Owaine Phyfe. I am familiar with him as he has played several times at our Bristol Renaissance Faire. He is really quite excellent. He strums what I believe is called a Cithara, a kind of guitar/mandolin instrument, while playing all sorts of Medieval and Italian inspired Renaissance ballads then mixes it up with banter and light humor in between. He played several songs, at least 10 or more and was on the stage for almost an hour. He was very good and we enjoyed his performance.

Ritchie and Candice came on promptly at 8:00 pm. Candice was looking very beautiful, as always, wearing black and gold. We were very surprised that On the Way to Mandalay was not what they opened with (have they ever? Ed) and even more surprised that they did not play it during the entire concert (isn’t Mandalay a very rare live track? Ed).

They began with Cartouche, then Play Minstrel Play. There was a nice little added instrumental portion added with Ritchie, Robert of Normandy and Tudor Rose playing wonderfully. After this song, Candice talked to the audience a bit saying they were glad to be in Las Vegas and this was their first time on the West Coast. Someone yelled out “Looking Good Candice” and her reply was “Oh, you too baby” and that got the audience laughing. Under a Violet Moon was next, followed by Past Times With Good Company.

There was then a long pause where it looked like Ritchie was trying to decide what to play next. Candice was trying to make conversation to fill in the gap and told us “Ritchie never plays the original set list “It’s good to be King.” This, again, brings bursts of laughter from the audience. Ritchie is still puttering around with his guitars, then sets them down and decides to come to the front of the stage and start handing out the beers. There is more good-natured joking and comments from Candice. She says “Back in the days when! Ritchie used to be difficult”, at this point, Ritchie picks up a torture device which looks like he could have bought it from the Excalibur gift shop, a spiked ball whip on a chain which he teasingly waves in front of Candice as if to say “be careful what you say next” to which her next comment is “Ritchie is suffering from PreMinstrel Syndrome”. Everyone is really enjoying them selves now, and there is even a smile on The Man in Black’s face!

Soldier of Fortune is played next, then Minstrel Hall, and Home Again. There is more joking and goofing around on stage by Robert of Normandy and Ritchie behind Candice’s back and then they start to play “Oh Say Can you See”. David of Larchmont has the spotlight put on him and he does a solo song “Drink Drink Drink”. He has quite an incredible voice also! Mr. Peagram’s Morris and Sword follows. The next song played is Bach Haus with Tudor Rose doing her solo bit on the violin. Diamonds and Rust is played next with much heart-felt emotion by Candice. There are thunderous applause and she comments “I just love that song”. Fires at Midnight is begun with a long heavy improvised intro by Ritchie and Robert of Normandy also has his chance so shine on this song. They play Still Remember next, lighting the stage up with hundreds of tiny lights when the words “a thousand stars lit up the sky”

Candice introduces the next song as what they call Moonchild. It turns out to be a compilation of several songs starting with a rocked-up version of Mond Tanz that blends into Child in Time with the Sisters of the Moon doing the “ooh and aahs” with much flashing of lights on the stage. Ghost of a Rose comes next (this is one of my favorites) and ends with Wind in the Willows and Clock Ticks where David of Larchmont does a little solo bit on the piano.

THE ENCORE

After much clapping and cheering from the audience, they reappear and do a long version of Writing on the Wall, followed up with Burn!! They end the concert with a very heavy rocked out version of Self Portrait. There is only one encore, and they do not come back after that. The show ended at 11:00 PM. One of the highlights: Ritchie doing his solo on the hurdy gurdy.

It was a great show, possibly not in the best of places. Ritchie seemed to be in a pretty good spirits, and even though it was somewhat shorter than some other concerts, it was truly memorable! They played their hearts out and it was well worth the trip. I felt very lucky to be there….if only that luck had spilled over while playing the slot machines..!!!!

Until next time!!

Dorrine Robertshaw

 

The Independent, San Francisco, CA, 1 February

Here are a few words on the San Francisco show at the Independent. I would first like to offer two very important notes of thanks: one, to the band and everyone involved in booking Blackmore’s Night in California. I have fantasized about seeing the band since the first album, and to have a gig scheduled within a reasonable commute was a dream come true for my wife and me, especially landing the night before my wife’s birthday.

Secondly, a huge “thank you” to the incredibly kind people with whom we waited in line. My wife is painfully disabled in the feet and must walk and stand with the aid of crutches. After donning our period garb and arriving at the gig about 2 hours before show time, we got in line with the 15 or so people already present but were invited up to the front of the line by a very nice couple named Don and Lola, with the support of the other people in line. In addition, when the staff began letting us in around 7:30, the security manager instructed the staff person at the door to give my wife a chance to get to the seating area before letting everyone else in, to avoid the possibility of her getting trampled. We were very, very touched by all of your kindness. Thank you!!!

In addition to this being our first BN performance, it was our first exposure to the gentleman who opened the show, Owain Phyfe of the New World Renaissance Band. Owain’s set was an absolute pleasure to witness; accompanying himself on cithara battened he performed a set of perhaps 30 minutes, consisting of Renaissance-styled tunes sung in Irish, Italian, Spanish and English. Besides engaging the audience in sing-alongs, he provided charming and very funny banter in-between songs, winning us over with his personality. We definitely look forward to seeing him perform again and will certainly check out his recordings.

Now: the main attraction. This gig was billed as “An Intimate Evening with Blackmore’s Night” and I can tell you this was an appropriate description. The Independent is a tiny club with, I’m guessing, about 200 seats on the floor and maybe another 50 lining the sides. The stage was beautifully decorated: a giant tapestry depicting a night time castle scene served as a backdrop. Hay bales lined the floor at the foot of the stage. The keyboards were concealed behind a wooden facade that looked like an antique church organ, and the drum kit was camouflaged amongst an arrangement of grapevines. These touches really helped conceal the “modern” visual aspect of some of the performance technology and summoned a real “old timey” atmosphere that lent itself to the Blackmore’s Night aesthetic.

Ritchie took the stage, aglow in dark red lighting, generating synth-guitar textures similar to the opening of “Way To Mandalay” and the live album. The band kicked in with the infectious rhythms of “Cartouche”, and the audience excitement level surged when Candice took the stage, looking stunning in black and gold. Her performance throughout the show was note-perfect, and her always-having-a-great-time stage presence was the perfect counterbalance to Ritchie’s more reserved onstage majesty.

“Play, Minstrel, Play” followed “Cartouche”, but transitioned into “Past Times With Good Company” when it normally goes into the upbeat romp of the studio version. “Minstrel Hall” was another highlight early in the set and was especially appreciated by my wife and I, for we used it as the wedding march music at our hand fasting.

“Diamonds and Rust” was sandwiched between notable commentaries from Candice. While introducing it, she mentioned that she had met the tune’s original author, Joan Baez, in Istanbul (“of all places”), where she had gushed at what a fan of Joan’s she was and that Blackmore’s Night was covering one of her tunes. “Joan looked at me quizzically,” recounted Candice, “and said ‘No one covers my songs except Judas Priest!’” At the conclusion of the song’s performance, however, Candice dabbed at her eyes with a scarf while looking a bit emotional. At first I thought she was just kidding but she proved me wrong when she confided with the audience that “Diamonds and Rust” was such an emotional lyric that it broke her up and that she needed a more uplifting tune to follow it. Needless to say, this evoked a chorus of requests from the audience, including my wife’s and my vote for “Be Mine Tonight” (our wedding song), which unfortunately didn’t get chosen : (

The set list, to the best of my memory, is as follows (and except for the aforementioned songs is not in any particular order):

Cartouche
Play Minstrel Play
Past Time With Good Company
Minstrel Hall
Soldier of Fortune
Under A Violet Moon
Morning Star
I Still Remember
Home Again
Hanging Tree
Moonchild (Mond Tanz/Child In Time)
Fires At Midnight
Ghost Of A Rose

“Ghost Of A Rose” turned out to be the unannounced final song of the evening. Candice introduced it as being inspired by the Jacqueline Du Prés biography film “Hilary and Jackie” and by Elgar’s concerto for cello in E minor, but when the song was over there were no goodbyes and no encores. Ritchie disappeared from the stage instantly while Candice hung around to shake hands with the many concert-goers eager to make contact. I attribute the lack of encores to the 11 p.m. curfew and the fact that the show got a bit of a late start (which is why Owain had to turn down requests for an encore as well). It was a shockingly abrupt ending to an otherwise phenomenal evening, but the incredibly intimate setting and quality of the performance made such an artifact of timing forgivable. All I can say is that I hope Ritchie, Candice and the band had as good a time as those of us in the audience and that they decide to make the West Coast a regular part of their touring agenda.

We will be there!

Sincerely,

Caith Three-Fires


The Grove Of Anaheim, Anaheim, CA, 4 February

Just got back from LA! Wow what I time! I live in Connecticut and took a couple of good friends to the West Coast to see the shows. We arrived on Thursday and hung out in Hollywood and then went to Anaheim. We stayed at the Ayres Hotel near the grove - Quite Nice If I may add!

We arrived at the Grove at about 6:30. We had Dinner there in the Terra Rosa Room. It was a great place to be before the show. The walls and ceiling were covered with draped fabric. Really put us in a Medieval Mood! The food was fine and the bottle of wine went down easily.

We had 2nd row seats away from Ritchie and sat there to watch Owen Pyre (SP). He was very entertaining telling little stories between songs. He sang in various languages while playing his guitar. Great voice.

Then onto the main act...

The intro music started, but no Ritchie! It seemed they might have been waiting because the front row by Ritchie was filled with people in jeans and t-shirts. As a new Street Team Member we met David Hall. He was nice to see again, He is the one that is normally doing the traveling! He was great and said he would try to get us up front. And he did!!! Thanks again Dave! We were right in front on Ritchie's Side. After the front row was filled with fans in Garb, the show was ready to begin! Cartouche started it off as usual. They were really on the whole night. Ritchie was in a great mood! He gave me a beer right away as well as to my good friends Shantanu and Doris - he gave Doris one in the pewter goblet! Ritchie was talking and good spirits the whole show. Candice was singing great. She really gave it her all tonight. Ghost of a Rose was impressive. The played over 2 hrs and it was great night. They came back for a few encores on the Stat and then ended the show more acoustic the last song being Now and Then. Truly worth the trip.

Cartouche
Play Minstrel play
Past Times With Good Company
Morning Star
Minstrel Hall
Mond Tanz
Child in Time
I Still Remember
Renaissance Faire
Under A Violet Moon
Fires at Midnight
Diamonds and Rust
All For One
Writing On the Wall
Durch den Wald Zum Bach haus
Soldier Of Fortune
--Star Spangled Banner
Home Again
Difficult to Cure
Self Portrait
Mr. Peagram's Morris And Sword
The Clock Ticks On
Ghost of a Rose
Times are a Changing
Dandelion Wine
Now and Then

Tim Rzasa


Wilshire Theatre, Los Angeles, CA, 5 February

The next night we went to the Wilshire after driving to a few Wineries in Santa Barbara. The drive was incredible - California is so beautiful. Carole took my picture outside the theater. We had second row seats for this show but I had kept checking ticketmaster before we left and on Wed night some front row seats opened up. I bought them! David said he had done the same other times! So I had two sets of tickets!! Owen was great again and on with the Show!!

They came on with Cartouche, as they did in Anaheim, but seemed a little subdued. Candice would later say that Ritchie had Gout. They almost canceled the show. The played on and were good but you could tell Ritchie was much more subdued. At Anaheim, he was egging the crowd on getting down on his knees and handing out beer! Here he only gave out one...During a quieter moment someone in the audience kept screaming out Ritchie! Ritchie! He was not amused! He told him to be quiet and said told the guy to get up on stage and play! From that point on you knew he was not happy. The show good and I am glad he hung in there - but you knew it would be shorter. They played a shorter set and no Strat. They ended with Dandelion Wine. Two very different shows. Overall a great trip with great friend and great music!

I do have one question... Will I ever get to hear Mandalay or Loreley!

Cartouche
Play Minstrel play
Past Times With Good Company
Morning Star
Minstrel Hall
Mond Tanz
Child in Time
I Still Remember
Renaissance Faire
Under A Violet Moon
Diamonds and Rust
Soldier Of Fortune
--Star Spangled Banner
Home Again
Durch den Wald Zum Bach haus
Dandelion Wine
Ghost of a Rose
Times are a Changing
The Clock Ticks On

Take care!

Tim Rzasa


Society For Ethical Culture, New York, NY 8 December

Set list:

Morning Star
Queen for a Day
Under a Violet Moon
Minstrel Hall
Soldier of Fortune
Past Times With Good Company
Child in Time
Mond Tanz
The Streets of London
Durch den Wald zum Bach Haus
Home Again
Fires at Midnight
Wind in the Willows
Ghost of a Rose
Renaissance Faire
The Clock Ticks On
I still Remember
We Three Kings
Ariel
All For One
Difficult to Cure
St Theresa
Now and Then

 

The Strand Theater, Lakewood, NJ 9 December

For the last couple of years now it seems that Blackmore’s Night has been playing the east coast of the US on the heels of some major storms and last Friday night was no exception. Waking up Friday morning to 14 inches of snow to shovel away before making my 3 hour trek to Lakewood, NJ for what would be the second of three shows in succession for the band in New York City and New Jersey.
My wife and 3 year old son, dressed in garb, arrive at the Strand Theatre at about 7:00 and the doors to the lobby have yet to be opened. However, we are invited in to a side door where what seemed like a VIP lounge had been set up with a makeshift bar. This was much different than the last time BN visited this theatre in May of 04 when there was no bar at all. I wonder if Ritchie had something to do with catering this one.

It was here where all of the old friends from BN concerts past were congregating. It was great seeing everyone and we all had plenty of time to chat before the lobby doors opened. Albert from Des Guyers was also seen to be roaming about the lobby. Prior to the lights being dimmed, Albert and Thomas from Des Guyers roamed through the aisles playing their bagpipes and Key Fiddles before climbing to the stage and playing before the crowd as the opening act. The crowd, I’m sure, mostly recognizes them from reading stories in MBTP and tour reviews. Some may even remember Albert when he opened for BN at the Cathedral show in NYC and Long Island in Nov. of 2000. They went down very well, as I would have expected them to, being part of the extended BN family.

Prior to the lights being dimmed for Blackmores Night, I see Ritchie’s line-up of guitars and am quite surprised not to see the familiar white Strat. However, behind the curtain there is hope with the sighting of a sunburst Strat and his ENGL amp is fired up on stage to the right of his Fender Acoustasonic amps and at the ready if needed. When the lights finally dim, that all too familiar silhouette arrives on stage and let’s loose with an extended slide intro through his Roland synth setup. This turned out to be the longest intro of this style that I’ve heard him play and was a sure sign that we were in for a good performance from TMIB. To me, it’s a pity that the intro on the DVD is so short and seemingly uninspired compared to some that I’ve heard and seen.

The band breaks into Morning Star and right from the start I get the feeling that something is missing from the sound but can’t quite put my finger on it. It wasn’t until the 2nd number, Queen for a day that Tudor Rose jumps into the set just as they break into Pt II of that tune that I realized it was her Violin (an important part of Morning Star) that was missing. I wonder if maybe she was taking over for Ritchie and having it out with some cameraman somewhere back stage.

I won’t go into the set tune by tune but give a synopsis of the show with highlights and some, few and far between low points. Ritchie played the most amazing acoustic solo for about ten minutes by himself during FAM (congratulations Melissa on the dedication). It was probably the best acoustic solo I have heard him play. As if a certain witch that I know had cast her spell on him (Melissa, did you have anything to do with that?) He seemed to be attacking the strings with the conviction that he usually saves for his Strat. He was really getting into it and some of the moves were just outright spine tingling, which I haven’t felt with an acoustic guitar up until that point. It really showed his rapidly improving prowess on the acoustic and his technical ability on that solo would have made any of the acoustic gurus stand up and shout. It was well rewarded with the most feverishly pitched applause of the evening. Home Again was extra long on this evening while Ritchie and Bob had something up their sleeve for Candice, to which she was afraid to turn her back. An improvised performance of Falder-i– Falder-a and then Ritchie breaking into that chicken pickin riff which has been seen on the DVD. Then it’s on to a drinking song by Bard David to add to the flavor of the tune while Ritchie and Bob duck walked to the front of the stage and then back before bringing it Home Again. Ritchie was in the most playful mood I have ever seen him in and I’ve seen a few good ones. Chatting with the audience and answering every quip thrown at him. At one point, when all was silent, someone shouted “Blackmore is GOD”, to which Ritchie stepped up to Candy’s mic and said “thanks Dad”.

At the outset of Mr. Peagram’s Morris and Sword that he was about to play with his Mandola, he announced that he was going to play some “heavy metal”. Going back to the beginning, just after the opening tune, with the lights still very dim, Ritchie could be seen holding his guitar that he just picked up and moving it at different angles in the light as well as coming to the front of the stage for hopefully a better view and finally giving in by saying “I can’t see a thing” as he fiddled with the knobs and asked his roadie if his guitar was even on. Throughout the whole show Candice, as usual, sang beautifully and never missed a note or a word while adding some emotional flavor to the ending of GOAR. Child In Time is another highlight for all of the old guard and doesn’t disappoint with the Sisters of the Moon giving a great operatic performance. This time Ritchie starting out with Child and then giving some tasteful slide to the backdrop as Candice did her part and then ending it with Mond Tanz. Past Times with Good Company started with that familiar drum beat while the band started to play Waiting Just For You prior to breaking into PTWGC.

Bard David was unsuspectingly called upon to deliver a classical piece that he had just started practicing a day before and was reading it from sheet music while Ritchie decided to sit at the side of the stage and have a beer. Tudor Rose gave a nice solo while playing Greensleeves (trad.) going through several verses, each with a different tempo and technique on her violin. Ritchie gave another extended solo/intro on his Hurdy Gurdy before the band being joined on stage by Albert and Thomas for a rousing finish to Clock Ticks On. I must admit to this being my least favorite song on Shadow of The Moon, but it has really grown and taken on new life as a live attraction. I love the Hurdy Gurdy, as it has a very eerie and sort of Highland sound and Ritchie uses it to great effect when he breaks into the melody for The Clock Ticks On. Same goes for Renaissance Faire, which at first listen on SOTM, thought was a bit of a cheap attempt at modern Renaissance music, but has grown to epic proportions in the live setting.

Of course there are always the cat calls for old Deep Purple and Rainbow, however, this time around, they were much fewer and farther between than normal and Ritchie took them all in stride. The only ones I can remember was one for Stargazer, to which Ritchie replied “this will be the medieval version of Stargazer” prior to breaking into Streets of London. The song, which by the way, runs along on the strength of a very nice vocal and melody. Nothing extravagant, just a nice run through that really does take you back to Old London, if that’s possible as I found myself loving the tune instantly. The other catcalls were for Kill The King which went ignored and 16th CG (not too far off the mark I think).

Right from the outset, starting with the extended intro to Morning Star, Ritchie was stretching his solos and seemed to really be challenging himself. All of his intros were extended as he played with conviction. He seemed to really be attacking his strings. The mix was right on for the most part as Candice’s vocal and Ritchie’s guitar were very clear and to the forefront. The only misgiving I had was that the woodwind instruments and pennywhistles were way too loud and became ear piercing at one point when Candice and Tudor Rose were playing simultaneously.

A nice surprise was the inclusion during the encore of extended versions of We Three Kings and Emmanuelle, which was only fitting since it was labelled a Holiday Affair. Even before the show started, as the houselights dimmed half way and before the band came on was the recorded version of Blackmore's Nights own “Christmas Eve”. With Ritchie playing and challenging himself the way he did, he did hit a couple of bum notes in the beginning. They weren’t wrong notes, just that they weren’t hit correctly and sounding more like a plunk rather than a ringing note. That was only in the very beginning as he was getting his footing and didn’t seem to bring a damper on his evening at all. He only got better as the night lingered on.

I mentioned before about the lack of the white Strat. And the answer to everyone’s question is NO! He did not play his Strat. But I have no complaints due to the fact that I got my evenings chills during the solo of Fires At Midnight. The band played for approximately two and a half hours.

Set list:

Morning Star
Queen For A Day
Under a Violet Moon
Minstrel Hall
Soldier of Fortune
Past Times With Good Company
Child In Time
Mond Tans
Streets of London
Durch den Wald zum Bach Haus
Keyboard solo “John Come Kiss Me Now”
Home Again (Falder-i Falder-a and drinking song by Bard David)
Fires at Midnight
Wind in the Willows
Ghost of a Rose
Renaissance Faire
The Clock Ticks On
Mr. Peagram’s Morris and Sword (heavy metal version)
I Still Remember
We Three Kings
Emmanuel

Brian Stephen


Scottish Rite Auditorium, Collingswood, NJ 10 December

Remember how I told everyone that I would never attend another BLackmore's Night concert? But then I decided to attend this one because Ritchie was coming to my home town!

So, I get to the Scottish Rite theater in Collingswood at 6:30, and hear Blackmore's Night doing a sound check. It had a beautiful sound, since the theater was built with marble floors and has stone walls. I saw 4 police officers walking around, but I quickly found some stairs that led to the attic, where I could hear Candice singing quite wonderfully through the locked brown doors. I tried to sneak in to the balcony but unfortunately I could not get passed the doors. Once the sound check was over (they repeatedly played Cartouche) I went down-stairs and waited in front of the doors, I was first in line since everyone else was stuck downstairs waiting (no one else snuck up stairs like I did).

The entrance doors had a wonderful look to them-- very antique style with neat circle and square designs, they were dark heavy wooden doors. Suddenly I got this wonderful emotion that hey, it's Christmas time, it's five days after my birthday, I could not ask for a better time for Ritchie to come to my town. Finally, the doors opened and everyone was let into the theater, which was quite big and beautiful (although it is in my town, I had never been to the Scottish Rite theater before). There were stone marble decorations that adorned the stage, and there was stained glass that covered the giant light in the roof. The roof was made entirely of stone to improve acoustics. Stained glass windows too on all sides of theater, which was really dark when the lights went out. The opening band was the German Geyman (or soemthing like that) and Ritchie even played tambourine with them.

Then Blackmore's Night. I moved up the Balcony to be by myself so I could enjoy Blackmore's Night, but I still had full view of the stage. Indeed, the sound was wonderful and Candice promised tonight would be the best concert of the three holiday concerts. Ritchie seemed in good spirits, my only complaint was the penny whistles were amplified beyond imagining because of the design of the theater, and they hurt my ears. Some songs played were Under a Violet Moon, Soldier of Fortune, Child in Time (sounded good), Past Time With Good Company, among a few others, when finally it happened. Some guy in orchestra said to Ritchie "when are you going to start playing?" Ritchie got angry, and Candice said "this is a Renaissance band, don't make me go mid-evil on your butt." They played one more song and left for the evening. The crowd of (I guess 1,000) were dumb founded and expected Blackmore's Night to return. We all clapped until our hands hurt and stung from clapping, and I called for Ritchie to return several times, but alas they did not. Ritchie did not even plug his Strat in. 7 songs at most were played. A sad end to my birthday/holiday concert, I thought I was king for a day until Ritchie left...

JohninNJ4you

 

Scottish Rite Auditorium, Collingswood, NJ 10 December

A friend of mine had an extra ticket and asked if I wanted to go -it was in Collingswood, NJ. Why they picked Collingswood, I don't know. But, I'm pretty sure they won't come back.

The crowd was unusual. I'd say about 1/3 came in garb; a third were older Baby Boomers who like BN's music. One third looked like they went to everything at the Scottish Rite Auditorium. And then there were the 10 or so who grew up listening to Deep Purple and haven't stopped.

For some reason, several of those 10 decided they wanted to hear Deep Purple/Rainbow songs. You could tell Ritchie Blackmore was getting pissed. At one point, Candice Night asked the crowd "You do know what band you came to see?" I guess you could say BN encouraged it a bit (I'm pushing it here) because they played Soldier of Fortune (which they have recorded, too). Ritchie would be going into a very Renaissancey (sp?) and the "Special Few" in the audience would start yelling "Play Smoke on the Water". I heard someone else say they heard someone yell, "Play something good." Several times, they started a song and then Ritchie said no and either walked off stage or started another song.

Then, he had enough. He said something to Candice. She went forward and said something to Security (Collingswood police); they walked around the audience. At that point, she said "Thank you, good night." And the band left the stage.

We left when the sound board people started packing up. That's also about the time that one of the "Special Few" started getting nasty. Yelling about how "it was an insult" that they stopped playing and "who do they think they are?" The cops moved in on that guy pretty quickly. He appeared to have been one of the guys who had been yelling. One of the more vocal guys had been sitting 10 rows or so behind me. He looked like Ted Nugent when Ted had facial hair (or any member from Lynrd Skynrd!) and a sleeveless AC/DC shirt. I actually heard him yelling "Play Free Bird!"

It would be easy to get ****ed off at BN for not playing, but I really can't say that I blame them. Blackmore really seems to like playing this type of music. I met him and Candace once at the PA Ren faire. This was 4-5 years ago. She seemed really happy that I recognized them - he was kind of "Oh S**t! Somebody recognized me" and was looked worried about getting mobbed. (They did pose for a picture with me and my son (2 at the time). My point there is that I think, to a point, he's trying to put his Deep Purple/Rainbow history behind himself and some people just won't let him. It's really a shame.

Sorry this was so long winded. (on the positive side - the concert was good while it lasted. The opening group was two men from Germany. One played stringed instruments; the other different woodwinds (including a bass crumhorn). They said they were part of a German group called Gaius (Gaias)? Haven't been able to find out anything about them this morning.

Kyle

Set list:

Cartouche
Queen for a Day
Under a Violet Moon
Minstrel Hall
Soldier of Fortune
Past Times With Good Company
Child in Time
Mond Tanz
The Streets of London
Durch den Wald zum Bach Haus
Keyboard Solo - "John come kiss me now" by William Byrd
Home Again
Wind in the Willows
Renaissance Faire
The Clock Ticks On




 


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