Who Has Seen The Rainbow (Tarantura TCDNIJIFUNE78-16-1,2)
Budokan Dai Hall, Tokyo Japan Friday February 3, 1978
Disc 1 (69:30) Monitor Check, SE, SE, Bach, Monitor Check, Opening, Over The Rainbow, Start, Kill The King, Guitar Solo, Mistreated, Greensleeves, 16th Century Greensleeves, MC about Sapporo, silent prayer, Guitar Solo, Catch The Rainbow, Guitar Solo, Catch The Rainbow, Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll
Disc 2 (46:00) Lazy, Man On The Silver Mountain, Blues, Man On The Silver Mountain, Starstruck, Night People, Man On The Silver Mountain, Guitar Solo, Still I’m Sad, Beethoven Sinfonie Nr.9 d-moll op. 125, Keyboard solo, drum solo, The 1812 Overture, Still I’m Sad, Drum Solo Intro, Still I’m Sad, Over The Rainbow, Announcement, leaving Hall
February 3 1978 is the final date on Rainbow’s tour of Japan in support of the forthcoming Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll record and the last time Ronnie James Dio would perform in Japan as a member of Rainbow.
The concert has been released under such titles as Epilogue – Rising Arrow-047, Still I’m Sad – Rising Arrow-008, Triumph & Tragedy – Rising Arrow-014, and Silence Prayer – Tarantura TCDRAINBOW-6-1,2 (part of the Giboshi box set).
The recording used here is a fantastic Mr. Peach source recorded very close to the stage and is a dynamic, well balanced excellent source that is a phenomenal listen. There is a very small amount of tape hiss in quiet parts but does not interfere and very little interference around the recorder.
The recording starts a full ten minutes before the concert begins, the two SE tracks at the beginning are actually music being played over the PA system, the first is Hendrix’s Highway Chile and the second is Jethro Tull’s Bungle in the Jungle and a quiet conversation can be heard.
The scan of the ticket stub on the inside gatefold says row A, if that is indeed the first row and where Mr. Peach recorded from is very interesting. After reviewing the KISS Crazy Killer Whales title I had to dig out my KISSOLOGY Vol. 1 set to watch the Budokan 1977 concert and there are many clear shots of the audience in the front row and was wondering how it would be possible to change tapes without being seen.
The crowd is very quiet for Dorothy’s introduction until the “….we must be over the rainbow” and they cheer in anticipation. After the brief instrumental warm up the band launches into Kill The King, although the band is playing very well the song has a relaxed feel.
Ronnie’s says the band is glad to be back at the Budokan to end the “Trials and Tribulations” and introduces Ritchie’s solo that leads to Mistreated, his solo is augmented by David Stones keyboards that give it a heavy feel, the crowd claps in unison with Cozy’s bass drum stomps at the beginning and there are a couple of girls shouting “Ritchie”.
His solo is begins kind of trippy as he plays not a flurry of notes but very slow and at times almost Hendrix like, of course the crowd claps along with him but there is no tension in the air and Blackmore plays a somber version of the track.
Ritchie can be heard tuning his guitar between songs, it is obvious he takes the next song seriously and Ronnie gives the regular introduction speech about guessing the next song. I enjoy the Greensleeves solo spot, as with most of the shows on this tour he begins almost ho down style and this version is very gentle.
Again as the band starts 16th Century Greensleeves the relaxed feel is still there, obviously the band is winding down after another successful tour, Ronnie is in strong voice and has no problem hitting the high notes as he sings “Higher…..Higher” with conviction. Ronnie introduces a gentleman to speak to the audience and lead them in a silent prayer for Sapporo and for a minute the large crowd goes quiet, such a huge contrast to American audiences who would take the time to shout and cheer. If anyone knows what the prayer was for please leave a comments as I would be interested in knowing. At its conclusion the audience cheers and Ronnie’s introduction to the next song is simple, “Catch The Rainbow”.
The song is simply majestic in every way, Ritchie plays so softly and beautiful and Ronnie sings the opening lyrics very gently with the crowd clapping in total unison. There is only one person who can do this song justice and it is Ronnie James Dio.
Weariness is creeping in as Ritchie launches into the heavy middle section, usually he takes your head of with a flurry of notes but tonight it is a little restrained fitting nicely with the evenings mood. His solo during the latter section is again very soft but methodical, he plays very melancholy and forces his will on the audience who listen quietly and intently before he rips into the ending part again in almost Hendrix like fashion. Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll has a wobbly start as Blackmore’s guitar cuts our briefly and the band plays on but sound almost unsure on what Ricthie will do, he gets it fixed without missing a step, the version here is pretty much standard.
A sedate Lazy begins the second disc but the band kicks in the reserves for a spirited version of Man On The Silver Mountain with a great version of the blues interlude that has the crowd screaming and the Night People section has some great Ronnie vocal improvisation with a hint of aggression with a quick reference to James Brown as he interacts with the crowd who roar their approval at its conclusion as they start stomping and cheering loudly as the band leaves the stage.
The crowd wants more and the band comes back via a Blackmore / Stone solo that leads into the final song Still I’m Sad. Again Blackmore does not really get into anything of noting pretty much playing rhythm and seams to almost be feeding off the crowds energy and he play along with them before starting the songs first notes.
The band lumbers through the Beethoven Difficult To Cure section and an uninspired keyboard solo but what the crowd wants now is Cozy Powell. Despite the bands weariness he pounds the hell out of the skins and the crowd is into it, his 1812 section simply kills it and the crowd cheers their approval. The Still I’m Sad reprise has the band draining the last of their collected energies as they hammer its conclusion out and a quick “Thank You!” from Ronnie and its over.
The crowd is silent as the Over The Rainbow closer goes over the PA and remain so through out, interestingly Peach leaves his recorder on for more than three minutes after the final announcement as the audience leaves the building. The concert and tour is over but the legend has been established.
The show comes packaged, as with the other Rainbow titles, in a gatefold glossy sleeve adorned with pictures from the tour, a great one on the back cover has Blackmore almost kneeling and you can clearly see a reel to reel machine. The inside has the ticket stub and master cassettes along with individual member shots. Another great release by the folks at Tarantura.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)