Sign Of Incident (Tarantura TCDNIJIFUNE78-09-1,2)
Budokan Dai Hall Tokyo, Japan Saturday January 21, 1978
Disc 1 (49:26) Monitor Check, Opening, Over The Rainbow, Start, Kill The King, Guitar Solo, Mistreated, Greensleeves, 16th Century Greensleeves, MC / Niji Flashing working, Catch The Rainbow, Long Live Rock and Roll
Disc 2 (38:44) MC, Lazy, Man On The Silver Mountain, Blues, Starstruck, Night People, Man On The Silver Mountain (Coda), Band Introduction, Keyboard Solo, Still I’m Sad, Beethoven Sinfonic Nr. 9 d-moll op.125, Keyboard Solo, Drum Solo, The 1812 Overture, Still I’m Sad, Over The Rainbow, Announcement
After the triumphant Japanese tour in December of 1976, Rainbow would, in early 1978, tour much more extensively and perform at total of 16 dates in Japan including multiple dates in the larger cities. They performed a total of four concerts in the city of Tokyo, all at the famed Budokan Hall, a large and prestigious venue that would seat 14,000 people. Ritchie Blackmore began his association with the hall during Deep Purple’s three date 1972 Japanese tour that would be immortalized on the classic Made In Japan, a visit that would begin Japan’s love affair with all things Purple including its most famous offshoot Rainbow.
This concert has been released before as Heavy Rock (Rising Arrow-041), Triumph & Tragedy (Rising Arrow-014), and as part of the GIBOSHI (Tarantura TCDRAINBOW-4,5,6) box set under the curious title Lick The Dick. The recording featured here is another previously unreleased audience recording done by Mr. Peach, it is what we have come to expect from his Raibow recordings, excellent with a superb balance of instrumentation and vocals plus an incredible ambiance that cannot be gained from a soundboard recording.
The recording is slightly uneven during the first minutes of Kill The King but soon settles into a nice sound, as if the sound man was still doing slight adjustments to the mix. The band is in fine form tonight but after many times of listening to this performance while it is a well played concert it has a laid bake feeling to it like the band are pacing themselves during the relentless schedule. The does not mean the audience is in a mellow state, they are passionate about the band, especially Blackmore who garners many shows of “RITCHIE” from the crowd.
The man himself is not pushing it and his solo before mistreated sounds introspective, moody and heavy. Ronnie is in superb form and gives, as always, a passionate rendition of the song I have come accustom to being associated with him due to listening to so much of Dio era Rainbow, the crowd agree and clap in unison with the song. Blackmore does play a fine solo but sounds as if he is having some equipment issues or he gets his fingers caught in the strings as the song goes into its reprise, the audience does not skip a beat and lift the band with their unwavering support.
Ronnie introduces 16th Century Greensleeves as he usually does on this tour by making the crowd guess. Ritchie always plays the introduction beautifully, this version is no different as he goes into a very melodic section that over the next few years he would play in harmony with Don Airey to night it is mainly him with some slight interaction with David Stone. Over the past few years after listening to so many Rainbow concerts (bootlegs and the German 1976 tour official releases) I have come to really appreciate the song and its basis from King Henry VIII and Ritchie’s vision and the versions from 1978 are epic with the metallic endings, superb.
The true epic on this eve is another beautiful Catch The Rainbow, again very melancholy and majestic, David Stone’s keyboards are perfect as Ronnie sings the “Ride the wind to the sun” just before the song takes flight on Blackmore’s soaring guitar. But Ronnie is the true star of this song, he sings fantastically and really put his stamp on the song that others have sung but would never equal, 11 minutes of musical bliss.
There is a small cut in the tape after the song, for a tape flip but no music and I do not think and commentary from Ronnie is lost and the cut is very smooth. Ronnie introduces the next song as being from their new record, having never heard the song, unless some of them went to earlier dates on the tour, the crowd is surprisingly receptive of the new material, the clap the whole song and again their support seems to be helping the band ! It does feature a call and response section with Ronnie and the crowd goes for during the songs ending.
The second disc starts with a song about “A trip to a mountain” and Ritchie thrills the crowd with a Lazy tease played at breakneck speed that leads direct into Man On The Silver Mountain. The crowd cheer and clap in time with the band, they have an obvious love for the bands signature song (at this point of course) and the group play a strong rendition, Blackmore is still not completely with it, his solo sounds a little disjointed that males for an interesting listen.
He recovers for a great blues section where he plays some nice licks and gives David Stone a nice section to do the same and even Bob Daisley gets into it in a nice piece of blue improvisation. Right before Starstruck Ronnie tells someone to knock it off down there and the band plays the song sans Blackmore who is either not playing making for a very flat rendition but recovers for the great Night People interlude that winds down into the Man On The Silver Mountain reprise.
Ronnie introduces the new guys, Bob Daisley and David Stone before giving the spotlight to the latter to begin the bands vehicle for solo and improvisation, Still I’m Sad. stone plays a very cathedral like sounding solo spot leading to Ritchie coming in with the songs chain saw style riff. His playing is erratic like he is in battle with his guitar or himself that leads to some interesting playing. The Beethoven 9th is quick this evening and Stone’s second solo spot is very dark and heavy and thankfully Cozy Powell is raring to go. Always one to count on, he proceeds to beat the hell out of his drums as only he could with a fast moving solo that leads into his 1812 Overture (more cowbell please) and gets the crowd behind him and they cheer loudly as he finishes his spot and the band rages back with Still I’m Sad coda in fast and aggressive finale’
Blackmore seems to have recovered enough to finish the crowd off with its final blow. The crowd cheers and claps to no avail, there will be no encore tonight but they do not give up and clap and cheer loudly as Dorothy Gales sings the official outro is played over the PA system.
The packaging is a gatefold glossy sleeve with live shots of the band, a great one of Ronnie, head back under the rainbow that is spectacular, and there is the usual picture of the ticket stub and master cassettes.
While not the greatest or longest concert it is certainly an interesting listening experience that deserves to be heard and has me eagerly waiting to see which of the seven remaining shows from the tour is next.
Thanks for the review. I take it this has better sound than Rising Arrow’s “Heavy Rock”, which I found to be far too ‘clappy.’ Certainly it wasn’t the ‘truly amazing sound’ I had been promised.