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Blackmore’s Night enchants Chicago

Last night at House of Blues, Ritchie Blackmore again showed Chicago why he is considered among the greatest guitar players on earth.
Ritchie, Candice and the rest of the lords and ladies of Blackmore’s Night turned in a spectaular two and a half hour show whose duration was only limited by Chicago’s youth curfew. In fact, there was not even time left for an encore.
The setlist was very similar to other Blackmore’s Night shows this year highlighted by “Locked Within the Crystal Ball”, “Under a Violet Moon”, “Soldier of Fortune”, and “Ghost of a Rose”.
Most of the instrumental portions resulted in the rest of the band carrying on the riff until Ritchie was done soloing (fine with me!).
As expected, the excitement level picked up when the Stratocaster finally made an appearance on Ritchie (and hour and fourty five minutes into the show). Not long after this the man in black launched into the most extensive Deep Purple medley I’ve ever witnessed from Blackmore’s Night.
Beginning with “Woman from Tokyo”, moving into “Smoke on the Water” and ending with “Black Night” the Purple detour was a searing 15 minutes highlighted by some amazing solos from Ritchie.
As a younger Purple family fan, this was the first time I had ever heard Ritchie play these timeless riffs live and something I will never forget.

36 Comments to “Blackmore’s Night enchants Chicago”:

  1. 1
    Chrissy says:

    Why couldn’t they do this kind of show in Cleveland,Ohio?

  2. 2
    Finn says:

    Hi Mark
    Now you know how these songs has to be played. ONLY RB can do that. It might never happen, but I would give my right arm to see and listen to him playing hard rock again.
    I wish I had seen him in Chicago – I would have been in tears.

  3. 3
    kraatzy says:

    And here is the other side of him…

    Mr.Blackmore as a genius !!!



  4. 4
    Tracy Heyder aka Zero the Hero says:

    My mouth is watering………CAN’T WAIT!!!

    Hmmm, Ritchie doing a Purple Medley. Is he showing signs of going back to ROCK????? Is he toying with us????? Are his plinking fingers getting Itchie for Ritchie to use them properly????

    I have a feeling his fingers are going to do the walking soon and lead him back to Rainbow.


  5. 5
    Gary says:

    I’m going to guess that the band played a more subdued setlist in Cleveland than in Chicago. Candice seemed happy with the Cleveland show in the press release.

  6. 6
    HZ says:

    He did same thing in Zagreb – Croatia in the beginning of this year, same medley – add to it Ariel and Difficult To Cure – and I was there. It was so powerful, so full of that classic DP and Rainbow soul and sound, I can’t explain. Only he can play those tunes in that magical way and with that sound and delicacy. I’d also wish him to do some kind of new hard rock album, or at least to meet with Jon and do some kind of retrospective work, live shows, I don’t know. Ritchie is so good with Fender, so original and unique. I guess I was lucky because he was “in the mood” that night (next show after Zagreb no medley, people were crying :-)), and it was their first show as husband and wife.

  7. 7
    Zohan says:

    There are clips on youtube of stunning quality from this show and Im sorry to say they have zero resembelance to this review. Ritchie looks extremley unhappy and bored his electric playing is completley lackluster and without emotion and Candice is…well not good. I can completley understand what the man who saw them in Cleveland meant with insomnia if they were like that there.

  8. 8
    Svante Axbacke says:

    What I really don’t understand, and I am also a big Blackmore fan, don’t think anything else, is how people can be satisfied with *15 minutes* of brilliance. Even if these 15 minutes were the best things RB has played ever, it’s still 15 minutes out of a 150 minute show! That you paid full price for! Is that all you ask for? RB playing 30+ year old songs, songs you have heard a million times before, for 15 damn minutes?

    Also, for me, just as eciting as RB’s solos were always the backup. It is so nice to hear the guys in Rainbow or DP drive on like mad behind RB. I hear nothing of this in the bland back-up band that is BN.

  9. 9
    purplepriest1965 says:

    I saw BN 4 times.
    The first time was in Germany in a school auditorium, NOT in a castle btw….., and it was good.

    The electric part he has done since the beginning of BN On Stage and they are mainly the same numbers since then as well.

    I do UNDERSTAND and WHOLEHEARTEDLY empathise with the passionate reactions when one is not blase from attending gigs like me and many others.

    I m spoiled, I know.

    But still theres the emptiness of missing out on what went on before that.
    I saw him for the first time in 1980 and envied all those people who got there earlier.
    Got really pissed off when someone said he could not remmeber the show because he had been so STONED that night. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrgggghhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!

    The MAGIC of an evening with Rainbow On Stage was something I felt privileged for since.
    In retroperspective I know what was then great was already a decline compared to thye DIO era.

    Ofcourse he touches me deeply even playing a few chords to get in to it….
    At the time I cried out that was worth the price of the ticket on it self but…..

    Since then saw them 3 more times and…….

    One show was kinda special, after that the BOREDOM always set in early.

    No real authentic music from the Dark Ages, in general a light pop version of things combined with some old instruments, an ever smiling Barbie Doll…

    Inbetween the MOMENTS which will always move me….

    The albums have a lot of filler, though produced very professionally.
    But they do not EXCITE me at all.

    In general a waste of time and perhaps even an insult to us longtime fans AND himself.

    Please, Ritchie, wake up from your slumber and do something REALLY WORTHY!!!!

    Or are you gonna push this childish stuff out forever?

    And untill you get drawn from the stage because you suffer from dementia and forget that there was an OTHER Ritchie Blackmore once?

    Yours Truly, A HUMBLE AND NOT WORTHY man…….

  10. 10
    Gary says:

    Hi Svante, It is my opinion that ‘ Blackmore’s Night ‘ isn’t about Ritchie’s guitar prowess alone. I think that, for the most part, he enjoys being the driving force in the background. Naturally, he is obliged to take front and center during the shows at some time during a performance because that’s what the fans want.

  11. 11
    Tracy Heyder (aka Zero the Hero) says:

    Blackmore’s Night isn’t about Ritchie and his Fender. That was Rainbow and Purple. This is geared toward trying to keep the aura of the sound in more of a blending fashion regarding the sound of the ‘Renaissance’, which he is getting quite a lot of notoriety for. It’s not a Rock Band at all. If he didn’t know that many of the attendees were there to see him strap on the Strat, he wouldn’t do it. He only does that as an appeasement. When I saw them last time, a group sitting right in front of my got up and left, all pissed off because they were under the impression that it was going to be a Rock Concert. Some folks just don’t get it or into it. I happen to dig the stuff and find it very enjoyable. Would I love to see him Rip it to shreds? YEAH, but not in this band. He needs to put another Rainbow line-up together for the fans whom wish to see him play Rock and keep BN going for the fans of that……Unfortunately, his boss probably is holding him back…


  12. 12
    Roberto says:

    this is not a news…I saw him during ‘fire at midnight’ tour and he did many “electric” songs…

  13. 13
    Ray says:

    I went to the Chicago gig,and after seeing every Blackmores Night show in Chicago since their first tour this had to be the lamest. Dont get me wrong the band played tight,and they seemed to be having a good time, but the magic was not their. The show was over two hours long, and I think the chick violin player had ten times as many solos then Ritchie. The volume was super low (I didnt have to yell to talk to somebody on the main floor!!!) and the place was far from being sold out even on a Saturday night. I would only recommend this show only if your a Night fan, but if your a Purple/Rainbow Fan save your money, go buy some cheep booze,and jam some tunes at home…At least you wont regret it like me.

  14. 14
    Gary says:

    Well Svante, Tracy’s answer was better than mine.

  15. 15
    purplepriest1965 says:

    @ 11
    I wonder…..
    If you ll be able to meet them both or seperate after the show or during a after show moment……

    Will you be so honest to repeat what you wrote in a very negative and insulting way about them?

    Would you, for instance say to Candice that you called her a HARLOT???

    Dont forget your thighs, it will help you to scream even harder while getting kicked in your nuts.

    Colin, throw this man out!!!!!!

  16. 16
    Tracy Heyder (aka Zero the Hero) says:

    I think I see a pattern here with Mr. Blackmore’s Biggest Fan…(you know who you are).

    The statement….”No real authentic music from the Dark Ages, in general a light pop version of things combined with some old instruments, an ever smiling Barbie Doll…” is funny and seems to be an issue. Seems to me you have a problem with Happy, Blonde, American performers……..just remember, ‘You may be lonely, but you are never alone..’

    wait for it…..wait for it….wait for in….”me don’t get it”


  17. 17
    Crimson Ghost says:


    I agree with this analogy, totally, every word.
    But then again, I have seen them twice and both times did contain a little more than a mere fifteen minutes of brilliance, more like seventeen or eighteen,lol!

    I made trips from Oregon and Washington(technically cause the second time I was living across the border) to NY and LA to see these shows, and my feelings since have been that I’ll never do that again. So if they don’t ever make it out this way, which I’m quite positive they never will, then I’m done for sure when it comes to seeing them again. I do still fully support them in this area though and actively do so for what its worth.

    BN are not a total loss, simply because of the brilliance of Ritchie Blackmore and how hard he is to completely ignore. It’s quality stuff as long as you forget about what he’s done before, so it succeeds by its own merit. There is a lot of crap out there, so its always nice to have some class hanging around.

  18. 18
    AndreA says:

    I remember RB in the past to say that he wished to leave DP also because He was tired to play always on stage SMOKE ON THE WATER (” I don’t like to think I’ll play SOTW until the end of my life…”)…very cool this man…

  19. 19
    Tracy Heyder (aka Zero the Hero) says:

    Priest, I have problem expressing my points…there is a time and place for how the point is expressed. Unlike you, I know the difference. Here is a place where what I write has as much to do with what I feel as how I feel like doing so in a sarcastic manner. That’s here. I would have no problem telling the Blackmore’s that I Love their music. That I Miss TMIB playing Rock. That I think a little less BN would be a good thing in order to devote a little time to the Old Blackmore Fans whom have followed him even to the Black Forest to watch him play the lute…..I would ask “Why oh Why are you ignoring the fans whom have been there since the 60’s and only catering to the lute lovers….”

    That being said, I still maintain that I thoroughly enjoy BN, and in the end, it is ‘Their Choice’ in the music they wish to play. It’s what apparently inspires him (again, unless his Harlot has put down the foot and refuses her Prince to play what he is famous for). Sorry if you find it so hard to take a little sarcastic humor toward your Hero’s direction, but most of it is due to ‘Your’ slamming you know who all the time, relentlessly. The difference is, I like Both. You don’t, so what’s your beef?


  20. 20
    purplepriest1965 says:

    Whats my beef?

    Sorry, I m not sure what that means.

    My problem?

    Dont get me started again, you should know by now.

    I like STEAK with French fries though…..

    I can ber sarcastic as well but at the same time I think I m being a bit more consistent in my opionions.

    I know……calling her Barbie, like that doctor in SCRUBS hehehe, is just a softer expression than harlot, I know……

    It just aint my style to call people really ugly names…..

    Unless they deserve it, hehehe

    I suppose ZOMBIE is as hurtful as HARLOT?

    I suppose Candice does not give a rats ass. She wins anyway.
    I wonder if Steve is that mildmannered about this continious ranting about the lack of persona, quality, performance and input and so on?

    If he s really sincere, I often doubt he is, I wonder if he does
    mind at all.

    The paycheques keep on rolling, he gets to keep on flying and sending his children to school. etc.
    Why bother about NOT being a true legend, composer but just a pale shadow of the man before…….

    Whats the difference between that and a HARLOT?

  21. 21
    Tracy Heyder (aka Zero the Hero) says:

    #18 AndreA:

    Yeah, he’s very cool, except he now finds the need to do Smoke on the Water…..Hmmmmm.

  22. 22
    purplepriest1965 says:

    @ even more cool

    The Purple dudes excell in sayings like that

    What about this one…..

    I d rather slit my troat than to sing with them again

    Ian Gillan around 1990

  23. 23
    Tracy Heyder (aka Zero the Hero) says:

    Never saw that one….on the contrary…he has Always played Smoke on the Water….even to the much criticized Sabbath Fans when he did Born Again….

    Don’t recall anything he wrote negative about it. He admits it’s popularity and is glad to be a part of it’s inception…


  24. 24
    purplepriest1965 says:

    Another one…..

    For ANTI JLT fans

    JlT in an interview when joining DP …..

    We have to crawl our way up like bitches, the credibility has been lost

    One of the statements of JLT I CANNOT appreciate…..

    If I d skip every friend with abad habit or trait or streak I d really be alone.
    If I d skip listening and admiring the musical talents of everyone with wuestionable behaviour, saying and so on I d listen to no one anymore….

    Its sad really, almost like politics, one has to COMPROMISE…..


    I skip things where I have to take too many bridges….

  25. 25
    AndreA says:


    my “cool” for RB was hilarious of course if you have not understood,Ian gillan has NEVER renegade the song,RB once said to be bored to play SOTW and that he needs to play other new stuff (BN)..so..we all see how much he care to his words…..

    I get sad to think that Candice sings smoke SOTW,WFT,CinT….Black Night!!!

    why this?

    About me Mr.Blackmore is absolutely one of the best musician of all the time,but he is not a cool guy….no no no..

    I miss his rock,only this.

  26. 26
    Pete says:

    You can’t please everyone…. I’ve been lucky to live in New York and have seen every conceivable lineup of Deep Purple, Rainbow, BN, and all the solo projects of the Purple family throughout the years. I remember when people were disappointed if Ritchie didn’t smash his strat to bits back in the day. then when Ritchie stopped lugging the big Rainbow around more disappointment. Sure I’d like to see DIO make a guest appearance and do Stargazer but if it happens great, if not – oh well. Just watching Ritchie play the guitar is amazing and worth every penny of the ticket. I cant wait till the 29th to see him again in NYC – guess it will be the 100th time or so. Whether he plays “BURN” , “Beyond the Sunset”, “SOTW”… who cares..? He’s just amazing. So lets get on with it. If you don’t like BN, stay home. If you go and he pulls something out from the past it’s a bonus. But it’s all about the guitar playing isn’t it…???


  27. 27
    Gary says:

    Hi Andrea, Did Ritchie do something ‘ uncool ‘ to you ? Or do you know of an incident that he did that was ‘ uncool ‘ to anybody you know ? Firsthand knowledge, I mean.

    Or are you basing your opinion(s) about Ritchie on what you have read or heard ?

  28. 28
    Gary says:

    I wasn’t trying to antagonize you, Andrea 🙂 I like your opinions !

  29. 29
    AndreA says:

    Hi Gary,Hi to All Dear Friends (because I consider your a kind of friendhip here)..
    well,I am not serarching here a fight in a name of..but..
    What Did Ritchie to me? he has deprived me of rock,ok he has chosen another way to play music..so I consider DP’s songs real rock,not stuff to ridicule with his fucking minestrels..ok? so he should plays his “musical fables” with his cinderella and nothing more…

    Yes,I remember when RB said to be bored with SOTW,I have never dreamed it on my sleeping,be sure..I hate his schizophrenic behaviour..the last ex. was when he asked to his sun to change his surname: very sad..poor man..and how many times he leaved alone on stage the rest of DP? with mark2 but also with mark 3.

    he has not respect for his collegue..

    another ex? ask to your self why DP and rainbow has changed al lot of musicians along their storY

    Dio,cozy powell,Jimmy bain,bob daisley,tony carey,david stone and many others..JLT on DP: what do you think ,who is the creator of these tantrums?

    He has never respect for his collegues and for his fans…

    in despite of this,I’ve all his rocking stuff because he makes me feel good with his guitars,obviously not with his sad puppets of BN..

    nothing more…

  30. 30
    purplepriest1965 says:



    You, as many keep repeating, that thing of Ritchie leaving the stage too soon….

    I NEVER witnessed that during my gig days since 1980!

    Just 2 exemptions

    1 Bruxelles 1982.
    He left during the first song SPOTLIGHT KID cause he got annoyed people were throwing things at him, flashbulbs I think.
    Made a great rendition cause Rosenthal had to play the guitarsolo on keys…..LIVE experiences. Great!

    2 Amsterdam, a few years ago, in Paradiso.
    But thats because the sound cranked him up, and HE got alone on stage after the ending to apologise to the audience……

    Btw, Whitesnake, DIO, Gillan and so on all had their history of line up changes…….
    The bad thing is more the incestuous charactre it took on instead of getting to know more new fabulous musicians.

    DO now and REAL ROCK?


  31. 31
    purplepriest1965 says:

    I meant DP instead of DO ofcourse…..

  32. 32
    Gary says:

    Hi Andrea 🙂 I do see your side. I thought you were talking about a particular incident, or incidents.

    BN isn’t for everybody, especially if you’re expecting masterful Hard Rock.

    But IMO BN is quite masterful in its own

    We’ll agree to disagree, ok ?

    Your vision of RB is enticing to many, myself included 🙂

  33. 33
    Gary says:

    And Andrea…Did you get a chance to read and/or sign the ‘ Induct Ritchie Blackmore into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ‘ petition ?

    Brent Soileau, of the Deep Purple Hub and I wrote it 🙂

    We’re not so far apart.

  34. 34
    AndreA says:

    Someone could think I hate Blackmore,I can’t hate him because He is unique in music and must be taken as he is done,like or not..

    But because I don’t like his folk sound in my lige I miss his rock..

    very simple..

    and as long as he continues to make music for people who believe in hhis fables , I will not ever one his cd…

    I miss his rock..For me this is too long abstinence has almost become a physiological factor, a lack of my body …

    believe me…


  35. 35
    Gary says:

    I understand your sentiment, Andrea. I’ve learned a long time ago not to try to change, or influence, another’s musical preferences.

    But you do have a lot of Ritchie’s music to enjoy 🙂


  36. 36
    Dawg says:

    Tracy #4. Ain’t gonna happen.

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