Ritchie Blackmore returned to the stage with a revamped Rainbow lineup over the weekend to perform his first rock shows in two decades.
The band made their 2016 live debut at the Monsters Of Rock festival at Freilichtbühne in Loreley, Germany on June 17 and performed at the Monsters Of Rock festival at Festplatz am Viadukt in Bietigheim-Bissingen, Germany on June 18.
The guitarist was joined by Lords Of Black singer Ronnie Romero, Stratovarius keyboardist Jens Johansson, Blackmore’s Night drummer David Keith and bassist Bob Nouveau for the pair of rare rock shows.
The setlist for both events mixed Rainbow tracks “Man On The Silver Mountain”, “Long Live Rock ‘N’ Roll” and “Stargazer”, among others, with Deep Purple classics like “Highway Star”, “Child In Time”, “Mistreated”, “Perfect Strangers” and “Smoke On The Water.”
Blackmore last performed rock in 1997 while touring in support of Rainbow’s eighth album, “Stranger In Us All.” That same year he went on to form the medieval folk band Blackmore’s Night with then-girlfriend and now-wife Candice Night, and the group has gone on to release ten albums.
The revamped Rainbow lineup will play their third and final scheduled 2016 show with a solo headlining date at the Genting Arena in Birmingham, UK on June 25.
Blackmore was inducted into the 2016 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame as a member of Deep Purple at a ceremony in New York in April.
Deep Purple drummer reveals mini-strokes forced show cancellations
Deep Purple cancel Swedish dates due to illness
Deep Purple update new album status
Former Deep Purple singer responds to Ritchie Blackmore’s Rock Hall induction comments
Search Deep Purple at hennemusic
Search Rainbow at hennemusic