Just because Joe Lynn Turner is more than halfway into his 60s doesn’t mean he’s any less vocally exceptional than he was in his 20s or 30s when fronting Rainbow or Deep Purple. In fact, anyone who closed their eyes at a crowded Reggies Chicago could’ve easily assumed they were catching the veteran hard rocker at any point in the 1980s or ‘90s, and for a little over 90 minutes, he dug back at least that deep right up to more recent whereabouts.
Having Joe Lynn Turner incorporate Deep Purple’s bluesy belter “Lazy” within Rainbow’s mighty “Long Live Rock ‘N’ Roll” was exactly what was needed to let everyone know they were indeed in the presence of a truly strong singer who remains right on top of his melodic chops.
Rainbow fans surely rejoiced as the show opened with no less than seven tunes from Turner’s tenure in the group, which was of course founded by Deep Purple’s guitar god Ritchie Blackmore. In addition to the retro ruggedness of “Death Alley Driver,” “I Surrender,” “Stone Cold” and “Street Of Dreams” all backed by four powerhouse musicians, the headliner brought listeners up to speed with his solo career and outside interests, including the current affairs-themed “Dark Days,” a cover of The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s “Spanish Castle Magic” and the charging “Blood Red Sky.”
Without skipping a beat, Turner announced the certified Deep Purple classic “Perfect Strangers,” though before personally tearing it up, his backers recreated its quasi-progressive instrumental introduction to a roaring ovation. Faithful went even wilder a few tracks later for a spot on revival of “Rising Force,” which he originated with fellow axe-slinger extraordinaire Yngwie Malmsteen.
If anything, the set could’ve probably benefited from a couple of the more common early Deep Purple hits, or from his specific era, say “King Of Dreams” and “Fire In The Basement.” However, incorporating that band’s bluesy belter “Lazy” within Rainbow’s mighty “Long Live Rock ‘N’ Roll” (dedicated to Rainbow and Black Sabbath’s late one-time leader Ronnie James Dio) was exactly what was needed to let everyone know they were indeed in the presence of a truly strong singer who remains right on top of his melodic chops.
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