Ritchie Blackmore in England, Bryan Adams in Wembley and Heart in Seattle


Today’s column features a couple of music reviews and a DVD showing a 2002 homecoming concert by Heart. Enjoy!

‘Live in Birmingham 2016,’ Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow (Eagle Rock Entertainment,)

This June 9 two-CD/digital audio release was filmed at the only English show of Ritchie Blackmore’s short “return to rock” tour, which took place in June 2016. The “Memories In Rock” DVD was released November 2016.

As stated in the previous review, excellent vocalist Ronnie Romero does a great job carrying the ball for Ronnie James Dio, Ian Gillan and others who sang with Ritchie over the years. The CD is preferable in many ways, because Ritchie sometimes looked bored on video.

Favorite CD-1 songs: a roaring “Man On The Silver Mountain,” the full-band “Difficult To Cure (Beethoven’s Ninth)” while the solos drag, and “Catch The Rainbow.”

CD-2 highlights: “Perfect Strangers,” “Child In Time” (which Gillan doesn’t tackle any more), the epic “Stargazer,” “Black Night,” and a blistering “Burn.”

Blackmore fans should snag either this or the video version.

‘Wembley Live 1996,’ Bryan Adams (Eagle Rock Entertainment, )

The video version of this older but more entertaining concert came out October 2016. It features Bryan Adams and band playing while having a blast before a sell-out crowd at London’s famed Wembley Stadium at the height of his career. This hit-filled two-CD/digital audio package was released June 30; and includes “Can’t Stop This Thing We Started,” “Cuts Like A Knife,” “Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman,” “Summer Of ‘69” and other cool tunes.

The rapturous audience singing and response is audible on “Cuts Like A Knife” and previously unmentioned CD-1 favorites: “Kids Wanna Rock,” “Somebody” and “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You.”

CD-2 favorites: “There Will Never Be Another Tonight,” the rockabilly-flavored “Seven Nights To Rock,” “She’s Only Happy When She’s Dancin’,” “All For Love” and the singalong finale “Heaven.”

This package is wonderful for those who want to take a hit-packed road trip.

‘Alive In Seattle,’ Heart (Eagle Rock Entertainment, 1/2)

This June 30 DVD is a re-issue of Heart’s 2002 homecoming concert film. The classic band line-up that backed Ann (lead vocals, various instruments) and Nancy Wilson (guitars, vocals) is long gone by this time; but the players here are quite talented.

My favorite songs range from familiar to new-to-me: a slightly abbreviated “Crazy On You,” a fast-moving “The Witch,” a rocking “Straight On,” a lush “These Dreams” and a mostly-unplugged segment featuring “Alone,” “Dog and Butterfly” and Zeppelin’s “Battle of Evermore.”

There are plenty more good songs present, with this performance proving more energetic than the more-recently released Albert Hall show.

Ricky Flake, a former punk rocker and current music fan, lives in Biloxi. Reach him at flakericky@gmail.com