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Ritchies Strat Profile
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Registered: 09-2003
Posts: 4267
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Westbury in review


 Well, well, well…..What a week of chaos it was leading up to the long awaited night of Sept 19th at Westbury Music Fair. All week long it was predicted that Hurricane Isabel would wreak havoc on my parade and drown most of Long Island, as is usually the case when a hurricane hits the East Coast. It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve fallen victim to a Blackmore cancellation, only this one would have been mother natures fault for a change. The Storm hit late Thursday night and lasted into Friday morning.
 Alas, as Friday afternoon approached, the storm clouds opened up, the sun shone through and the remaining winds blew all the water away. Let the show go on.
  I left work at my normal time that afternoon at 3:30 pm (just after tea time but well before supper) and started my trek out to Long Island. My biggest obstacle and major concern would be that I work west of Long Island, in New Jersey, and right smack in the middle between me and the venue is the traffic nightmare known as New York City. You never know just how high on the scale the Douche-bag Drivers Index (DDI) will be and I must prepare for the worst just in case the “crash test dummies” are out honing their skills. Friday nights the DDI is especially high (usually a DDI of 10+) and gets my annoyance meter pinning in the red zone. Luckily for me the DDI was low (about a 6 on a scale of 1-10) and I made it to the venue by 5:00 pm. Now what to do? Of course I stopped for some take out beverage on my way and was well prepared for some down time. When I arrived I took a walk around the venue and ended up at the backstage entrance where Ritchie and Candice had just arrived as well. It seemed like a good place to hang my 12-pack and watch the sound equipment be unloaded and mingle with a few other early birds. From my makeshift pub I had some nice conversations with Ritchies personal assistant Richard Michaels and Carole Stevens, who obliged my new found friend in Melissa by taking her copy of New Witch magazine and having RB and CN autograph their picture on the cover. 3 hours until show time went by very quickly thanks to Carole, Richard and Melissa.
 Upon arrival into the lobby, I was once again met by Richard Michaels, who had a nice surprise for me in the form of even better seats than I had bargained for when I bought seats in the special “Rapin and Pillagin” outfit section (Section C). Seems there was some space between the stage and the front rows, so they set up some folding chairs directly in front of the stage and invited some of those dressed for the occasion to better seating arrangements.
 Section C, one of those set aside for preferential seating, had obstructed views and this apparently, was one way to correct the situation. There were a lot of familiar faces there that night and I duly acknowledged all of them, including Wayne and his wife Elaina, whom I had met at the Holiday Jam of 2001 and also the infamous Renaissance Pizza Man, Henry of Patchogue fame.
 Once inside the venue and seated, the mood was enhanced by a pair of Pipers who roamed the hall and enchanted the eager crowd with a few tunes, including the Clock Ticks On theme. They also joined the band for the BN version of CTO, which takes on a whole new ambience with the Bag Pipes and Ritchie on the Hurdy Gurdy. Being of heavy Scotch (wait a minute…that’s a bloody bottle of whiskey isn’t it? ) Scottish descent, I love a good Piper (or two).
 First band up was a local recording band called Wynfall, whom Blackmores Night seemed to have picked up at the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire. They were a three piece heavy on the Celtic side of life with a very Jethro Tull voice. Wynfall is quite enjoyable with an Ian Anderson sound alike on the Lute and vocals and a husband and wife team, the wife on the Cello (wife) and her multi-instrumentalist husband on various woodwinds. If Ritchie ever needs another multi-talented flautist, he need look no further than the Wynfall (Maybe they should have asked the Cellist to join in on GOAR).
 A brief intermission, back to the parking lot for my camera and on to the main attraction:
 Ritchie opening with the now very familiar syth’d, sliding intro to Way To Mandalay, leading the way to Cartouche. Right from the start, even though there were many Deep Purple and Rainbow shirts around, it was evident this crowd was here to enjoy the majesty of Blackmores Night. The stomping and clapping continued throughout most of the evening much to the bands delight. The audience was also mindful enough to give credit where credit is due with plenty of in-song applauding as in the case where Candice pours her heart and soul into Diamonds and Rust, truly making the song her own. The Sisters of The Moon applying some very effective vocals by taking over Ritchies beautiful slide runs from the studio version. Lord Marnen adding the “Smoke” riff to his solo spot didn’t go unnoticed either. At one point an over anxious fan yelled out “You’re the best Ritchie”, to which I had to be a cheeky bugger and retaliate with “Ian Gillan, is that you?”, to which Candice responded by saying she didn’t think Gillan would be attending any BN show anytime soon.
 The one thing I did miss about this show was some of Ritchies extended acoustic/Flamenco doodling between songs. But, it dawned on me that it has always been his prowess that would distract me from what I became enthralled with during this particular performance. I sat there amazed at the quality of music that comes from Ritchie these days. I was thinking about a conversation with Carole two years ago when she went on about how it is all Ritchie who is responsible for such wonderful music. The compositions, arrangements and melodies that make it so easy for Candice to write lyrics and melodies to. I sat there paying more attention to the compositional makeup of the songs rather than being so focused on his guitar playing and was even more amazed that this “Man In Tights” up on the stage has these incredible arrangements in his head. He seemed to let the songs do the talking rather than allowing his incredible, unmatched, guitar playing overshadow the whole affair. It made me think of how, when with either DP or Rainbow, all of the compositions are guitar driven and it's up to the rest of the band to follow along and that’s how the tunes had always come together. Now that he is in complete control, it just blows my mind to see what the man is capable of when he puts the guitar on the backburner and concentrates on the song as a whole. The guitar is used to complement and enhance the tunes rather than drive them. This is something special in Ritchie Blackmore that most instrumentalists cannot get past, and that being their focus does not extend past their own instrumental limitations. With Ritchie Blackmore, he is now looking at the whole picture and not just driving his guitar while expecting the rest to follow.
 Of course Ritchies sense of humor was once again in fine form when, during the middle section of Minstrel Hall, Squire Malcolm got a bit carried away with the tambourine while Ritchie is waiting to begin the main melody again. Ritchie stops, does a double take at the Squire, gets ready to begin again, then turns around to ask if he’s sure that it’s OK to continue. It’s kinda funny to watch Ritchie between songs leaf through his notebook to decide which song to play next as the band eagerly awaits the call. At one point, he seemed a little confused on where to go from there and the crowd tried to help him along with many requests, including one for Mistreated. I think RB heard all of these and decided to break into Avalon just to spite everyone. Not a bad choice though. You won’t hear any complaints of stagnant setlists at this end of the Purple spectrum. Of course his Strat solos just go to prove that he and guitar are one. It was nice to see him change over to the very expensive Fender Custom Shop Strat. I was beginning to wonder if this guitar, which I paid dearly for, was not exactly what he had wanted in a guitar since I have never seen him play that model before. Judging from the studio records though, it sounds as though he has used it to great effect there.
 Candice is a great entertainer as well. She is of course very jovial, pleasant and sings like a dream. As I said earlier, she pours everything she has into these songs and I have never heard a bum note or forgotten lyric, helping me to realize that she really lives within her lyrics. I for one, am content to ride the Blackmores Night train for as long as it lasts. With performances like this, who wouldn’t. It was truly worth the stress of the The Storm.
The set list: (not necessarily in order) Cartouch//Play Minstrel Play//Minstrel Hall//UAVM//Diamonds and Rust//Avalon//Soldier of Fortune//16th CG//Mr Peagrams Morris and Sword//PTWGC
Durch Dem Wald Bachaus//Rennaisance Faire//I Still Remember//Clock Ticks On (lengthy Hurdy Gurdy intro by RB)
Village in The Sand (with Candice in the audience urging people to
take the mic for the Na-na-nas)
encores:
GOAR
All For One


---
"Every time she goes Vavoom,
I wiggle in my chair"- excerpt from the book 'Things a Grown Man Should Never Say'.
24/9/2003, 16:20 Link to this post Send Email to Ritchies Strat   Send PM to Ritchies Strat
 
MrsSnap Profile
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Registered: 09-2003
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Re: Westbury in review


Thanks for your review.
24/9/2003, 16:50 Link to this post Send Email to MrsSnap   Send PM to MrsSnap
 
Niko Vidgren Profile
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Registered: 09-2003
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Re: Westbury in review


It seems that you had a great time! Thanks for the review.
24/9/2003, 17:32 Link to this post Send Email to Niko Vidgren   Send PM to Niko Vidgren
 
RitchiesHair Profile
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Registered: 09-2003
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Re: Westbury in review


Thanks for the review, I'm really getting fired up for November now.
24/9/2003, 17:46 Link to this post Send Email to RitchiesHair
 
Big J Profile
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Re: Westbury in review


quote:

RitchiesHair wrote:

Thanks for the review, I'm really getting fired up for November now.



Ditto!

Thanks for a great review Brian.
24/9/2003, 18:08 Link to this post Send Email to Big J   Send PM to Big J
 
Diostillrocks Profile
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Re: Westbury in review


Sounds like a nice show. Now only if BN can venture upstate NY into Elf's old stomping grounds.
24/9/2003, 20:41 Link to this post Send Email to Diostillrocks   Send PM to Diostillrocks
 
FatLarryandhiscar Profile
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Re: Westbury in review


Very nice Brian it seem's a good time was had by all afterall.My brother and his wife were happy with the proceeding's and discribed about the same as you incuding the bagpiper's walking around and the opening act being VERY good.He also spoke highly of Candice(how could anyone not)and said she was dressed in red I believe it was and looking fine as Dandilion wine.It's getting more and more difficult to complain about the setlist when it comes to artist's of this talent level cause they somehow make up for it with a fine performance, but I wonder why Philly would be honered with The Way To Mandalay and Rainbow Blues, but I'm sure if I had attended the show's I would be able to see that they made up for it somehow,or maybe not.Ritchie has a way with this behavior and sometimes the audience suffer's but that's probably neither here nor there since I was 3000 miles away. emoticon

Last edited by FatLarryandhiscar, 25/9/2003, 1:26
24/9/2003, 22:03 Link to this post Send Email to FatLarryandhiscar   Send PM to FatLarryandhiscar
 
RitchiesHair Profile
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Registered: 09-2003
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Re: Westbury in review


I've just remembered, Brian, what was the site with the boots on?, I lost the link after the old forums closed and I'd better order them soon.
24/9/2003, 23:25 Link to this post Send Email to RitchiesHair
 
iamdfryedrdp Profile
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Registered: 09-2003
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Re: Westbury in review


Great Review, Thanks. Wanted to go but Isabel shut down the Ferry from Connecticut to the Island and it's pointless driving throught NYC on a Friday night. Still hoping & praying for a PROPER tour of the States.Regards,Fry.e
25/9/2003, 1:43 Link to this post Send Email to iamdfryedrdp   Send PM to iamdfryedrdp
 
Ritchies Strat Profile
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Registered: 09-2003
Posts: 4267
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Re: Westbury in review


Here ya go
http://www.frumps.com/html/minnetonka_moccasins.html?source=overture
Brian

---
"Every time she goes Vavoom,
I wiggle in my chair"- excerpt from the book 'Things a Grown Man Should Never Say'.
25/9/2003, 12:47 Link to this post Send Email to Ritchies Strat   Send PM to Ritchies Strat
 


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