RITCHIE BLACKMORE’S Rainbow were crowned kings of the castle with a majestic performance at the two-day Rock The Coast festival in Fuengirola, Malaga, at the weekend.
Nearly 14,000 fans packed into the Marenostrum each day to enjoy the greatest line-up of heavy rock ever assembled on the Costa del Sol, with over 40 bands appearing across three stages.
And it was Rainbow who shone as the sun set on Saturday and threatened to leave Sohail Castle crumbling.
Chilean vocalist Ronnie Romero impressed as the band thundered through Since You Been Gone, Stargazer and Long Live Rock ’n’ Roll.
But it was all about Blackmore, with the legendary guitarist digging into his Deep Purple past to produce searing renditions of Mistreated, Black Night and Burn. Indeed, the 74-year-old, known for his moody demeanour, even cracked a few jokes to suggest he’s lightened up at last.
Friday’s main attraction Scorpions may lack their old energy but guitarist Rudolph Schenker remains an irresistible focal point. The Zoo, Is There Anybody There and Coast To Coast ensured the fans were quickly onside for the Germans.
British rockers UFO are heading into orbit for good so it was emotional to hear Lights Out, Love To Love and Rock Bottom for one final time. Swedish titans Opeth are still evolving, however, and proved the most musically adventurous outfit.
Magnum and U.D.O. delivered crowd-pleasing sets, Blaze Bayley drew on his Iron Maiden tenure and Finnish soprano Tarja stunned with cellos and stilettos, while Europe, The Darkness and Michael Monroe successfully closed the nights out.