“Paris Moon” by Blackmore’s Night

Artist: Blackmore’s Night
Title: “Paris Moon”
Label: SPV Records
Release Date: 11/6/2007
Genre: Renaissance Rock
Rating: 4/5

For just about a decade now Ritchie Blackmore and Candice Night have taken their group Blackmore’s Night around the world to play wonderful shows at Concert Halls and Renaissance Fairs much to the delight of their ever growing fan base. The live DVD “Paris Moon” presents them in concert at the famed Olympia Theatre in Paris France during their 2006 appearance where the band was celebrating the latest album in their catalog, the SPV Records release “The Village Lanterne”. This DVD is actually the second such issue in a row from the group but there are some significant differences between the two that make each one something that the viewer can enjoy without finding too much in the way of repetition. The first one was called “Castles And Dreams” and on this we found them appearing at a Renaissance Festival in Germany. The band was performing under the stars in front of an audience that was largely decked out in traditional Ren-Faire garb while “Paris Moon” gives you the chance to see them do their thing in a beautiful theatre indoors. Having viewed both of the DVD’s I was happy to see a theatrical presentation of the band because I had not yet been able to attend a concert myself and felt that this was the next best thing until I can get around to doing so. While one can agree that a live DVD is not as good as actually being at the show you cannot argue about their effectiveness in reaching a larger audience than any one gig affords them to. Like the previous DVD this one does its job commendably and brings the viewer straight to the front row and center stage as the wonders of Blackmore’s Night unfold before their very eyes.

Seeing them inside a hall as opposed to at an outdoor event offered the viewer different acoustics as well which I liked quite a bit since more of the bands subtlety could be enjoyed. Yes there were a number of songs from the previous DVD performed during this set but I don’t think many will mind since it comes to you with a different stage setting and overall vibe. My favorites from their older material still fall to songs like “The Clock Ticks On”, “Renaissance Fair”, and “Past Times With Good Company” among many of the others and of course they allow plenty of room for new ones to be favored as time goes on with tracks like “St. Teresa”, “The Village Lanterne” and “Streets Of London” to name a few. It’s very tricky to gauge one’s absolute favorites in a band like this since it all sounds so pleasant and offers you a nice difference to what you might be listening to on a more regular basis. I’m not aware of too many other groups who deliver Renaissance Rock, but feel if there are any that Blackmore’s Night surely rules the roost. The group also offers up some cover tunes which are nice additions to the show and these include the Jethro Tull classic “Rainbow Warriors”, along with Joan Baez’s “Diamonds & Rust” and on the DVD we find Candace making the tune her own. “St. Teresa” is a Joan Osbourne number that is quick a rocking and of course the show wouldn’t be complete without an offering of tribute to Blackmore’s past by giving us a Rainbow track with “Soldier Of Fortune”.

For the show Candace is in great form and as you will see does not only sing but also performs on some flutes and whistles during the show. She is also stunningly beautiful and dressed up like some Renaissance Queen. She is very difficult to take your eyes off of especially when she bares that award winning smile. Her additional musicianship brings extra layers to the bands sound and works along well with Blackmore himself who does not stick to just the guitar for the bands songs. During the show we find the legendary musician playing electric and acoustic guitars, both a mandolin and mandola and even a hurdy-gurdy (which is also called a wheel fiddle and is very interesting to see played). The whole group is very lively during the show and each of them is visibly enjoying what the do for the group. The only downside that I took from the performance were the lags between songs and these seem to be based on Ritchie’s choosing to change the set around as the night progresses. That stuff could have been edited out for times sake but it does find Candace talking to the audience and joking as it happens. Based on the solid production of the video and its overall fullness in sound this is something that I think anyone would be able to enjoy. It’s packaged in a large ornate box that appears to be a book but that’s pretty deceiving as when you open it you see that there is not much inside as you would have thought. You have two plastic pieces holding the CD and DVD in place and then a photo booklet that provides lyrics for the songs performed. Either way, this one will look nice on the shelf with your other DVD’s and it’s a worthwhile piece to own since you don’t only get the concert film but you also get several selections from the show on a CD so you can bring that along in the car or leave it at the office. If you have the kind of job where you can watch films then bring the whole thing to keep it all nice and neat. When you are finished watching this one you will definitely want to see the group perform – I know that I was left with this feeling and that means they succeeded very well with it.

CD Track List: Past Times With Good Company, Rainbow Blues, Play Minstrel Play, World Of Stone, Under A Violet Moon, Minstrel Hall, Home Again, Ariel, The Clock Ticks On, The Fires At Midnight, The Village Lantern, Fires At Midnight.

Track Listing:
1. Past Times With Good Company
2. Rainbow Blues
3. Play Minstrel Play
4. World Of Stone
5. Under A Violet Moon
6. Soldier Of Fortune
7. Durch Den Wald Zum Bachaus
8. Diamonds And Rust
9. Ministrel Hall
10. Home Again
11. Streets Of London
12. Renaissance Faire
13. Keyboard Solo
14. Ariel
15. Loreley
16. The Clock Ticks On
17. Fires At Midnight
18. Saint Teresa
19. The Village Lanterne

Official Website: www.blackmoresnight.com

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