The tour follows on the guitarist’s sold-out shows in Germany and Birmingham, England, earlier this year. Those were Blackmore’s first rock performances since 1997, when he launched his folk-rock ensemble Blackmore’s Night.
Though the band’s previous shows featured a selection of songs by Rainbow and Deep Purple, Blackmore said recently that the Rainbow songs were better received.
In the same interview, Blackmore complained that his vision was deteriorating and hinted at other age-related issues that were slowing him down.
“Optically, I’m deteriorating very fast, as we all are,” he said. “All my friends are passing away. Some of my enemies are passing away too. But we try and keep up with it.
“What I do is I limit how many times a week we play. For instance, this week, we’re playing, I think, twice. And normally, our agent would tell us, ‘To make money, you have to be playing five days a week.’ And I refuse to do that.
“I used to, with Deep Purple and people like that—I would be playing and traveling all the time, and it gets very tiring. But this way we’re very fresh to do our shows. So we’ll be working tomorrow, having four days off, and hopefully we’ll probably play for, like, four hours, ’cause we can do it, and then there’ll be another few days off.”
“And then we can do another long show, whereas in the old days, it was an hour and 20 minutes and we’re exhausted because we’ve gotta move on to the next town.”