Joe Lynn Turner made a long awaited return to Western NY Saturday evening as he headlined the third annual Rockin’ The Grapes festival at the Willow Creek Winery. It is not everyday you can see Turner perform much less even see any national acts playing Rainbow material from his tenure.
Turner hit the crowd Straight Between The Eyes with his first number, “Death Alley Driver” before feeling the “Power.” One of the true highlights came early on in “Street Of Dreams”, the classic AOR hit from the 1983 Bent Out Of Shape release. Despite a few technical issues following the Deep Purple classics, “Lazy” and “Highway Star”, the band soldiered on as they tore through the Coverdale era classic “Burn” with considerable gratification. It was on the Deep Purple songs where keyboardist Paul Morris stood out. A touching tribute to Ronnie James Dio as “Long Live Rock N’ Roll”, a song he originally sang on, also was featured. In all a really good show that featured the Rainbow and Deep Purple era of Turner’s career. It was suprising not to hear the one Purple track Joe did sing on “King Of Dreams” which received much airplay at the time of its release. Also missing from the set was his Yngwie Malmsteen period songs such as “Dreaming” and “Heaven Tonight”, two songs that surely would have been a delight to hear.
It was an interesting aspect seeing Turner perform many classics of his former bands catalog, especially seeing how those songs were recorded way before he joined those bands. It shows how much he respects those bands and their songs.
Special Thanks to Ross Catalino for allowing us to cover this show.