Joe Lynn Turner

January 26, 2018
The Cutting Room
New York, NY

Review by Ralph Greco, Jr.

Pretty much all but blown away by Joe Lynn Turner at the slightly cramped Cutting Room stage in NYC, I can tell you the ex-Rainbow, Yngwie Malmsteen, Deep Purple (to name but a few) front man and solo artist in his own right is still possessed of rock pipes to die for.

Fronting a four-piece of seasoned players who recreated as well as rocked every song Turner ran through in his hour-and-a-half set, really this was a show that just started heavy and hard out of the gate and never let up.

What I was most taken with was the set list. There were a few tickles into Joe Lynn Turner solo material — a wonderful read of “Blood Red Sky,” from his second solo album Second Hand Life — but mainly we were treated to tunes from bands Turner fronted or was a partner in — especially Rainbow.

Turner pretty much still hits the vocal marks on all these tunes, and I especially liked the early inclusion of a song like “Spotlight Kid” off of Difficult To Cure in the set list as much as rolling round stone cold hits like “Street of Dreams” and, of course, “Stone Cold.”

“Devil’s Road” from the Hughes-Turner Project got a playing here as did Yngwie Malmsteen’s “Rising Force” near the end of the set. Turner also trotted out some Deep Purple, having sung lead vocals in that band for a while. Letting his keyboard player, Dr. Gary Zappa, bring us into a chunking “Perfect Strangers,” the band even managed a solid version of “Highway Star” — a song few vocalists can get their throat around. Turner pulled it off without a problem.

“Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll,” called out by Turner as a tribute to Ronnie James Dio, was the second encore and last number of the night. The crowd was on their feet even before this, but Turner led us all in a sing-a-long on the classic Rainbow song.

Other than the aforementioned Zappa, I need to call out the band here — Rob DiMartino on bass, Angus Clark on guitar, and Charlie Z on drums. Backing Joe Lynn Turner, the group was out there, rockin’ it as hard as ever.

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