On this Day (December 1)…Rainbow over Passaic

Rainbow performed on this day in 1979 at the Capitol Theater in Passaic, New Jersey.

Photograph of Rainbow during that night’s gig. From left to right: Don Airey, Roger Glover, Graham Bonnet, Cozy Powell, and Ritchie Blackmore. Photo by Henry Urbach; used with permission.

The Concert

This concert was done as part of their tour supporting their most recent album, Down To Earth. It came late in the first leg of the tour, which had begun in September of that year. Down To Earth featured a drastic genre shift from their first three albums for a more arena-oriented sound, especially in such songs as “Since You’ve Been Gone”. This shift would be solidified by their next album, Difficult to Cure.

Ticket stub for the concert. Used with permission.

Unusually, this concert has not only been recorded on audio, but on video as well. This is thus one of the very few video recordings of the Down to Earth lineup of the band onstage. It has yet to be officially released.

The Venue

The venue at which this took place, the Capitol Theater, was in fact noted for its in-house video system. A great many concerts were recorded there, some of which can be found here.

Retrieved from here

Most sites claim it was built in 1926, though others state it opened on October 7, 1921 as a movie theater. Apparently, while it was a huge venue which seated 3,866 people, there originally were no backstage area, as the project ran out of money. This changed when a promoter took it over several decades after its initial opening, bought an adjacent building, and remodeled that to serve as dressing rooms and other backstage facilities. To keep up with costs, the theater also ran X-rated movies during the day.

The theater finally closed in 1986. After suffering fire damage, it was demolished in 1991.

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  • Edit on 2019-12-01: photo and ticket stub provided by Henry Urbach added. Used with permission; please do not take from this blog.

Venue Sources

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