It was a rainy night at The Myth in Maplewood, Minnesota, which was appropo for this evening as the fans at The Myth in Maplewood, Minnesota turned out to see Dio Returns live on this rainy night. This night was essentially a tribute to legendary metal vocalist Ronnie James Dio, who lost his battle to stomach cancer about five years ago. EyeIlusion presented Dio in holographic form and the original members of Dio, with the exception of the bass player who is in Dio Disciples commanded the stage on this night with special guest Jizzy Pearl’s Love/Hate. Jizzy Pearl’s Love/Hate was the first to take the stage.
What a solid opening band that Jizzy Pearl’s Love/Hate was. They commanded the stage and Jizzy Pearl has a voice that can belt it. It’s plain to see why he was involved as a member of the house band at the world-famous Whisky A Go-Go in Los Angeles as well as spending six years with Ratt in the early 2000’s as well as a stint with L.A. Guns and with Quiet Riot in 2014. Their songs were full of debauchery and sleaze, but Jizzy Pearl can absolutely sing especially for a man that is in his early 60’s. I can tell that he takes care of his voice as he appeared stronger as their 45 minute opening set went on. The rhythm section was also strong, especially the bass player and the guitarist slashed his way through the set. They were good enough to where I’m anxious to hear more from Jizzy Pearl’s Love/Hate as they continue to roll on as a band.
Fans can find Jizzy Pearl’s Love/Hate on Facebook at www.facebook.com/JizzyPearlsLoveHate
After a brief intermission, the stage was set for the Dio Returns holographic experience. I was expecting more of a crowd on this night as there were maybe 250 people at this show(I’m being generous on the count) but Father’s Day Weekend in the Midwest might have had something to do with it. The band came out on the stage providing the anticipatory setting as the lights shut off after “Ace of Spades” by Motorhead was blaring in the PA system. Dio seemed to have spoken words of his return as the crowd watched in silence and anticipation and Dio in hologram form appeared as the band ripped into the song “King of Rock & Roll”. This song is always the perfect concert opener to this night or to any Dio concert. Dio’s hologram appeared to have moved like Dio did, with the horns in the air and that little strut he used to kind of do while he was singing. I must admit it was unusual, but it was kind of neat at the same time, and how this night was set up was totally neat.
Here comes Ripper Owens of Judas Priest/Iced Earth fame as Dio’s hologram disappeared. Ripper Owens has a shrill in his screams and is able to carry the note very well as he ripped(pun intended) into the Black Sabbath(Dio era) song “Mob Rules”. Ripper would have done Dio proud as he sang with emotion and seemed to bow down at the altar of Dio’s musicians for how tight of a band that they are. I developed a further appreciation for Dio’s backing band, although I couldn’t help but wonder how they were performing with a hologram of Dio there instead of Dio himself. Then Oni Logan(Lynch Mob/Dio Disciples) graced the stage.
Oni Logan’s voice brought a contrast to Owens’ powerful voice. Logan was more theatrical and operatic in his voice, which certainly helped in the Dio “ballad” “Children Of The Sea”. Logan has a way of carrying out the stories that Dio would write in his lyrics while paying homage to Dio with his voice. He sounds more epic and more theatrical, put it this way, if there was a Broadway musical devoted to Dio, I would immediately cast Oni Logan as Dio himself. Honestly, while the hologram experience was cool, I would’ve been perfectly fine with Ripper Owens and Oni Logan trading off in the vocals.
Overall, the Dio hologram only appeared on the major songs such as “Last In Line”, in which they did a quick verse of “Holy Diver” in the middle of the song(which was different to me), “Rainbow In The Dark” and the hologram joined with Logan and Owens on “We Rock” which was a really cool way to tie the show all together. The visual effects that EyeIllusion brought us were absolutely stunning as the dungeons, fire, music videos, and other effects were excellent in the experience. This was a great tribute show, and I’m sure this brings about some kind of closure to Dio’s musicians collective careers. I’m anticipating that they won’t keep doing this as they wanted to bring some type of closure to Dio’s rabid fanbase. I encourage you to come out and pay your respects and rock out to Dio Returns at a city near you!
Here are the remaining dates:
Wed. 6/19- Uptown Theater in Kansas City, Missouri
Thu. 6/20- The Criterion in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Fri. 6/21- The Bomb Factory in Dallas, Texas
Sat. 6/22- State Farm Hidalgo Arena in Hidalgo, Texas
Sun. 6/23- Jefferson Theatre in Beaumont, Texas
Wed. 6/26- Orpheum Theatre in Phoenix, Arizona
Fri. 6/28- The Wiltern in Los Angeles, California
Sat. 6/29- Brooklyn Bowl in Las Vegas, Nevada
For tickets and further information, click here.
Fans can find Ronnie James Dio at the following locations:
- Photo Credit: Stephanie Cabral