“Dio Returns: The World Tour” — featuring Ronnie James Dio reuniting via hologram with his DIO bandmates — kicked off Wednesday, December 6 at Matrix in in Bochum, Germany. The show saw the return of the iconic singer via hologram performing such classics as “Rainbow In The Dark”, “We Rock”, “Neon Nights”, “King Of Rock And Roll”, “Man On The Silver Mountain”, “Heaven And Hell”, “Holy Diver” and more.
The “Dio Returns” tour features Ronnie’s actual live vocals, with the DIO band playing live, consisting of Craig Goldy on guitar, Simon Wright on drums and Scott Warren on keyboards, along with Bjorn Englen on bass. Veteran metal vocalist Tim “Ripper” Owens (JUDAS PRIEST) is also performing, with singer Oni Logan (LYNCH MOB) also joining on select dates.
“Dio Returns: The World Tour” will also make stops in Poland, Spain, Romania, United Kingdom, Netherlands and Belgium before the end of 2017.
Dates initially announced for Finland, Sweden and Norway are being rescheduled for a larger run through Scandinavia in 2018. The “Dio Returns” tour will also make stops throughout Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, United States, Venezuela and other countries, with more dates to be announced.
The Ronnie James Dio hologram first appeared at last year’s Wacken Open Air festival in Germany during DIO DISCIPLES’ set which closed out the festival attended by more than 75,000 metal fans.
In a recent post on the DIO DISCIPLES Facebook page, Goldy defended DIO DISCIPLES’ decision to tour with Ronnie’s hologram, calling it “a gift to the fans” which will be “given in the same spirit in which Ronnie gave.”
He explained: “People don’t remember, but Wendy [Dio, Ronnie’s wife and manager] was a big part of how that whole ‘Sacred Heart’ stage set was built, put together and without hiking up the ticket prices too. Same thing for the ‘Dream Evil’ tour, with a giant metal spider that came down out of the rafters and I shot it with lasers out of my guitar and then wherever I pointed my guitar, an explosion would occur. It was magical days with magical people behind that magic. This hologram is just that.”
According to Goldy, DIO DISCIPLES’ performances with the Ronnie James Dio hologram will serve an opportunity for people who “never got to see Ronnie on stage with BLACK SABBATH and RAINBOW” to experience some of the original magic.
“This is something that is done in the name of love, honor, missing him and respect — nothing else,” he said. “And that is the truth. People’s opinion does not alter the truth. It only alters the perception of truth. So this hologram tour is meant to honor the man and his music in the same spirit in which that man gave to this world… so we now give. And people will be missing out on an incredible experience if they let bad comments make that decision for them.”
Craig added that “Ronnie would approve of this hologram being done in the way it is being done. I’m sure that anyone who has worked as hard as he did, and has made as big of a worldwide impact as he did, would like their name and memory carried on by those people that he loved and surrounded himself with by choice.”
Click below to watch fan-filmed footage of the opening night.