Dio Returns – London, O2 Academy – 19 December 2017 Print E-mail
Written by DJ Astrocreep   
Saturday, 06 January 2018 04:20

dio returns 5057355638There had been a lot of talk before the Dio Returns gig about the use of the Dio hologram with a live backing track for his vocals. Both sides were quite vociferous in their opinions, one arguing that he should be left to rest in peace, others saying they had never had the chance to see him live so this was as close as they could get. There were numerous counter-arguments to anything either side could put forward, which I am not here to either debate or get into. What I did know was that Tim 'Ripper’ Owens and Oni Logan were going to be alternating on vocals for those tracks that were not being 'sung' by the hologram and I sure as hell did not want to miss seeing a talented band in Dio disciples perform with them. Off then way down south...

 

There is no support for the band, given they don't know how long it will take to build the hologram, in addition to the stage space issues, so the atmosphere is slightly strange. There is a definite mix of excitement and apprehension in the air, which is understandable, to be fair, in the circumstances. ‘Perfect Strangers’ rings out around the room, and the crowd, myself included, bellow it out at the tops of our voices. The band take the stage to a loud cheer and get straight into the action with the hologram singing along to King of Rock n Roll. The crowd, after the initial cheer, are a touch less rambunctious than you might expect. This is followed by one of four Sabbath covers, before Tim 'Ripper' Owens takes to the stage, taking over from the hologram Dio, for ‘The Mob Rules’. A second Dio song is covered by Tim before Oni Logan is brought out on to the stage for the third Sabbath cover of the day, which brings out a loud cheer, as the audience are warming up more and more to the night's entertainment.

 

It's hologram time again, as ‘Last In Line’ is interspersed with ‘Holy Diver’, which gets the loudest singalong yet of the evening, before Oni and Tim retake the stage for a Dio and Rainbow cover, respectively. This brings us on to a guitar solo from Craig Goldy, with Bjorn Englen joining him halfway through. This goes down fairly well with the crowd, before a pair of Rainbow covers, the latter being ‘Stargazer’, a personal favourite of mine, which again has everyone singing loudly along as both live vocalists for the night take turns and harmonise. As I apologise to my accompaniment for the evening for half deafening her, the band shuffle off stage to allow Scott Warren to have a solo on keys, which actually doesn't go down so well as the last few songs.

 

The band retake the stage now for another Dio cover, with both vocalists taking their place on stage again, as ‘Mystery’ is covered, before one of the highlights of the night, as the hologram arises again, starting off with ‘Heaven And Hell’, before going on to an excerpt of ‘Man On The Silver Mountain’, a well-performed drum solo, which has a snippet of the 1812 Overture by Tchaikovsky during it, before going back to ‘Heaven And Hell’. Seeming almost embarrassed, the band stand at the front of the stage, while the audience just look at them, before they wander off stage, this being an unannounced end of the main set. They come back on a couple of minutes later for a final hologram song of the night in ‘Rainbow In The Dark, before exiting the stage for the night to Dio's ‘This Is Your Life'.

 

Overall, the gig was enjoyable, but having no support band probably hurt the atmosphere more than they may have guessed in advance, as it certainly took a few songs to get going. The hologram worked fairly well - whilst it usually linked and timed well with the music, this was not always the case - had it instead been done in a motion capture, with someone acting it out behind a curtain, for example, I feel this would have made it a lot more realistic, rather than the looped video that was used.

 

All content © Über Rock. Not to be reproduced in part or in whole without the express written permission of Über Rock.

There had been a lot of talk before the Dio Returns gig about the use of the Dio hologram with a live backing track for his vocals. Both sides were quite vociferous in their opinions, one arguing that he should be left to rest in peace, others saying they had never had the chance to see him live so this was as close as they could get. There were numerous counter-arguments to anything either side could put forward… we sent our resident DJ along with an open mind, and equally open ears and throat, and you find out what he thought right here:

 

There had been a lot of talk before the Dio Returns gig about the use of the Dio hologram with a live backing track for his vocals. Both sides were quite vociferous in their opinions, one arguing that he should be left to rest in peace, others saying they had never had the chance to see him live so this was as close as they could get. There were numerous counter-arguments to anything either side could put forward, which I am not here to either debate or get into. What I did know was that Tim 'Ripper’ Owens and Oni Logan were going to be alternating on vocals for those tracks that were not being 'sung' by the hologram and I sure as hell did not want to miss seeing a talented band in Dio disciples perform with them. Off then way down south.....

 

There is no support for the band, given they don't know how long it will take to build the hologram, in addition to the stage space issues, so the atmosphere is slightly strange. There is a definite mix of excitement and apprehension in the air, which is understandable, to be fair, in the circumstances. ‘Perfect Strangers’ rings out around the room, and the crowd, myself included, bellow it out at the tops of our voices. The band take the stage to a loud cheer and get straight into the action with the hologram singing along to King of Rock n Roll. The crowd, after the initial cheer, are a touch less rambunctious than you might expect. This is followed by one of four Sabbath covers, before Tim 'Ripper' Owens takes to the stage, taking over from the hologram Dio, for ‘The Mob Rules’. A second Dio song is covered by Tim before Oni Logan is brought out on to the stage for the third Sabbath cover of the day, which brings out a loud cheer, as the audience are warming up more and more to the night's entertainment.

 

It's hologram time again, as ‘Last In Line’ is interspersed with ‘Holy Diver’, which gets the loudest singalong yet of the evening, before Oni and Tim retake the stage for a Dio and Rainbow cover, respectively. This brings us on to a guitar solo from Craig Goldy, with Bjorn Englen joining him halfway through. This goes down fairly well with the crowd, before a pair of Rainbow covers, the latter being ‘Stargazer’, a personal favourite of mine, which again has everyone singing loudly along as both live vocalists for the night take turns and harmonise. As I apologise to my accompaniment for the evening for half deafening her, the band shuffle off stage to allow Scott Warren to have a solo on keys, which actually doesn't go down so well as the last few songs.

 

The band retake the stage now for another Dio cover, with both vocalists taking their place on stage again, as ‘Mystery’ is covered, before one of the highlights of the night, as the hologram arises again, starting off with ‘Heaven And Hell’, before going on to an excerpt of ‘Man On The Silver Mountain’, a well-performed drum solo, which has a snippet of the 1812 Overture by Tchaikovsky during it, before going back to ‘Heaven And Hell’. Seeming almost embarrassed, the band stand at the front of the stage, while the audience just look at them, before they wander off stage, this being an unannounced end of the main set. They come back on a couple of minutes later for a final hologram song of the night in ‘Rainbow In The Dark, before exiting the stage for the night to Dio's ‘This Is Your Life'.

 

Overall, the gig was enjoyable, but having no support band probably hurt the atmosphere more than they may have guessed in advance, as it certainly took a few songs to get going. The hologram worked fairly well - whilst it usually linked and timed well with the music, this was not always the case - had it instead been done in a motion capture, with someone acting it out behind a curtain, for example, I feel this would have made it a lot more realistic, rather than the looped video that was used.

 

All content © Über Rock.  Not to be reproduced in part or in whole without the express written permission of Über Rock.