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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Dio Disciples Live at Harpo’s, Detroit, Michigan


Dio Disciples Live at Harpo’s, Detroit, Michigan

November 10th, 2012
Ronnie James Dio was such a legendary artist, very sadly missed today in the world of rock ‘n’ roll.

He was the ultimate voice / songwriter in Rainbow, alongside Ritchie Blackmore and then the powerhouse voice and songwriter in Black Sabbath, when he replaced Ozzy Osbourne alongside Tony Iommi.

Seriously, to have played, sung and written alongside those two greats alone should speak volumes, but not only that he had his own band that was always something special to see, Dio!

Ronnie did so much in rock ‘n’ roll, but not just as a performer but for charity events too, just go and search out ‘Hear ‘n’ Aid' a project back in 1985 that Ronnie initiated, to aid the many Armenian's killed in a massive earthquake that left the country absolutely devastated.
So it was – as it is with losing anyone – an absolute tragedy when he passed away from stomach cancer back in 2010.
Ronnie could never, ever really be replaced and yes I know so many rock fans say that about so many bands, when someone passes on and then of course the bands often go ahead and do just that and people moan and groan and whine, etc, etc, but AC/DC did it have seriously become bigger today than anyone could’ve ever imagined, but one example where it won’t work is Thin Lizzy, where fans will never accept it with Phil Lynott having passed on.

Some will, but clearly too many have opposed it, to the point where former Thin Lizzy players Scott Gorham, Brian Downey and Darren Wharton have decided to call it quits with Lizzy at the end of this year.

Anyway, former band mates of Ronnie’s clearly miss playing the man’s music and with the blessing of Ronnie’s former wife / widow Wendy Dio …, owner of Niji EntertainmentRonnie’s Estate essentially … - they have pulled together and brought in some great vocalists to help them perform Ronnie’s back catalogue or elements of it, as Dio Disciples.
Respect for Ronnie is clear, with the simple and clear statement that NO single vocalist could pull off singing a complete set of the man’s material, so each night they perform not one but TWO vocalists share the stage!
Dio Disciples - The Band!
The two vocalists touring alongside Craig Goldy (Guitars), Scott Warren (Keyboards), Simon Wright (Drums) – all part of the last Dio lineup – and bassist Bjorn Englen (Yngwie Malmsteen) are Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens (Judas Priest, Yngwie Malmsteen) and Oni Logan (Lynch Mob), both acclaimed talents in the rock world.
After opening act, Seattle's Witchburn, who’s music was really not for me, way, way too heavy and dark musically for my liking, although vocalist Jamie Nova(?), has a very impressive voice.
So to Dio Disciples, how would it sound though, really?
I tell you one thing that it was for sure, LOUD!!!
Boy was it loud?! We were standing in front of stage too, not the P.A. system, so that right there was something!
Dio Disciples onstage in Detroit November 2012 - Photo: Alun Williams
The band opened with ‘Killing The Dragon’ which in fact, the album cover of that album was the bands backdrop tonight.

Ed’s note: I wonder if they change it around each night, just curious?
They sounded really strong with Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens taking the lead vocal at the start of the show and doing a fine job, the rest of the band, equally impressive.

Wow! Then it was ‘Holy Diver,’ a track I would’ve thought we’d have to wait a while for but no, here we go and it’s fantastic to hear these tracks again live. Boy, do I miss Ronnie James Dio ….
Craig Goldy is a great guitarist, I loved his playing with Giuffria too and he’s a class act for sure.

 Tim then introduces Oni Logan to the stage and between them both, they give us 'Egypt (The Chains are On)' from Dio's the 'Last In Line' album, before we get ‘Stargazer’ from Ronnie’s Rainbow period in time and as I’m writing down the track in my notes, a friend we’ve made from bumping into at recent gigs – Also a drummer and huge Cozy Powell fan, like myself. – taps me on the arm and gestures towards the stage, as we both recall Cozy’s part in Rainbow alongside Ronnie.
Great to hear this again after so many years, when I last saw the Dio band live here in Detroit, which was 2003 with Iron Maiden and since Ritchie Blackmore will never resurrect Rainbow, this is possibly the closest anyone will get to hearing it done right!
Tim 'Ripper' Owen's and Craig Goldy live in Detroit - Photo: Alun Williams
Oni makes his comment to the crowd, as both he and Tim do all evening, reminding us all that we are all here to pay tribute to Ronnie James Dio and with that comes ‘Push’ next and it rocks out great! It’s a gem from the ‘Killing The Dragon’ album.
Craig Goldy is clearly in his element and loving what he’s playing and grinning from ear to ear from time to time. Sounds good to me too Craig!

I suddenly notice looking at Simon Wright that the monitor and concert toms to his left keep rocking side to side as he pounds away!
In between songs next, Oni says ‘We’re going to go back into a time capsule here folks …,’ as he then sings the opening, gentle lines to ‘Last In Line,’ before the rock kicks in and Tim rejoins the band, stage front!
The crowd really loves the show, there’s no big light show or lasers that many of us remember with Ronnie’s shows, it’s just great music and fantastic songs, written by the fair hand of the master.
‘Stand Up and Shout’ next which Tim handles very well indeed once more and it’s just one classic after another.
Tim then speaks to the crowds saying, ‘You know, Ronnie was the best singer in the world, not just in rock, but in any style of music ...’ Throughout the evening, both Oni and Tim continued to praise Ronnie up and make gestures in the upward direction of heaven.
Yes, we do all miss Ronnie, so, so very much indeed.


Top: Craig Goldy onstage in Detroit Nov. 10th, 2012 
Bottom: Oni Logan with Tim 'Ripper' Owens looking on.
Photo's: Alun Williams

‘Don’t Talk To Strangers’ next which starts gently and then builds into a monster rocking tune. Brilliant guys, class! 

Oni returns to the stage to lead us into ‘Lord of the Last Day / All the Fools Sailed Away’ then Tim returns to add his mark.

Oni stays out front for ‘Catch The Rainbow,’ that then surges into ‘Kill The King’ and Tim returns, while Craig Goldy rips out a killer solo, so respectful to Blackmore.
Excellent! Boy, do I miss Rainbow too ….

Tim takes the microphone and says, ‘OK, now I want you to listen carefully …,’ the crowd yells back at Tim, ‘No seriously I want you to listen, because ‘If you listen to fools … What?’The crowd shouts back, ‘The Mob Rules!’Tim says, ‘What?!’ Crowd, ‘The Mob Rules,’ Tim,The Mob Rules!!!’Here Craig’s playing is a great tribute to Tony Iommi.
Now I’m wishing we’d get something like ‘Neon Nights’ or Die Young’ or ‘Turn Up The Night,’ but alas no, it’s not to be …
Top - Scott Warren and Bjorn Englen
Bottom - Simon Wright
Photo's: Alun Williams
Oni comes back out and says, ‘Do you think you can sing with us? Will you sing with us?’
A resounding ‘Yeah,’ he gets back and he starts by himself to just sing, ‘Long Live, Rock and Roll, Long Live, Rock and Roll,’ then in comes the band and it’s just killer and yes, I will say it, awesome!!!
A nice touch stopping halfway through to have us in the crowd participating in a sing-along!
Tim and Oni both share vocal duties on next track, ‘Man On The Silver Mountain,’ again with Craig doing a fine job!

The track closes with Tim shouting out, ‘Ronnie James, Ronnie James,’ to get the crowd worked up, then Simon Wright and bassist Bjorn Englen start the back beat to ‘Heaven and Hell’ and Tim takes the lead, getting the crowd to join him on the intro chanting vocal, ‘Wooooahhh wooah wooah woooahhh, woooooah woooooah wooah wooah wooah wooah …’
Basically the songs melody line and then the band takes over for the epic track.
Great stuff and this wraps up the main set.
Then just Oni Logan and Scott Warren come out and Oni says, ‘This was perhaps a strange song for Ronnie to sing from the Angry Machines album, it’s called ‘This Is Your Life.’ It’s a really strong beautiful ballad, really moving … The audience laps it up.
The full band then comes back onstage for ‘Rainbow in the Dark’ which just takes the roof off with the crowd. Love it!
Tim then yells to the crowd, ‘What do you do? What do you do? WHAT DO YOU DO??!!’
The crowd gets it and shouts back, ‘WE ROCK!’
Indeed we all do as does this band and it’s a great closing number.
Killer set!
Dio Disciples - Detroit! Thank you and goodnight! - Photo: Alun Williams
This is truly a dedicated band, playing together to keep our memories of Ronnie alive.
Go and see them, I know you’re thinking, but it’s not Ronnie … BUT … The respect shown by all these players throughout the night onstage, is 100% clear. They, as do we, really miss Ronnie James Dio.
After the show, once the band had a chance to clean up a little, they came out of the tour bus to meet with fans, pose for photos and sign various memorabilia and I have to say, they were all so humbled by the fans support.
Each of them I spoke to said the same thing, we’re just doing this to keep the memory of Ronnie alive and I have to say, they do a great job of it.
I’m sure Ronnie is up there somewhere, smiling down on us all, that we are still appreciating the man’s incredible talent.
Side note: Various fans were saying to the various band members, ‘You guys sound so good, any chance of you writing anything new together, even though Ronnie’s no longer with us?’

The answers were yes, that they are writing new material, I just wonder how or what name it will be released under, whether Dio Disciples will go the distance or another name will be used?
Tim ‘Ripper’ Owen’s and Oni Logan, both possess fantastic vocal talents, some great ranges between them, I for one would certainly be very interested to hear what they produce. I’m sure it will be worth the wait!

Thanks guys, we loved the show, fond memories came back.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

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