The following is a review of the first Dio show on the Angry Machines tour, originally posted to Black Sabbath mailing list. Republished here with permission from the author. I had to edit the layout a little bit for better outlook on web, but all the information is still intact.
Date: Fri, 08 Nov 96
From: "Nick van Dyk" (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Subject: Review of Dio Show
It's not often that one of us gets to scoop Tapio on some Dio news, but I think I've got a shot here.
Last night was opening night of the Angry Machines tour (Ventura, California) and I wanted to give a quick review and set list.
Fans of Dio should probably seek out this show, as it's very heavily laden with a number of chestnuts from the Sabbath days and other surprises. The band sounds fairly tight, particularly considering the fact that it's the first night of the tour. Vinnie is reliable as always, though he'll never be a Neil Peart.
The bass player was competant though anonymous (RJD didn't introduce the band) - - it was not Jeff Pilson. Tracy seems to have improved somewhat, particularly on his renditions of Vivian's solos, which on the last tour could only be described as butchery and now could be described as adequate. The obligatory guitar solo is something I think could only have been enjoyed by extreme fans of industrial music or those who prefer an artificial harmonic to actual note ratio of over 3 to 1.
Dio, of course, was incredible. After hearing some of the intentional raspiness on certain parts of Angry Machines, I was afraid that his voice might be starting to show signs of age. But apart from staying away from some of the highest notes in certain songs, he sounds as solid as the first time I saw him back in 1983. All were in good spirits (esp. Dio and Tracy, who were similing and even laughing at times) and Dio seemed glad to see the crowds again. He spent a lot more time shaking hands than I've ever seen him do before.
Now for the setlist. This is reasonably close to the order.
There were several songs that I never thought I'd hear again. Straight Through the Heart was excellent. Hearing both After All and I (in addition to H&H and Mob Rules, which I never tire of) was great as well. And I NEVER thought I'd hear Mistreated -- Dio said he hadn't performed it in 20 years. Now I'd much rather hear Stargazer, but I'll take what I can get!
All in all, he paid homage to Sabbath (4 songs) and Holy Diver (4 songs) for half of his set, which is perfect. It never bothers me that they leave out Dream Evil or especially Lock Up the Wolves.
One final note: before I rushed up to the stage for Dio, during the opening acts I sat next to this old man and his wife, who I'd remembered from the same venue the last time Dio played there (last show of the Strange Highways tour about 18 months ago). At that time, Tracy G was sitting with this couple so I assumed they were his folks and I was going to make some comment about how, ahem, unique Tracy is. Anyhow, turns out this couple is not related to anybody...they just love heavy metal. The guy is 70 years old. Absolutely incredible. So for any of us who are edging into our 30s/40s or older, we've got a lot of rocking left to do!
PS. I forgot, they also played Holy Diver (about 2/3 of the way through the set). So that makes 5 songs from the first Dio album in a fairly long set.
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The page has been updated on 10.05.1999
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