The following is a review of the first Dio show on the Angry Machines tour, originally mailed directly to me. 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.
From: spies william (email@example.com)
Subject: Review of 11/22 at Cains Ballroom Tulsa
Date: Sat, 23 Nov 1996 16:42:09 -0600 (CST)
Motorhead opened their set with "Ironfist" and proceeded through a set list of standards laced with a few new songs. There really isn't much to say about the set except that it was thoroughly Motorheadish with Lemmy rasping out the classics that have earned him his status as one of the most enduring figures in metal/hard rock. Although, for some reason, the sound quality declined significantly after the first few songs, this was perfectly solid set from a perfectly solid band.
After Lemmy & CO. finished up their set the stage crew quickly began uncovering/assembling the DIO stage. Although the stage show for this tour is modest compared to the likes of the "Last in Line" or "Sacred Heart" tours, the stage did have a good theatrical feel to it. There were neon lights above and to the side of Vinnie's drum riser and the lighting made effective use of the limited resources of a smaller venue like the Cain's Ballroom. If you're going to a show on either of the American legs of this tour don't expect pyrotechnics or lasers but do expect some well orchestrated lighting sequences that work well and enhance the feel of the show. For instance there was an awesome red lighting sequence during "Heaven & Hell" that really got that evil vibe going.
As for the actual set, well, if you're reading this then you're probably no stranger to the presence and talent of RJD. Ronnie was simply Ronnie, performing with a passion and talent that cannot be explained. Vocally, he sounded as good as ever and he seemed to genuinely enjoy the show (although there were a few times when he seemed to be having a problem with someone in the front row--I couldn't really see what was going on there). The rest of the band was in good form--Vinnie did an excellent solo that was slightly reminiscent, in certain parts, of his "Live Evil" solo (IMHO one of the best drum solos ever).
Tracy G's solo was just awesome. I know that some people don't appreciate his style--it is pretty off center. But for those of us that appreciate the eccentricities of Tracy's playing this solo was something special. The same goes for the song solos--generally Tracy stuck to the structure of the original players when performing the old Iommi/Blackmore/Cambel stuff but in those places where he did add some cool little bits of weirdness and flash I was really impressed. Tracy's playing has a very unusual element that really departs from the norm; those, who like me, enjoy this aspect of his sound were impressed with his performance--others who think that Tracy butchers the solos of his predecessors were probably able to deal with it.
Larry Dennison played very well and seemed to have no trouble with Jeff Pilson's stuff. I would have liked to have seen Pilson though, considering how much he has added to the DIO sound on the last two albums.
The set list itself was the same as the one on 11/17 as written up by Mark Hoffman.
They didn't do Mob Rules but I guess you can't have everything
After the show I was fortunate enough to meet the band. I must say that these guys are absolutely terrific to their fans. Everyone went out of their way to make the "meet and greet" a fun experience for those of us who attended and they were entirely successful. I talked with Vinnie, Tracy and Ronnie and they were all very friendly and unassuming. These guys are really into what they're doing just for the love of it and it shows through in the way that they treat their fans. After all that RJD's music has meant to me over the years (some times it has acted as a life support system) it was great to be able to tell him in person. It just couldn't have been better and was well worth the four hours that I had to drive each way to make it to the show.
This page is maintained by Tapio Keihänen,
The page has been updated on 10.05.1999
URL: http://www.dio.net/tour/reviews/961122_BillSpies.html, the front page http://www.dio.net/.