The following is a review a Dio show on the first leg of Angry Machines European tour, originally mailed 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.
Subject: Review of the DIO show of Dec.15th 96 in Vienna
Date: Mon, 30 Dec 1996 17:21:30 +0000
Review of the DIO show of Dec. 15th 1996 at the Libro(music)hall in Vienna, Austria.
Hi, you Dio Maniacs ! As a longtime Dio and Black Sabbath fan it is a pleasure for me to tell you about the Dio show of Dec 15th here in my homecity Vienna, Austria. The show took place in the Libro(music)hall, a new adapted hall for audiences of more than 5000 people.The sound of the hall isn't bad, a lot of good shows have been taking place there, for instance the Kiss show just one day after Ronnie's ......
Four bands have been announced for the evening: Sextiger (a local Viennese rock (metal) band), Speedball, Dio and Motoerhead. Motoerhead was announced as headliner, which was a bit dissapointing for me, loving Dio's music much more than Lemmy's and I think there were a lot of people hinking the same way. Dio more or less as warming up band ? You have to take it as it is and take what you can get...
All in all there were about 40% Dio fans and 60% Motoerhead fans, if you judge it by the T-Shirts.But I think there would have been much more Ronnie fans if the name Dio would have been written bigger on the announcement posters. I know of much people, who didn't want to spend much money (the tickets haven't been very cheap) for seeing motoerhead,when Ronnie would just play a small setlist....
After Sextiger, a viennese metal band, Speedball entered the stage with a powerful performance,and what else than a kind of speedmetal could they play. I talked to the drummer about Black Sabbath and Dio. He is a very friendly guy and also a big fan of Ronnie.
After the stage had been adapted for Dio, the lights were switched off suddenly (there was still some AC/DC stuff played through the speakers).While an Intro-Tape, which first reminded me a bit on Sabbath's E5150,was played, you already could see the band enter the stage and take their instruments.Vinny Appice, the monster on the drums and my absolute favorite rock-drummer ( I caught the drum-stick at the end of the show !!!) took place.
The lights went on ... and there he was: Ronnie James Dio. This man is pure magic, watching him move on the stage is always fascinating. Immediatly the air was full of these `Long Live Rock'n'Roll signs' (or call it whatever you like).
The crowd was getting crazy as they started the show with a powerful version of `Jesus, Mary and the Holy Ghost',my favorite track of the Strange Highways LP, leading into `Straight through the heart' from the Holy Diver album.Exciting to hear that track live, I think it hasn't been played since 1983....,right?
The show continued with `Holy Diver'. What can you say, always great to hear that track live again, still after all these years. It was leading into a short but excellent drum solo. Vinny, I've never seen a drum solo before that didn't bore me, but yours was absolutely fabulous and so heavy !!
The show continued with -I think- the biggest hymn of heavy metal: Sabbath's ,Heaven & Hell".They played it in the `Big black shape looking up at me..' version, and Ronnie was covered with red light while singing that verse.The light seemed to come direct ly from hell. It looked fantastic.
Next was `Double Monday', a great and heavy track of the new album, which I generally judge as one of Ronnie's best solo releases ever..(I would have liked to hear also `Dying in America', `Golden Rules' or `Don't tell the kids"...) `Stand up and shout', Dio's alltime live classic, followed, before the new bass player introduced himself by playing the bass intro of `Hunter of the heart', another great track of `Angry Machines'.
The next song was the big surprise of the evening: Dio played the Deep Purple classic `Mistreated'. I've heard that song 4 months ago at a Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow show and it was great, but compared with Ronnie's version it got blown away. Singing the `Baby , I've been losing my mind' verse , Ronnie was unbelievable...
Tracy G managed Mr. Blackmores's guitar parts very well. He didn't copy them , but played them in his own remarkable individual style . I think that's how you recognize a great musician and guitar player !
`Last in Line', that classic Dio track, finished a fantastic but too short setlist... The crowd was completely excited, so Ronnie,who seemed to be very satisfied with the audience, had to return to the stage, before having left it. People were shouting `Dio,Dio...' so loud, that you could'nt even understand what Ronnie was saying.
They played a fabulous version of Sabbath's `Mob Rules' as encore, making me as an old Black Sabbath maniac feel like being in seventh heaven (I don't know if you know that german saying: It means being very happy..). They left behind an impressed and fascinated audience.
The only bitter pill of the show was its shortness of just about 60 minutes,because as I said Dio was opening for Motoerhead. I suppose after that performance the audience would have liked to hear much more from Dio than from Motoerhead.... Also I would have liked to hear something from Sabbath's `Dehumanizer', for me still the best metal album of the `90s..., I hope next time !
Just one thing left to say to Ronnie and his band:Thanks for this GREAT show and DON'T FORGET to return to VIENNA in 1997, we're waiting ......
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The page has been updated on 10.05.1999
URL: http://www.dio.net/tour/reviews/961215_StephanDenk.html, the front page http://www.dio.net/.