Dio concert review; March 23rd, 1997 by Ryan Christopher

The following is a review of the last Dio show of the second 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.

From: Ryan Christopher (Christopher.Ryan@lakenheath.af.mil)
Subject: concert review from london
Date: Thu, 27 Mar 1997 15:48:59 -0000


We arrived at the Astoria in London almost two hours before showtime to spend some time hanging out, and to see if we could possibly meet the "man" before the show. Almost on cue Ronnie and Traci arrived at the side of the building and were casually making there way towards the front doors. My friend Justin and I immediatly cornered them, got a few photos taken, and asked some good questions.

I had Traci to myself for almost five minutes and asked him straight up what he thought about the DIO fans slagging him for not playing the solos from the classics the way they are on the records. He was really laid back about the whole affair and took it with stride. He commented that he had joined a legendary band, and there will always be fans that aren't going to accept the new guy. (Do you guys remember all the flack Jake E. Lee got when he replaced Randy Rhoads) I told him thats true, but some fans consider some of these songs classics that shouldn't be tampered with. He then said basically that Ronnie likes what he is playing, and is looking more toward the future then to rehash the past. Very valid point. I told him I thought he wrote great riffs and to keep kickin' ass. It was then that Ronnie and Traci were ushered away for the sound check and we waited for the doors to open.

When the show finally began (Forget about the opening band) It was obvious that this was a very diffrent band from my favorite Craig Goldy/Jimmy Bain lineup. The songs were CRUSHING and very HEAVY. The set list was pretty much the same as in previous reviews except that towards the end of the night, "Man On The Silver Mountain","Long Live Rock'n Roll" and "We Rock" were played. "Heaven And Hell" was kept short and "Mistreated" was stretched to the max with solos for days.

Dissapointing however was the tedious solos from each band member. Vinny hardly got any applause after his, and Traci was smart enough to go straight into another song to avoid the same fate. None of the members of this band (Except Ronnie) will ever be considered musicians musicians. They are average. Vinny definetly has his moments, but he's not a Tommy Aldridge or Neil Peart. The new bass player was completely forgetable, and Traci well.....

I want to slag Traci, and it's hard now, because he really is a nice guy. I was front row and standing only feet from Traci all night. The reason he doesn't play Vivians solos note for note is because he can't. Tracis whole playing style is totally diffrent from Vivian and WAY diffrent from Craig Goldys. And this really sucks because the solos in "Last In Line" and "Rainbow In The Dark" are as classic as the songs themselves. You can blow through "Stand Up And Shout" and "Don't Talk To Strangers" and ANY Sabbath stuff, but some songs should be treated with respect, AND THAT MEANS SOLOS TOO!!! Traci I know you're going to read this so just think about how happy you will make the fans if you put in the effort to do... just a few, like the record.

As for the new bass guitarist. He is TOTALLY wrong for the band. (I'm a bass player) First off he plays with his fingers and is fairly sloppy at it at that. The sound that made DIO awsome on the first three albums was the tightness of the bass playing between Jimmy Bain and Vinny. Now I'm not a Jimmy Bain fan, almost any bass player could do what he did, but it was that sound that made the songs TIGHT. This guy is just wrong. Even Geezer Butler wouldn't sound right doing DIO material.

Vinny IS awsome in his own right, but tonight he was very ordinary. Watch the "Sacred Heart" concert video, or the "Live At The Spectrum" to see Vinny at his best. He seemed to be just going through the paces tonight.

Ronnie very simply is THE MAN. Along with Halford, Coverdale and Glen Hughes, he is simply one of the BEST voices in hard rock. Always was, always will be. Considering he is playing "Mistreated" (sung by Coverdale and Hughes) shows he has the respect for them also.

Overall this show was great. No there was no pyro or the huge stage props that made DIO a legend. But quite simply DIO isn't selling tickets like he was ten years ago. Hard Rock/Metal music is now the underground, but like all good things it will come back in fashon soon enough. If Ronnie kicks Traci in the ass, and finds a new bass player, DIO the band will be back on top.

REVIEW BY: CHRIS RYAN e-mail: christopher.ryan@lakenheath.af.mil

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