Dio concert review; April 11th, 1997 by Jerry Morgan

The following is a review of a Dio show of the third US leg of the Angry Machines, originally e-mailed to me

From: morgan666@webtv.net
Subject: Gig report
Date: Sun, 13 Apr 1997 20:04:34 -0500

DIO, 4/11/97, Jackhammer's, Schaumburg

This is my first real attempt at any sort of concert review, so please bear with me.

As if there was any real doubt that Ronnie and his crew could pull it off-they passed the test with flying colors. In their first appearance in the Chicago area in about 4 years, they pulled out all the stops. They were full-on, rock and roll madmen playing a club that is entirely too small to serve DIO's purpose.

A couple of minor strikes agaist this concert: it started about two hours late, and the opening bands were just not good enough to be on the bill. RADAKKA was the first band. They're from Chicago and they play mellow rock a bit similar to a wussed out White Lion. They played about 8 songs from which I enjoyed 2. One of them was a cover of Judas Priest's "Night Crawler."

MY DYING BRIDE was the next band. I went to the concert really hoping to like these guys. They had problems from the get-go. First they couldn't get their violin to work (VIOLIN???), then they couldn't get the vocals to come through the front monitors. That, of course, left their singer without much of a clue to what he was singing. You couple those two things with the lateness of the hour and the drunken shouting of the audience shouting "DIO! DIO!" and you've got an awkward situation for a band who hasn't even been to America before this tour. Surprisingly though, I found myself respecting and even liking what I heard of their music. Before this show, I had never even heard anything by this band and I was impressed. They stuck around on stage for about 45 minutes and only managed to play 6 songs.

On to DIO! An announcement was made before the show that we were being recorded for a live cd to be released in January (yeah!) As if the crowd wasn't rowdy enough! DIO started the show with some technical music, the opening from the new cd. Then without stopping, went right into "Straight Through the Heart." DIO sounded great, looked great, and kicked my ass! I tell ya-it's great to have Vinnie Appice back with the band. He totally wailed! DIO played what I like to consider the "standard" DIO songs like "Holy Diver," "Rainbow In the Dark," and "The Last In Line." And he also played some new songs like "Hunter of the Heart" and "Double Monday." The new songs went over really well, but it's good to hear the old standards. DIO surprised me by playing some even older Black Sabbath and Rainbow classics as well. They played "Heaven and Hell," "Mob Rules," "Mistreated/Catch the Rainbow," and "Man on the Silver Mountain" seguing into "Long Live Rock'n' Roll." Of course we had the usual drum and guitar solos as well. Vinnie and Tracy kicked ass! Rounding out the band is Larry on bass (he sounded good, too.)

All in all DIO played for just under two hours before ending the show with "We Rock." I would personally like to see DIO playing the arenas again, but we'll just have to wait and see. Jackhammer's is a swell little club for local bands to play in, but someone the caliber of DIO shouldn't be insulted like that.

Jerry Morgan

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