“Dio Returns: The World Tour” — featuring Ronnie James Dio reuniting via hologram with his DIO bandmates — kicked off earlier tonight (Wednesday, December 6) at Matrix in in Bochum, Germany. The Ronnie hologram performed throughout the show, treating fans to an alternating setlist that featured songs such as “Rainbow In The Dark”, “We Rock”, “Neon Nights”, “King Of Rock And Roll”, “Man On The Silver Mountain”, “Heaven And Hell”, “Holy Diver” and more.
The “Dio Returns” tour features Ronnie‘s actual live vocals, with the DIO band playing live, consisting of Craig Goldy on guitar, Simon Wright on drums and Scott Warren on keyboards, along with Bjorn Englen on bass. Veteran metal vocalist Tim “Ripper” Owens (JUDAS PRIEST) is also performing, with singer Oni Logan (LYNCH MOB) also joining on select dates.
“Dio Returns: The World Tour” will also make stops in Poland, Spain, Romania, United Kingdom, Netherlands and Belgium before the end of 2017.
Dates initially announced for Finland, Sweden and Norway are being rescheduled for a larger run through Scandinavia in 2018. The “Dio Returns” tour will also make stops throughout Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, United States, Venezuela and other countries, with more dates to be announced.
The hologram of Ronnie James Dio made its debut at last year’s Wacken Open Air festival in Germany. The surprise appearance of the heavy metal icon during DIO DISCIPLES‘ set closed out the massive metal event which was attended by more than 75,000 fans.
In a recent post on the DIO DISCIPLES Facebook page, Goldy defended DIO DISCIPLES‘ decision to tour with Ronnie‘s hologram, calling it “a gift to the fans” which will be “given in the same spirit in which Ronnie gave.”
He explained: “People don’t remember, but Wendy [Dio, Ronnie‘s wife and manager] was a big part of how that whole ‘Sacred Heart’ stage set was built, put together and without hiking up the ticket prices too. Same thing for the ‘Dream Evil’ tour, with a giant metal spider that came down out of the rafters and I shot it with lasers out of my guitar and then wherever I pointed my guitar, an explosion would occur. It was magical days with magical people behind that magic. This hologram is just that.”