Last year, attendees at Germany's Wacken Open Air Festival witnessed an honest-to-god miracle: Ronnie James Dio appearing in the middle of the stage during a live performance — nearly six years after his 2010 passing. The seemingly-reincarnated icon's run-through of "We Rock" resulted from neither pagan spell nor divine intervention, but rather the power of modern technology. Naturally, I'm talking about Dio's hologram, a uncanny digital clone of the icon right down to the incessant devil-horn slinging and vocal showboating.
Today, Eyellusion, the company who designed the hologram, have announced their plans to take Dio 2.0 on the road this fall. The tour, appropriately titled Dio Returns, will find "Dio" and his backing band — including Dio Disciples vocalists Tim "Ripper" Owens and Oni Logan, on select dates — playing theaters in Europe, South America, Australia and Asia. A North American leg will follow in the spring, with several festival shops planned. Find a preliminary list of dates below, and for an idea of what to expect from "Dio Returns," check out some footage of the hologram's performance at Pollstar Live!'s industry showcase earlier this year.
According to Rolling Stone, "Dio Returns" will feature a constantly-shifting setlist, with highlights spanning the legend's whole career. In addition to stand-alone classics like "Holy Diver," "Rainbow in the Dark" and "King of Rock And Roll; and Rainbow staples like "Man on the Silver Mountain," the performances will touch upon his tenure with Black Sabbath with tracks including "Neon Knights" and "Heaven and Hell." Craig Goldy, the Dio Band's guitarist, says the band hopes to perform 80-100 dates altogether. "When we perform on this tour, for me, it is a memorial service in the form of a rock concert," said Goldy. "This gives [fans] a chance to experience [Dio live] without relying on the poor-quality videos on YouTube."
In a sense, Dio Returns represents a moment of wish fulfillment for the late singer, a huge special effects fan. Wendy Dio, the rocker's widow, told Rolling Stone he's giving the trek his blessings from beyond the grave. "In 1986, for the Sacred Heart Tour, Ronnie and I created the Crystal Ball with Ronnie filmed and speaking in a suspended crystal ball effect, done with back projection, which was the closest we could get to a hologram," she said. "Ronnie was always wanting to experiment with new stage ideas and was a big Disney fan. With this said, I am sure he is giving us his blessing with this hologram project. It gives the fans that saw Ronnie perform an opportunity to see him again and new fans that never got to see him a chance to see him for the first time. We hope everyone will enjoy the show that we have all worked so hard to put together."
Nov. 30 - Helsinki, Finland – The Circus
Dec. 03 - Stockholm, Sweden – Fryshuset
Dec. 04 - Oslo, Norway – Rockefeller Music Hall
Dec. 06 - Warsaw, Poland – Progresja
Dec. 13 - Barcelona, Spain – Bikini
Dec. 15 - Santander, Spain – Escenario Santander
Dec. 17 - Bucharest, Romania – Arelene Romane
Dec. 20 - Antwerp, Belgium – Trix
Dec. 21 - Tilburg, Netherlands – 013