Ronnie James Dio : Show Review
: Chicago: 12.01.2002
by Dave Dalka
This week, Ronnie James Dio rocked the
House of Blues in Chicago along with opening acts Kings X and Hammerfall.
The man is still atop the mountain. Sure, the days of battling laser sphinxes,
flamethrowers, and arena tours have past, but in a 1,000-seat intimate
setting, the show is perhaps more special.
This is perhaps because the music Dio has
made, and still makes on his latest album Killing the Dragon (the title
track of which is outstanding), simply stands on its own. No one "body
surfs" and there are no "mosh pits". People are just there
to admire the performers as a group, as individuals via such age-old concepts
as guitar and drum solos and people who were there focused on the performer,
singing almost every word and being kind to their neighbors in the crowd.
The world we live in today has too little of this, maybe it's because
we spend so much time surround by performers that are in the valley, not
the top of the silver mountain.
Ronnie included music for all four decades of his albums
and among three of his bands! I was truly amazed at how well Ronnie's
voice has aged over this time, while he's lost a little high end, he always
sang with that deep, distinctive voice and the songs have lost little
in comparison with other vocalists his age. Jimmy Bain's bass playing
is as strong and rock steady as ever. Doug Alderich's guitar playing was
good on the new songs and on the Black Sabbath and Rainbow songs, but
most of his guitar solos from the Vivian Campbell era could use some fine
tuning as it appears they have very different styles. Scott Warren's keyboard
playing was unique on all the songs, giving them a fresh flavor, it's
also nice to see the keyboard player on stage being treated as an integral
part of the band another almost and forgotten art. Simon Wright's (former
AC/DC, Dio, UFO, etc) Drum playing and solo were both excellent.
Killing the Dragon
Don't Talk to Strangers
- Part 1
on the Silver Mountain
of the Sea
- Part 2
Live Rock and Roll
of the Last Day
Up and Shout
Last in Line
in the Dark
As a whole the band all performed great
as a unit. This is a good thing because later this month they are scheduled
to record a show for a future DVD release, if they perform as well as
on this night that should definitely be something worth owning. I walked
away from the experience being none too disappointed in the set list
either, acts that have been around a long time struggle to do this.
Dio only played a few songs off his current release and mixed in his
best songs among the rest, my only wish would be for him to play more
songs with less opening acts. All in all, as Dio comes to your town,
it's well worth the trip to climb the mountain; you might even find
the elusive rainbow!
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