Dio - Astoria 2005

Holy Diver Live Tour
London - October 22
Capacity 2,000

Dio return for another perfect performance from a band on top of their game. The best lineup there's been for many years, retaining the irrepressible Rudy Sarzo on bass and seeing the return of former guitarist Doug Aldrich, standing in for the injured Craig Goldy. Ronnie himself was as magnificent as ever. But ultimately, the show was a disappointment.

The reason being this special UK tour was meant to be exactly that. Special. Billed an "Evening with" tour Dio were to have no support and play for three hours (with an intermission). The first hour and a half was to include classic but rarely played tracks from Dio's extensive back catalogue, while the final ninety minutes was to be a greatest hits set, including a complete run-through of the seminal Holy Diver album from start to finish. The show was scheduled to start at 6:30 and finish at 9:50 (early curfew imposed by the venue in preparation for Dannii Minogue's set at the G.A.Y. Club run at the Astoria every Friday and Saturday night).

It didn't. The lights finally dimmed at 7:30 - a full hour later than advertised. And no explanation was forthcoming either. Opening with Rainbow's Tarot Woman Dio flawlessly proceeded to play two hours of greatest hits, with not one song dating later than 1984, including the much talked about Holy Diver rendition - complete with horribly rendered intro video - in front of nine cameras (for a forthcoming DVD). Apart from the Holy Diver songs, the usual suspects made their appearances.

Black Sabbath's Sign of The Southern Cross and Heaven & Hell, Rainbow's Man On The Silver Mountain, Gates of Babylon and Long Live Rock 'n' Roll and Dio classics One Night In The City and We Rock, both from 1984's The Last In Line occupied the rest of the spots on the setlist. And that was it. Two hours of old greatest hits. Not a thing we've not all heard before (apart from Tarot Woman which, let's face it, isn't the strongest Rainbow track).

Dio play two hours of greatest hits every year. And if we're all honest, they play five or six tracks from the nine-track Holy Diver every year too. So the inclusion of the other three instead of new material from the current album merely made this no more special than every other year. A let-down.

“ disappointment ”

Setlist: Tarot Woman / Sign of The Southern Cross > One Night In The City / Stand Up And Shout / Holy Diver / Gypsy > Drum solo / Caught In The Middle / Don't Talk To Stranger / Straight Through The Heart / Invisible / Rainbow In The Dark / Shame On The Night > Guitar solo> Jam > Shame On The Night (Reprise) / Holy Diver (Reprise) / Gates of Babylon / Heaven And Hell // Man On The Silver Mountain > Long Live Rock & Roll // We Rock

Photo(s): Johan Eriksson | www.rockersdigest.com

Written by Andy Lye
More: 2005, Gigs, Heavy Metal,

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