Album Review: Holy Diver Live (Reissue)

Well music fans, we have been waiting and wanting to have more new music and live shows from all the artists that we are fans of; it is not the same as a live show but if you close you eyes and listen to this newly remastered version of the long out of print Holy Diver Live from Dio, you may think that you are right there in the audience at the London Astoria where it was originally recorded. Not only is the album remaster the label also created some new cover art for your viewing pleasure while you are listening to the album.

            As soon as the needle drops on the record you start to hear the applause from the crowd and then suddenly you hear the spoken word introduction from the Amazing Ronnie James Dio! It is a spoken narrative that ties many song titles into the introduction to give the fans a glimpse of what they are about to experience. It starts out fast and heavy with “Stand Up and Shout” that will get you going and ready to experience even more that his night has to offer for your listening pleasure. They follow that song with the one and only “Holy Diver” which brings back so many memories from the first time that I heard this song and thought about what a great song it was and still is today. They played some more of their great hits and had an amazing drum solo in there by the fantastic drummer Simon Wright. This drum solo was incredible and halfway through it he was joined by other instruments and it sounded like you were at an orchestra for a minute instead of a rock and roll show!

They performed some more of their hits and came up to another great song that I had previously not heard titled “Invisible” and as soon as they hit the first chords of the song I was hooked and caught myself just moving and getting into the song and they thundered through it. As they were drawing that song to an end, they started immediately into one of their biggest hits “Rainbow in The Dark” and then you could hear the crowd cheer. I can only imagine the electric energy that was flowing through the venue as they played for them that night. Next was a some howling and very bluesy guitar riffs as they kicked off into “Shame On The Night” that changed the tempo and mood in an instant in the fans as you could hear them cheering and you could feel the strikes of the bass drum every time he kicked it throughout the song. After about four and half minutes of this song Doug Aldrich takes off into an incredible guitar solo. A little way into his solo he slows it down and the crowd starts slapping along to the riffs of his guitar for a little while. Then they cheer and he is joined in with more instruments playing like an orchestra and then he is suddenly joined by some dramatic sounds playing a long with him. Just a little later into the solo his is joined in by some deep hitting drum and bass grooves to go along with his playing as he was flying up and down the chords.

As they played a few more of their songs they came to a little bit of a break and were chanting Dio. Dio begins telling them they would like to do something from one of the bands that he was proud to be in and it is from his Black Sabbath days and it is called “Sign of the Southern Cross” and its starts out with some very deep hits from the drummer and quickly picks up in spots and you can hear the Black Sabbath trademark sounds as they play. A couple more songs later in the night he tells them he is going to play a song from another band that he is so proud that was in Rainbow and dedicated the song to Cozy Powell and  the song is called “Gates of Babylon” and it starts out with some very mystical and magical sounds that you come to expect from the band. As they start to draw the night to an end, they play a song titled “Long Live Rock ‘N’ Roll” and it starts out with Dio hitting some remarkable notes and then the band joins in and really gets the crowd rocking and rolling. After a long night or pure magic, mystery and rock and roll you can still hear the crowd loving every minute of it. He tells the crowd you know how we do this one, lets do it again and then they all join Dio in singing the rest of the song. As they close out the song, he tells everyone he loves them and rock and roll and then introduces the band and thanks them for the great evening. They come out one more time for the encore and close out the night with “We Rock”.

I think that this would have been an incredible concert to have been able to attend and would have been such a great memory to have been able to see Dio and his band play live. Since I was not able to attend that we are now able to experience it through the great job of the remastering that they did and they latest release of the records.

Line Up:
Vocals: Ronnie James Dio
Guitar: Doug Aldrich
Bass: Rudy Sarzo
Drums: Simon Wright
Keyboards: Scott Warren

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