Resurrecting the dead seems a particularly apt metaphor for the resurfacing the heavy-metal legend Ronnie James Dio.
In a situation that seems to be straight out of a joke punchline, there will be an international tour with a hologram of the Metal God. Though such a proposition may sound ridiculously futuristic, there has been precedent for this before. Artists like Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, Tupac Shakur and Eazy-E have been recreated in hologram form before.
In fact, fans have already gotten a taste of what a RJD hologram would look like at last year’s Wacken Open Air music festival in Germany, where the hologram took the stage with live musicians.
The new tour, aptly called “Dio Returns,” is planned to kick off in Helsinki on Nov. 30 before heading to South America, Australia and Asia before arriving in the United States next spring.
The tour will be operating on a planned set list of legendary track after legendary track. Each show will feature “Holy Diver,” “Rainbow in the Dark,” “We Rock,” “King of Rock and Roll,” Black Sabbath’s “Neon Knights” and “Heaven and Hell,” and Rainbow’s “Man on the Silver Mountain.”
Dio’s widow, Wendy, who was her husband’s manager prior to his death in 2010 due to stomach cancer, is now overseeing the new tour. She told Rolling Stone last year that when she first saw the hologram before it debuted in Germany, she cried.
“It was quite, quite scary,” she said. “Our crew, when they first saw it at rehearsal, they were in tears. It’s absolutely amazing.”
The family is working with hologram company Eyellusion, which is reportedly working on securing the rights and raising money to bring other artists alive via holograms.
“Ronnie was always wanting to experiment with new stage ideas and was a big Disney fan,” continued Wendy. “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.”
The Dio band’s guitarist, Craig Goldy, told Rolling Stone the band hopes to book between 80 and 100 concerts with the hologram. The band received multiple offers after appearing with it in February at this year’s Pollstar Awards, he said.
“Like all families, not everyone agrees, but this was a gift to the fans that was created in the very same spirit in which Ronnie gave throughout his whole career and created these amazing stage shows that rivaled Madonna and Michael Jackson,” Goldy told Rolling Stone. “We are doing this because we were all a family and when a family has lost their beloved family member, they try to keep the memory of their lost beloved one alive.”
Check out the very tentative list of tour dates below, as well as a poster.
Dio Returns Tour Dates
11/30: Helsinki, FI – The Circus
12/03: Stockholm, SE – Fryshuset
12/04: Oslo, NO – Rockefeller Music Hall
12/06: Warsaw, PL – Progresja
12/13: Barcelona, ES – Bikini
12/15: Santander, ES – Escenario Santander
12/17: Bucharest, RO – Arelene Romane
12/20: Antwerp, BE – Trix
12/21: Tilburg, NL – 013