Live music's premier hologram production company Eyellusion has announced new and updated dates for "Dio Returns: The World Tour". Originally scheduled to kick off in Helsinki, Finland, the tour featuring Ronnie James Dio reuniting via hologram with his DIO bandmates will now begin in Bochum, Germany on December 6. The tour will make stops in Poland, Spain, Romania, United Kingdom, Netherlands and Belgium before the end of 2017.
Dec. 06 - Matrix Bochum - Bochum, Germany
Dec. 07 - Die Kantine - Cologne, Germany
Dec. 09 - Progresja - Warsaw, Poland
Dec. 13 - Bikini Barcelona - Barcelona, Spain
Dec. 14 - Teatro de las Esquinas - Zaragoza, Spain
Dec. 15 - Escenario Santander - Santander, Spain
Dec. 17 - Arenele Romane - Bucharest, Romania
Dec. 19 - O2 Academy Islington - London, United Kingdom
Dec. 20 - Poppodium 013 - Tilburg, Netherlands
Dec. 21 - Trix - Antwerp, Belgium
Dates initially announced for Finland, Sweden and Norway are being rescheduled for a larger run through Scandinavia in 2018. The "Dio Returns" tour will also make stops throughout Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, United States, Venezuela and other countries, with more dates to be announced.
The Ronnie James Dio hologram will perform throughout the show, treating fans to an alternating setlist that will feature songs such as "Rainbow In The Dark", "We Rock", "Neon Nights", "King Of Rock And Roll", "Man On The Silver Mountain", "Heaven And Hell", "Holy Diver" and more.
The "Dio Returns" tour will feature Ronnie's actual live vocals, with the DIO band playing live, featuring Craig Goldy on guitar, Simon Wright on drums and Scott Warren on keyboards, along with Bjorn Englen on bass. Veteran metal vocalist Tim "Ripper" Owens (JUDAS PRIEST) will also perform, with singer Oni Logan (LYNCH MOB) also joining on select dates.
A new promotional video for "Dio Returns" can be seen below.
The hologram of Ronnie James Dio made its debut at last year's Wacken Open Air festival in Germany. The surprise appearance of the heavy metal icon during DIO DISCIPLES' set closed out the massive metal event which was attended by more than seventy-five thousand fans.
Englen told "The Blairing Out With Eric Blair Show" last month that "Dio Returns" will see him and his bandmates perform "quite a few songs with the hologram — probably, I would say, about half or maybe more than half. And then the rest of them are gonna be without the hologram, with 'Ripper' Owens and Oni Logan singing," he said. "So it's gonna be the DIO DISCIPLES. And the hologram is gonna be in the middle of the stage, but I don't wanna reveal too much. It's quite a large… it needs quite a bit of space onstage, so hopefully most of the venues are gonna be able to accommodate that, as far as the places that haven't been booked yet. But we're excited about it. It's gonna be great."
According to Englen, the tour will consist of shows "at theaters and large clubs. And as long as the stage is big, we can do it. It has to have a certain width," he explained.
Regarding what is involved in planning a tour like this, Englen said: "We have to do some choreography, as far as where to be and what song and all that stuff. All the music is live, and we obviously have to play to a click track — or Simon does — so that we're synced with Ronnie's vocals. Other than that, we play the songs like we normally play them. We've just gotta make sure the arrangements are the same, and they usually are — we haven't done many changes to the songs since the DIO days. So they're the same anyway."
Asked if he finds it "haunting" to perform with a Dio hologram, the bassist said: "You know, we're not really looking at it while we're playing. Looking at it after, I think it's just a nice thing. Some people wonder, 'Is it creepy?' or that kind of a thing. We're excited. We feel good about it. It's done really well, and it's with live vocals — you know, you get that live feel and everything — and they've done a really nice job as far as the content and the photography and all that stuff. I think a lot of people are gonna be — even the people that have been negative about it, or pessimistic — are gonna be positively surprised."