Former DIO guitarist Rowan Robertson has praised the Ronnie James Dio hologram, saying that "it's like seeing the DIO songs brought to life in a different way."
The former vocalist in BLACK SABBATH and RAINBOW, who died in 2010 at the age of 67, is now the subject of a touring show in which his three-dimensional representation is backed by members of his band DIO.
Robertson, who was 17 years old when he joined DIO, was asked for his opinion of the Ronnie hologram during an appearance on a recent episode of the "Music Mania" podcast.
He said (see video below): "I really enjoyed it. I saw it at the Wiltern [in Los Angeles]. And I think it's like seeing the DIO songs brought to life in a different way, with wonderful visuals. And you get to enjoy the songs. I mean, what's not to love? It's great."
The Dio hologram was created by a company called Eyellusion and made its debut at the Wacken Open Air festival in August 2016 in front of more than 75,000 fans.
The Dio hologram production uses audio of Ronnie's live performances from throughout his career, with the DIO band playing live, consisting of Craig Goldy on guitar, Simon Wright on drums and Scott Warren on keyboards, along with Bjorn Englen on bass. Also appearing with them are former JUDAS PRIEST singer Tim "Ripper" Owens and LYNCH MOB frontman Oni Logan.
Two other former DIO guitarists have publicly expressed their doubts about the Ronnie James Dio hologram. Last December, Tracy "G" Grijalva, who played for DIO from 1993 through 1999, said that the hologram "looks creepy" and resembles "a puppet." Nine months earlier, Doug Aldrich, who was in DIO between 2002 and 2006, told XS Rock that "Ronnie would probably not" like the hologram. "He would probably be, like, 'This is not what I signed up for.' A hologram? It's not really what he would want to be. I'm just guessing, you know, that it's something that [Ronnie's wife and manager] Wendy [Dio] thought about and she decided that Ronnie would be fine with it. But I knew Ronnie well enough to know that he was very particular and he would prefer for them to let him just die and be in peace."
After the tour's initial seven-date run was completed in December 2017, Ronnie's hologram underwent some changes before the launch of the 2019 leg of the "Dio Returns", which took place in May and June of last year.
The "Dio Returns" 17-song set consists of seven tunes sung by the Dio hologram — the rest feature Owens and Logan separately or together — and encompasses material from Dio's lengthy career, including his earlier days in RAINBOW and BLACK SABBATH.
Robertson played on DIO's "Lock Up The Wolves" album, which came out in 1990. The guitarist stayed with DIO until Ronnie James Dio rejoined BLACK SABBATH in 1991.