After an appearance at a music festival in Germany, and a music industry awards show last year, a hologram image of Ronnie James Dio will go on tour, backed by musicians who previously played with Dio when he was alive.
The trek, dubbed "Dio Returns," will kick off with a European leg of performances in theaters on November 30th in Helsinki before hitting South America, Australia and Asia. The tour will arrive in the U.S. in the spring of 2018 and hit select festivals next summer.T
"In 1986, for the Sacred Heart Tour, Ronnie and I created the Crystal Ball with Ronnie filmed and speaking in a suspended crystal ball effect, done with back projection, which was the closest we could get to a hologram," the singer's widow, Wendy Dio, tells Rolling Stone. "Ronnie was always wanting to experiment with new stage ideas and was a big Disney fan. 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 estate has worked with hologram company Eyellusion so the singing specter could perform many of the late vocalist's hits, including "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," among others. The production uses audio of Dio's live performances from throughout his career with a live band backing him up in front of a stage set that hearkens back to the singer's Sacred Heart and Dream Evil tours. The hologram's set will differ from night to night, and audiences should expect to see the Dio Band also perform with vocalists Tim "Ripper" Owens and Oni Logan on select dates.
The Dio Band consists of guitarist Craig Goldy, drummer Simon Wright, keyboardist Scott Warren and bassist Bjorn Englen. The musicians have previously made appearances as the Dio Disciples.