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Dio Does Spinal Tap
on September 21, 2013
I feel bad writing this, since I am huge Dio fan, and Ronnie is no longer on this earth. Unfortunately, this show is Dio at his most self-indulgent, which can be humorous at times, but is a disaster here. I expected to dislike the songs from "Sacred Heart," which is a weak album, but was shocked at how bad the classics from the first two albums, as well as the Sabbath and Rainbow "songs" sounded. I say "songs," because they are not full songs, but rather laughably bad medleys: Bad to the point that they make the Heaven and Hell medley on "Live Evil" seem like a good idea. The Dio classics are so overdone with keyboards that the raw edge that made them great songs in the first place is totally gone. I expect keyboards on Rainbow in the Dark, but not on Stand Up and Shout or We Rock. Speaking of keyboards, the keyboard solo is so laughable, it was actually the one reason that I almost didn't return this DVD. It was almost worth it just for the comedic value. I'm afraid that Dio fell into the mid-late '80s trap of teased hair, big stage sets, bright clothes and pop-metal. In one of the interviews, Ronnie talks about how he feels that he has to have bigger stage shows to draw fans. This was clearly a time where style was more important than substance.
If you are a fan of Rainbow-era Dio, Sabbath-era Dio, and the first two Dio albums, avoid this DVD at all costs. Dio's "Holy Diver Live" from 2006 is far better, and true to the original Dio. Sure Dio is 20 years older, but he brings it, and the band is far superior too (I'll take Simon Wright over a bloated Vinny Appice and an inspired Rudy Sarzo over an irritated looking Jimmy Bain, who hated where the band was headed at this point, any day). You'll get classic Rainbow, classic Sabbath, and "Holy Diver" in it's entirety. Sure, the introduction to the Holy Diver portion of the show is classic corny and dramatic Dio, but I expect a bit of that from Ronnie, and he follows through with an amazing set that is true to the original spirit of the songs. And most importantly, the keyboards are only where they belong.
I actually had to check the Spinal Tap release date (1984) because I seriously thought this was the concert footage that inspired the movie. Perhaps it was the other way around.