The company producing the Ronnie James Dio hologram show is planning some changes before the next leg of the Dio Returns world tour.
Dio, who passed away in 2010 from stomach cancer, has been brought back to the stage by a live entertainment company called Eyeillusion in partnership with Dio's widow, Wendy Dio.
While Wendy says the first legs of the tour went well, she adds that some aspects of the Ronnie hologram need to be reworked.
"It was a good test, we did very well, but there's things I need to perfect on Ronnie," Wendy told The Metal Voice. "I'm really very critical. I need to perfect his face a little bit more — his eyes and his eyebrows are not quite right to me. So we're back on the drawing board right now."
While many fans (and friends of the Dios) have mixed feelings about the hologram, Wendy says the fans who turn up to the shows are having a great experience.
"We took it out across Germany, Spain, Budapest, London, Belgium and Holland, and it was very, very well received," she said. "Kids were crying to me and saying, 'Thank you so much for bringing Ronnie back to us.' And I think it was great for people that have been there and seen Ronnie before and wanted to see him back on stage [as well as] for the kids that never got the opportunity to see Ronnie."
The production company has created a hologram of Ronnie to front a live (non-holographic) backing band, featuring Dio's former bandmates, including guitarist Craig Goldy, drummer Simon Wright, keyboardist Scott Warren and bassist Bjorn Englen.
Singers Tim 'Ripper Owens and Oni Logan provide additional vocals.
Hologram Dio's vocals come from audio of his live performances over the years.
By most accounts, the show sounds great, thanks to Ronnie's transcendent vocals and the power of the live backing band. Some people have a hard time wrapping their heads around the ethics of the whole thing.
Wendy emphasizes that no one cares more about protecting the legacy of her late-husband more than she does. Fans should embrace the show for what it is, and see it in person to get a real sense of it.
"Most of the people that criticize it haven't seen it and they don't even know what to expect," Wendy says. "It's a whole experience that we take out. Ronnie comes in and out — you don't know when he's gonna come in or out. He does about six or eight songs — he comes in and out. The rest of the time is with Ripper and Oni singing the songs, sometimes singing together, singing alone."
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