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ConcertsDio's Disciples at The Chance in Poughkeepsie, NY 9/22/2011

Posted on Tuesday, September 27 2011 @ 09:00:01 CDT by Pete Pardo
Heavy Metal

Fans of the late, great, Ronnie James Dio, who followed the singer through his legendary career with Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Dio, and Heaven and Hell, need to do whatever it takes to catch Dio's Disciples in concert if they make it to a live venue near you. A fitting tribute to Ronnie, Dio's Disciples is comprised of Rudy Sarzo on bass, Craig Goldy on guitar, Simon Wright on drums, Scott Warren on keyboards (all members of Dio's last band), and on vocals, Tim 'Ripper' Owens & Toby Jepson. Sea of Tranquility Publisher Pete Pardo was on hand at The Chance in Poughkeepsie, NY for the first night of the US tour and brings this full concert review.

It was pretty surprising that The Chance, a small rock club (although with plenty of history) in Poughkeepsie, NY, was picked to be not only the first stop on the Dio's Disciples US tour, but also as of this writing the only New York appearance that the band will make. Regardless, I was pretty stoked that the band would be appearing a mere 30 minutes from me so I made sure that I did whatever it takes to be in attendance, even passing up on Opeth & Katatonia in NYC. You see, Ronnie James Dio was always a very special person in my life, as he was to hundreds of thousands of hard rock & heavy metal fans around the world, and none of us were prepared to lose him when he passed away from stomach cancer in early 2010. In an effort to keep the spirit of Ronnie alive, his wife Wendy Dio and his former bandmates put together Dio's Disciples to pay tribute to his legacy. Of course, in order to be able to cover any of his vast back catalog, you need a strong frontman, so why not two in the form of Tim 'Ripper' Owens (already hard at work at his someday legendary status thanks to his work with Judas Priest, Iced Earth, Beyond Fear, Yngwie Malmsteen, and Charred Walls of the Damned) and Toby Jepsen from Gun & Little Angels?

The band came out smoking from the outset, blasting into the Dio classic "Stand Up and Shout", with Goldy firing off the heavy riffs and Owens' histrionic wail front and center. Next up, the band launched into one of Dio's most memorable tunes, and title track of the first album, "Holy Diver". A great rendition, and the crowd is heavily into what is going on. Goldy's melodic chords signal in the arrival of fan favorite 'Don't Talk to Strangers", another debut album classic, and it's given royal treatment. Light and heavy, atmospheric and rocking, this one has it all, and Owens again nails it. At this point it was time to dip into Ronnie's days with the mighty Rainbow, and surprisingly Goldy begins to play the opening Ritchie Blackmore guitar solo to "The Shed", and you have to wonder if this great track from the Long Live Rock 'n' Roll album has ever been played live before. Needless to say, it sounded great and all us old Rainbow fans were loving every minute of it! To continue the Rainbow crusade, out comes Jepsen to lead the band into a scorching version of "Kill the King", perhaps THE song of the night, with Wright pounding the drum kit behind lightning quick unison melodies from Goldy & Warren while Toby's commanding vocals impressing mightily. From here on in, Jepsen & Owens would basically stay on stage together for the most part and share vocals during each song, a formula that worked out fabulously. After a good showing on "Egypt (The Chains Are On)", they went back down Rainbow avenue for the killer 1-2 punch of "Catch The Rainbow" and "Stargazer" (though Wright, as good as he is, failed to even attempt the late Cozy Powell's drum into on the latter), with everyone in the crowd eating it up and singing along. Considering "Stargazer" is one of my favorite songs of all time, this was an especially emotional moment. It didn't let up there, as next up was the steamroller Black Sabbath classic "Mob Rules", providing for plenty of headbanging moments, followed up by the 90's Dio song "Magica" (which it seemed, not many people knew) complete with heavy riffs from Goldy and Sarzo's deep bass grooves.

The time was flying by, and though it seemed like so many great songs were played there was even more to come. Late 80's Dio hit "All the Fools Sailed Away" provided for more sing along moments, and the title track to the second album The Last in Line once again delivered some classic epic heavy metal , with everyone in the crowd throwing their fists in the air and singing along. Back to Rainbow they went for "Long Live Rock 'n' Roll", and then Savatage/Trans-Siberian Orchestra guitarist Chris Caffery joined them onstage for a crushing rendition of "Man on Silver Mountain". Of course, no set of Dio material would be complete without the behemoth Black Sabbath staple "Heaven & Hell", which had the crowd in a frenzy as Owens & Jepson got everyone to participate. For an encore, Dio's Disciples came out for the hit "Rainbow in the Dark" as well as the thunderous "We Rock". Overall this was a great time enjoying so many classics that are near and dear to all our hearts. Kudos to the band for delivering a stunning set (Goldy was really on the money tonight), and both Owens & Jepson were perfect choices to deliver Ronnie's vocals. All of us who are stilling missing Ronnie to this day were moved from start to finish, and if you also are feeling empty inside from the loss of Ronnie James Dio, and long to hear some of these killer songs one more time in a live setting, do yourself a favor and track this band down.

Pete Pardo


1. Stand Up and Shout
2. Holy Diver
3. Don't Talk to Strangers (with Drum Solo)
4. The Shed
5. Kill the King
6. Egypt (The Chains Are On)
7. Guitar Solo
8. Catch the Rainbow
9. Stargazer
10. Mob Rules
11. Magica
12. Lord of the Last Day
13. All the Fools Sailed Away
14. The Last in Line
15. Long Live Rock 'n' Roll
16. Man on the Silver Mountain
17. Heaven and Hell
18. Rainbow in the Dark
19. We Rock



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