A hologram of Ronnie James Dio debuted last summer at Germany’s Wacken Open Air Music Festival. On Thursday evening, the digitally recreated metal icon made his/its first appearance in the US during the Pollstar Awards at The Novo in Los Angeles.
As you can see in the video above, the digital Dio performed “We Rock” with the Dio Disciples, a sort of tribute supergroup featuring Dio members Simon Wright on drums, guitarist Craig Goldy, and keyboardist Scott Warren along with singer Tim “Ripper” Owens (Judas Priest), Yngwie Malmsteen bassist Bjorn Englen, Onig Logan of Lynch Mob, and Joe Retta of Sweet. At one point during the show, the hologram even held up a banner celebrating the Pollstar Awards.
This likely won’t be the last time American audiences get to witness the technological recreation of one of the greatest singers of all time, as a theater and festival tour is currently being prepped for later this year. According to Eyellusion CEO Jeff Pezzuti, this particular performance of “We Rock” “is now being retired and production is underway on a full show. We are pulling out all the stops to create a live experience that is unlike anything Ronnie’s fans have seen before.”
Pezzuti recently told the Talking Metal podcast (via Blabbermouth) that the “over-the-top, mind-blowing experience” will feature representations of Dio from different periods in time. The current model comes from the Dream Evil era, but “for this next tour, we’re going to be somewhere later than that for certain songs and maybe earlier than that for other songs.” He added that fans can expect to hear “We Rock”, “Holy Diver”, and “Rainbow in the Dark” amongst three to four other songs. There will also be duets with Owens and Logan, and there are plans to “bring album covers to life.”
There’s no word yet on when this hologram tour will be taking place.