Reviewed! Dio - "Holy Diver: Live" DVD

"Holy Diver: Live"
Eagle Rock Ent.

While it shouldn't come as a surprise that towards the end of his career, and life unfortunately, Ronnie James Dio has lost a small step in terms of sheer vocal strength, though, as this new live DVD, "Holy Diver: Live," surely attests, what the small-statured giant may have lost aurally, he made up for in stage presence.

With musicians Simon Wright (drums), Doug Aldrich (guitar), Rudy Sarzo (bass), and Scott Warren (keyboards) in tow, the legendary Dio took to the stage of London's historic Astoria Theater in order to tear through each and every track off of his seminal "Holy Diver" LP, and tear through them he did, like a petite buzz saw (OK, enough with the short jokes - seriously though, he was only 5'1"). No matter what your favorite cut off the album is, Dio ripped through them all - 'Stand Up and Shout,' 'Holy Diver,' 'Gypsy,' 'Caught in the Middle,' 'Don't Talk To Strangers,' 'Straight Through the Heart,' 'Invisible,' 'Rainbow in the Dark,' and 'Same on the Night,' while tossing in other songs plucked from his time spent fronting Rainbow ('Long Live Rock and Roll') and Black Sabbath ('Heaven and Hell'), as well as others from his solo career ('We Rock,' 'One night in the City'). Though Dio couldn't exactly get to those pesky high notes, he still wowed the lucky-as-hell crowd in attendance on this night as they stood cheering in reverence, literally (OK, figuratively) eating out of Dio's hand from start to finish. Suffice to say, Dio knew what he was doing in terms of controlling a crowd.

There are times through "Holy Diver: Live" that will have you feeling like you are part of the crowd, and that is just really scratching the surface as far as how good the audio and video on this DVD are. These are sights and sounds to behold, moments you need to experience for yourself.

The album "Holy Diver" will always define the widespread and ever-lasting career and legacy of Ronnie James Dio, and this DVD release, "Holy Diver: Live," goes a long way in doing that unique symbiotic relationship between innovator and artistic vision justice.

Grade: A