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Category:    Home > Reviews > Concert > Rock > Heavy Metal > Dio – Holy Diver Live (Eagle Blu-ray)

Dio – Holy Diver Live (Eagle Blu-ray)


Picture: B-     Sound: B     Extras: C+     Concert: B-



Ronnie James Dio was every bit as important as Ozzy Osbourne when it came to the Rock genre, Heavy Metal (they were both part of Black Sabbath) and left a permanent mark on the genre (he came up with the “devil horn” hand gesture) and even as the Rock genre declined, he kept playing as if it were the dominant genre, alive and well.  Passing away after a brave struggle with stomach cancer in May of 2010, he was part of six (!) bands including Sabbath, Rainbow and his self-named Dio.  It is with the latter he made Holy Diver Live, an HD-taped concert that turned out to be one of his last records as a rocker who at 65 (when the show was performed) had more energy than most of his contemporaries a third of his age.


It is a long concert, so he did not get lazy and he was not rushing along to do his songs as if he did not want to be there (how many big performers do that these days?  Too many!) performing the following:


1)     Tarot Woman

2)     The Sign Of The Southern Cross

3)     One Night In The City

4)     Stand Up & Shout

5)     Holy Diver

6)     Gypsy

7)     Caught In The Middle

8)     Don’t Talk To Strangers

9)     Straight Through The Heart

10)  Invisible

11)  Rainbow In The Dark

12)  Shame On The Night

13)  Gates Of Babylon

14)  Heaven & Hell

15)  Man On The Silver Mountain

16)  Long Live Rock & Roll

17)  We Rock



Like Alice Cooper (just finally getting his overdue recognition), Dio is an American original, a Rock original and did the kind of Rock music that was considered radical (not even politically, but just to raw and on the exploitive end that he was always marginalized) that some so-called rockers who forgot what Rock was (if they ever knew it, but that is a separate essay with a separate list) looked down on him and his category of the genre.  These days, being wild and partying in this way is an act of bravery, not worrying about what others think and enjoying your life, which is what Rock originally was really about.  Mr. Dio was the real thing, which most of his critics can say nothing about, do nothing about and do anything to rebuke.  This 2008 show turns out to be one of his last testimonies.


The 1080i 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image is a pleasant surprise with limited motion blur and good color throughout, but it still has some weak shots that reveal the mode of image capture.  Still, the editing and blocking are a plus.  The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix is superior to the Dolby Digital 5.1 and PCM 2.0 Stereo mixes, which all show the fine recording quality of the soundmaster, further thwarting another stereotype of the music (loud and rough).  The combination will impress Rock fans, Dio fans and is one of the better concert Blu-rays we have seen to date.


Extras include a booklet inside the Blu-ray case and interviews on the Blu-ray, now with a new irony.  Mr. Dio went out doing what he loved and did it well (and better than most of his younger imitators to the end), right into the HD era.  Most people in music can only dream of such success.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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