I have to say my musical education revolved a lot around Ronnie James Dio and his bands.
Certainly the power and variety of the songs on the first two Dio albums , even now, can get me enthusiastically tapping my feet. I was all over their gig at the O2, Islington, in November, including VIP pass/sound check access, and they did not disappoint.
Many people will know Vivian Campbell as the guitarist in Def Leppard, but there is a lot more to him than that. A gentleman who knows his craft inside out, his writing and playing is up there with the best. I love the manner that he double tracks on album releases, and to see and hear him up close was a privilege.
Vinny Appice is a drumming powerhouse with, to my ears, a unique ride cymbal sound. This I first discovered on the opening bar of the Black Sabbath song Turn Up The Night. Down the front, you can feel his playing in your face as the floor tom pushes the air into your face.
Supported ably by the trio of Freeman, Norlander and Soussan, it was an awesome gig, and I’m quite intrigued by the news of a second album, the writing of which is in process.
The only sad note, was the passing of Jimmy Bain last year. From Rainbow, through Dio, I had become accustomed to his playing and riff writing style. It was sad that he did not get to see the tour through. I’m sure he would have had a cracking time.
Armed only with my Fuji X100s and elbows (oh for a three song pit pass!) I managed to capture some acceptable images of a memorable evening.