Ronnie James Dio Hologram Joins Dio Disciples at 2016 Wacken Open Air Festival [Updated With Official Video]
Update: Official video from the Wacken Open Air performance of Dio Disciples utilizing the Ronnie James Dio hologram has been posted by the hologram's creator, Eyellusion. Watch the video in the player above.
Stand up and shout! Dio Disciples, who have dedicated their musical pursuits to continuing the musical legacy of the late Ronnie James Dio, had something truly special in store for festival goers at the 2016 Wacken Open Air Festival as a Ronnie James Dio hologram was utilized to reunite the late singer with his onetime bandmates onstage.
The surprise performance took place at the end of Dio Disciples' set, with the hologram Dio belting his 1984 classic, "We Rock," while also raising its hands to offer the signature Dio devil horns tribute. The hologram was almost a full year in the making, with Eyellusion being the company who helped to create the Dio hologram for the groundbreaking performance.
Speaking with Rolling Stone about the hologram, Dio's manager and widow Wendy Dio stated, "When I first experienced the full production of Ronnie performing with his band as a hologram, I couldn't believe my eyes and ears. With Eyellusion, we have been able to get Ronnie back up onstage where he belongs, ensuring that his music and memory live on. I want Ronnie's fans around the world to share this experience."
Guitarist Craig Goldy added, "We know how much the fans miss Ronnie and the special and unequaled element that he brought to his live performances. Being able to recreate that same kind of magic for his fans at Wacken was incredible. For so many years Ronnie always invested big in his live shows as his way to give back to the fans, and that is exactly what we aimed to do with this latest performance. We can't wait to bring this experience to even more of his fans and perhaps even a newer generation when we bring this incredible live experience on the road next year."
While the band and Dio's people were in on the plan, the audience was mostly taken by surprise. "At first I did not know what to think or to expect. But after I got over the initial surprise, it felt like Ronnie was still with us. It was wonderful, sad and emotional," said California-based fan David James who traveled to Wacken Open Air for the festival. Anna Lorenz, a Germany native, stated, "I have watched quite a few hologram clips online and nothing can compare to the performance here tonight at Wacken - this was the most realistic of all. Amazing! Ronnie James Dio and metal will live forever."
The Wacken Open Air Festival marked the debut of the Ronnie James Dio hologram, which features the singer's actual live vocals. "The economics of making music are changing, with tours being more important than ever," said Wendy Dio. "For artists who have been blessed with legions of fans around the world, the question is how to continue meeting the demand for your music. At the same time, newer acts are thinking about how to build a following and reach more people. Today, all artists need to find new, modern ways to connect with fans and Eyellusion is supporting those efforts." It's expected that Dio Disciples and the Dio hologram will tour more in 2017. Details will be announced soon.
The Wacken appearance comes a few weeks after the release of the A Decade of Dio: 1983-1993 box set, which was issued by Rhino late last month.
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