Apparently, you can’t keep a dead man down.
Not if his name is Ronnie James Dio, anyway.
A hologram of the heavy-metal star, who was in Rainbow, Black Sabbath and Dio, will set out on a world tour this fall, according to Rolling Stone. Dio died in 2010 of metastasized stomach cancer.
Fans got a preview of what that will look like at last year’s Wacken Open Air music festival in Germany, where the hologram took the stage with live musicians.
The new tour, aptly called “Dio Returns,” kicks off in Helsinki on Nov. 30 before heading to South America, Australia and Asia before arriving in the United States next spring, says Rolling Stone.
Fans will recognize the planned set list: “Holy Diver,” “Rainbow in the Dark,” “We Rock,” “King of Rock and Roll,” Black Sabbath’s “Neon Knights” and “Heaven and Hell,” and Rainbow’s “Man on the Silver Mountain.”
Dio’s widow, Wendy, who managed her husband’s career and is overseeing the new tour, says he would love this. She told Rolling Stone last year that when she first saw the hologram before it debuted in Germany, she cried.
“It was quite, quite scary. Our crew, when they first saw it at rehearsal, they were in tears. It’s absolutely amazing.” she told the magazine at the time.
The family is working with hologram company Eyellusion, which is reportedly working on securing the rights and raising money to bring other artists alive via holograms.
The public hasn’t entirely decided, yet, whether holograms of dead performers are cool or creepy. The reaction was decidedly mixed after a hologram of Michael Jackson appeared at the Billboard Music Awards in 2014.
“Ronnie was always wanting to experiment with new stage ideas and was a big Disney fan. With this said, I am sure he is giving us his blessing with this hologram project,” Wendy Dio told Rolling Stone.
“It gives the fans that saw Ronnie perform an opportunity to see him again and new fans that never got to see him a chance to see him for the first time. We hope everyone will enjoy the show that we have all worked so hard to put together.”
The Dio band’s guitarist, Craig Goldy, told Rolling Stone the band hopes to book between 80 and 100 concerts with the hologram. The band received multiple offers after appearing with it in February at this year’s Pollstar Awards, he said.
“Like all families, not everyone agrees, but this was a gift to the fans that was created in the very same spirit in which Ronnie gave throughout his whole career and created these amazing stage shows that rivaled Madonna and Michael Jackson,” Goldy told Rolling Stone.
“We are doing this because we were all a family and when a family has lost their beloved family member, they try to keep the memory of their lost beloved one alive.
“That is the spirit behind all that we do. When we perform on this tour, for me, it is a memorial service in the form of a rock concert. … This gives (fans) a chance to experience (Dio live) without relying on the poor-quality videos on YouTube.”
Eyellusion CEO and founder Jeff Pezzuti told Blabbermouth the company has created a completely new hologram of Dio.
“We’ve really only given Dio fans a small taste of what they’re going to see on this tour,” Pezzuti said.