Disciples bring down the House of Blues
By Naughty Mickie
Photos by Dean Lee
One of the hottest tickets on tour
currently is Dio Disciples. The group is an all-star
tribute band of sorts, not impersonating Ronnie James Dio,
but rather honoring him through his music. The band is a
mix of Dio's players, guitarist Craig Goldy, keyboardist
Scott Warren and drummer Simon Wright, with Bjorn Englen
(Yngwie Malmsteen/Quiet Riot) on bass and two vocalists,
Tim "Ripper" Owens (Judas Priest/Iced Earth) and Oni Logan
(Lynch Mob). Yes, you read that right, it takes two
well-versed singers to handle what Dio did alone-- and
they do it very well.
Much of the set was upbeat with
songs like "The Mob Rules" and "Stand Up and Shout," which
went over well with the crowd. Englen was quickly accepted
by the audience, as were Owens and Logan, as they stepped
into their places with the needed musicianship and, more
importantly, the right attitudes. It was amazing how
seamlessly the two singers traded off during some of the
tunes, with Owens taking the harsher parts and Logan
vocalizing the softer pieces, as well as sometimes the
both singing together for maximum effect.
Dio Disciples worked through a nice
swath of Dio's repertoire, sometimes with a medley, other
times the full song. The choices on what to perform must
have been hard, as Dio has so much memorable material, but
I feel that they served him well and satisfied the fans
The band's friendship shined on
stage, as they would flash smiles at each other during the
songs and ventured from their part of the stage to "hang
out" with another member. Their camaraderie was
infectious, making for a calm, yet still excited crowd.
The audience often sang along and, if there was a moment
of silence between tunes, they began chanting "Dio, Dio,
Dio." In turn, Owens and Logan both remarked on how they
hoped to honor Dio.
One of the most moving moments of
the evening was during "Catch the Rainbow." A quiet song,
it featured Warren's graceful key work and Logan's pipes.
Logan, with his looks and movements, plus tone and
pitch-perfect voice seemed to channel Dio. It was eerie
and beautiful all in one and I was left quite teary-eyed.
I'm not sure how long Dio Disciples
will circle the globe on tour, as it has to be emotionally
wearing to continue performing the music of their fallen
leader. But in many ways, the concerts are cathartic. Many
fans didn't have a proper way to say goodbye to Dio when
he passed away in 2010 and this may provide some needed
solace. I hope they will come around a few more times
before putting his memory to rest and, as they do, I would
like to believe that Dio himself is looking down from
heaven on the band as they play and smiling.