Dio -- Detroit, MI -- October 8th, 2004
TOUR: Master of the Moon Tour
SUPPORT: Fireball Ministry, Anthrax
VENUE: Harpo's, Detroit, MI
DATE: October 8, 2004
I finally got to see Dio for the first time on October 8, 2004 up at Harpo’s. What follows is a complete report of my experience, along with some pictures, and even some audio I recorded during the gig. I’m posting this on several message boards and whatnot, so if you don’t recognize names, don’t be surprised...
I had a pretty busy morning Friday racing around all over the place: school, Wal-Mart, for some food and a camera, and a silver Sharpie (just in case!) I finally made it over to my friend Jay’s house around 12:30 PM, and we took off for an important destination... Wendy’s. After a hardy lunch of deep fried food, we hit I-75 in Toledo, and headed north. We got to Harpo’s around 3 or so, I don’t remember exactly. We parked right behind the club, and we had a line of sight with the tour busses, and gear truck. We were second to arrive... second only after Terry. Our first mission upon arrival was one of critical importance: bladder relief. Seriously. We had a rough time accomplishing this mission too, given the neighborhood... but alas, we succeeded, and headed back (on foot) towards Harpo’s. Once we got back Terry and Magica216 were out front, so that’s where we stayed then, carefully guarding our place in line from the various pieces of garbage that were blowing around...
It was pretty boring wait, but at least we knew the people there so far. There really wasn’t much activity for a few hours. We did observe a subwoofer-toting ice cream truck (you heard me) driving around. Humorous, to say the least...
The doors were supposed to open at 6, and they ended up opening pretty close to that. We got inside, and followed Terry and Magica down towards the front. Jay and I grabbed some stools, and staked out a spot pretty close to the center, and right next to the sound guy. We didn’t want to be down in the front, because if you’ve never been to Harpo’s, the stage is about 10 or 12 feet off of the floor, so if you’re in the front pit, you really can’t see very much. We had a very, very good view.
After we were situated, I had Jay hold down the spot, and I went with Terry to see if any of us got after show passes. Unfortunately, we didn’t. That minor setback aside, I decided to piss away $3 on a Coke.
The first band to hit the stage was a band called Killin Machine. They were some local group. They were merely OK. After a long delay Fireball Ministry hit the stage. They were pretty good, surprisingly so. They weren’t terribly interesting though. They played for thirty or forty minutes. After another lengthy delay Anthrax hit the stage. That was the first time I heard Anthrax, and I was no impressed at all. It was 60 minutes of noise that gave me a rather nice headache. And whoever gave their drummer a double bass needs to be shot. Really.
Finally at 10:26 PM (there was a clock back stage that I could see from the angle I was at, so I’m going by it) Dio hit the stage with the “Killing the Dragon” that went into a smashing “One More for the Road.” I think Master of the Moon is a great album, so I was quite happy to hear this as the opener. I thought they did a great job with the song. The mix was a little off at this point, Craig was pretty buried, but by the time they launched into “Sign of the Southern Cross” things were sorted out.
I’ve never been a huge fan of “Sign of the Southern Cross” and if I had to pick one Dio song as overrated, it’d be this, but I couldn’t deny the song last night. It was fantastic. Craig and the boys nailed it. I actually liked it in shortened form, because I think the song in the studio was a bit longer winded then necessary. From Sign, Simon started “Stargazer” off with its unmistakable drum intro. Stargazer too was amazing, it’s crazy how punch Dio still packs with his voice. He can still sing it like he did nearly 30 years ago. Amazing.
“Stand Up And Shout” was up next, and was much more energized then the version of Evil or Divine (my Dio concert benchmark.) Drum solos usually bore me, but I liked Simon’s 1812 Overture solo, that was pretty cool. I had forgotten “Don’t Talk to Strangers” was on the set list, and I was really glad to hear that as it’s one of my favorites, and I think it works quite well live, with this concert being no exception.
“The Eyes” was the next (and last) song to be played from Master of the Moon. It has sure evolved since Gothenburg. I was telling Terry after the show that I thought it sounded a lot better now then it did on the European bootlegs. It sounds like the band tweaked it a bit, and it really worked well last night. The chanting part at the end is a nice touch live.
“Killing the Dragon” was fast and furious as usual. Craig played it about the same as Aldrich. “Man on the Silver Mountain” is so much better in normal-mode instead of super-fast mode. I could never get into the fast version of it live, I think it needs to be played at its original speed for best results. And played at original speed it was. Craig can really nail Blackmore’s solos, and Man on the Silver Mountain is no exception. Following this was a guitar solo from Craig, that was pretty good. I like guitar solos, and Craig definitely showed that he knew what he was doing.
“Long Live Rock and Roll” is not one of my favorite songs, but again, like Sign of the Southern Cross, the band did such a good job, I couldn’t help but completely love it. After Long Live, Dio brought up on stage a little boy that was in the front. He was wearing an Iron Maiden Piece of Mind t-shirt, and Dio and him gave the sign as Dio announced that the next song was for him. “Rock and Roll Children” sounded great, I much prefer the full song over the medley (like on the Sacred Heart video.)
I had been anticipating the next song all evening. “Gates of Babylon” was probably definitely one of the highlights of the show. Once again, Craig nailed everything, PERFECTLY. It was fantastic. Dio was belting it out like a possessed banshee, as my audio of this should prove.
One of the best one-two punches of heavy metal live was up next... “Holy Diver” and “Heaven and Hell.” Both flawless. There was one moment of tension during Heaven and Hell when some ass hole in the front through a cup of beer on Craig and his guitar during the solo. Craig was visibly pissed and was shouting at the audience in the front. He never stopped playing, and he seemed to play with a lot of aggressiveness through the rest of the song (which sounded great!) I was really surprised by how the band handled it. They never stopped, or mentioned it. Just took it like the professionals they are. Very cool. I can’t even imagine Bruce Dickinson’s reaction to something like that...
For encores we got “The Last in Line”, “Rainbow in the Dark”, and “We Rock.” “Neon Knights” was sadly absent, but it didn’t matter, as the band’s performance throughout the evening was flawless.
I do not understand the people that don’t like Craig. He was amazing. He nailed everything. Blackmore, Iommi, Campbell, and his own stuff. His performance was nothing short of impressive, and I honestly think he’s a better fit for Dio then Aldrich. In fact in the battle of Evil or Divine vs. October 8, 2004. October 8 easily wins. The band never lost any steam, Dio’s voice never lost any power, and Craig just played his ass off.
Rudy is a great addition as well. He is so much more animated than old man Bain. He actually looks like he enjoys what’s he doing, and he was very enthusiastic. He’s got his bass on his head, or behind his back, and he’s never missing any notes. I really hope Rudy sticks around. Scott Warren didn’t looked pissed off at all during the performance. He even came out and shook Ronnie’s hand when Dio was naming the band members. Simon held his own and did great last night as well.
After the show Jay and I followed Terry out back behind the club. We probably talked to Terry for close to an hour. He’s a cool guy, and I gotta say we’re both happy we got to meet and him talk to him, and Jay and I owe him thanks for giving us the information on Harpo’s. Since we’d never been there before we both had a lot of questions, and Terry was very helpful.
While waiting in the parking lot, security tried to scare us a way a few times, saying the band wouldn’t be appearing to sign autographs, but fortunately we stayed.
Last edited by EvilCheeseWedge; 05-16-2013 at 02:58 PM.
The show got over after midnight, and after waiting about 2 hours, Rudy appeared. He went to the bus pretty quickly, but not before signing some autographs. He signed Master of the Moon, and Ozzy Osbourne’s Tribute for me. Jay took a picture of him signing my stuff, but his hair was blowing all over the place and you can’t really see him. Rudy was pretty quiet.
Simon was the next to appear. He signed Master of the Moon and AC/DC’s Blow Up Your Video for me. He was a really nice guy, and he didn’t have a Sharpie, so I handed him my silver one. He was trying to sign Master of the Moon, but he was having some troubles, “You’re pen doesn’t seem to work.” Then he got it to work, “I guess I don’t work...” He was a really nice guy, shook my hand and everything. Unfortunately I didn’t get a picture with Simon.
Craig and Dio were out next. Craig, and I have to stress this, is a really, really nice guy. I figured he would for sure be in a bad mood after the beer incident, but he wasn’t at all. He’s soft spoken, and very polite. I asked him to sign Master of the Moon, and he did, I thanked him for a great show, and he shook my hand saying that he really appreciated that. I had brought along my pickguard from my SG for him to sign, but I had forgotten about it... so later on I went up to him again, and he signed it, and posed for a picture with me, and shook my hand again. What a great guy. I have a lot of respect for Craig. I always liked his playing, but last night it was flawless, and then he was such a nice guy.
We had to wait quite a while to see Dio, but there was no hurry. Jay and I were pretty close to him for quite some time while we were waiting. Somebody asked Dio where his Website was, and he said “ronniejamesdio.com, of course. I’ve never been to my sight, although people have told me it’s been under construction for the last fifty years!” I told him that they just recently put a nice Website up there, and he was happy to hear that.
Dio was 100% class. At 2:30 AM on a cold Detroit morning, he signed my Mob Rules vinyl, Master of the Moon, and Magica for Aerosmitten (which he signed to her.) He asked what my name was so he could put in Master, and I said, "James" (it's true, that's my name!) and he said, "How do you spell that!?" He then posed for a picture with Jay and I. I had actually brought a lot of album covers, but I didn’t want to waste his time with them, so I just had them in a little bag off to the side. He saw them, and asked if I would like all of those signed too. I said I didn’t want to waste his time any longer, and that I was grateful that he was out here at 2:30 signing stuff. He actually seemed kind of annoyed, he insisted that he sign them, saying it might be my last chance, and that’d he stay out there all night signing stuff if need be. His assistance seemed pretty happy I didn’t get all the covers signed though. Dio was such a nice guy, we talked to him for a bit. Jay said he should come back to Toledo, and he said, “Toledo used to be a hard rock town, I don’t know what happen.” He asked if “IOT is still there.” That’s our local classic rock station, and it indeed is still here, and I told him they play his stuff quite a bit, and he said “They always have been good to me.” We promised him we’d revive Toledo’s hard rock
We headed out of there around 2:45, and I pulled in my driveway at 4:45 AM. What an experience. Meeting Dio truly is life changing. He is such a nice guy all the way through, it’s just phenomenal. I can’t sing enough praises. The fact that he played for nearly two hours, and was willing to stand out there past 2:30 AM in the cold (and on and off rain) signing stuff is amazing. Especially when you consider he’s not very young anymore, and that he had a gig that day in Chicago. There was still quite a few people there waiting to meet him when we left at 2:45 AM.
Anyways, the whole thing was a truly amazing experience. Below is some links to pictures from last night, along with some audio. I’ll have more audio soon. The setlist is below too.
Intro-Killing The Drago
One More For The Road
Sign Of The Southern Cross-Stargazer
Stand Up And Shout
Dont Talk to Strangers
Killing The Dragon
Man On The Silver Mountain
Long Live Rock And Roll-Man On The Silver Mountain
Rock And Roll Children
Gates Of Babylon
Heaven And Hell
Last In Line
Rainbow In The Dark
My recording of "Gates of Babylon" from this concert.
Last edited by EvilCheeseWedge; 05-16-2013 at 02:53 PM.