The hologram of late rock legend Ronnie James Dio is going out on a European tour at the end of the year.
Dubbed the ‘Dio Returns’ tour, Ronnie’s hologram likeness will appear at nine European shows opening in Helsinki on 30th November on wrapping up in Tilburg, The Netherlands on 21st December.
The European leg is part of a larger world tour that will include yet-to-be-announced dates in the UK, South America, Australia, Asia, and North America.
Ronnie’s widow Wendy Dio has confirmed the production will feature live recordings from his influential career, and Ronnie's hologram will be backed by Dio Disciples consisting of guitarist Craig Goldy, drummer Simon Wright, keyboardist Scott Warren and bassist Bjorn Englen.
Songs that will make the setlist include ‘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.’
The stage set will hark back to Ronnie’s Sacred Heart and Dream Evil tours and a slightly different setlist has been promised from night to night.
Ronnie James Dio hologram © Eyellusion
“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 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 creation of hologram entertainment company Eyellusion, Ronnie James Dio’s hologram made its debut with Dio Disciples at Wacken Open Air festival in August 2016 where it performed set closer ‘We Rock’.
It made its 2017 debut at the 28th annual Pollstar Awards in February at The Novo in Los Angeles also during a performance by Dio Disciples.
Wendy told the Talking Metal podcast in February: "For the tour, (Ronnie) is going to have different looks. (The Wacken hologram was) somewhere around '88, the 'Dream Evil' era. For this next tour, we're going to be somewhere later than that for certain songs and maybe earlier than that for other songs."
She added: "Ronnie will be involved in each show (on the tour) from probably six to seven songs a night that he will be singing on. Some of the ones we can expect are 'We Rock', 'Holy Diver' and 'Rainbow In The Dark'."
Ronnie James Dio died from stomach cancer in May 2010. He was 67.
The European tour dates are as follows:
Helsinki Circus, Finland – 30th
Stockholm Fryshuset, Sweden – 3rd
Oslo Rockefeller Music Hall, Norway – 4th
Warsaw Progresja, Poland – 6th
Barcelona Bikini, Spain – 13th
Santander Escenario Santander, Spain – 15th
Bucharest Arelene Romane, Romania – 17th
Antwerp Trix, Belgium – 20th
Tilburg 013, Netherlands – 21st