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Dio has been at it for a long time, putting out 10 full length studio albums in just over 20 years and putting on hundreds of concerts for thousands upon thousands of fans. Through it all, there has always been the ever-present “Holy Diver” album, which is the origin of the beast that we all know as Dio. “We Rock” features the first 2 of Dio’s many concerts on home video, 2 shows which have been out of print for quite a long time and are now available in a non-obsolete format.
The concerts themselves are loaded with plenty of treats for the eyes and ears. The Holland show features the band in a humbler format, with only a simple medieval castle structure for a stage visual and four musicians of the highest caliber putting forth an amazing show. The Philadelphia show reveals a much more elaborate tendency in the Dio experience with hydraulics controlled 3 headed cobras, miniature sphinxes, and an elaborate light show to complement an already elaborate and heavy set of timeless metal anthems. Those interested in further details on the contents of these performances are also encouraged to read my reviews of the VHS releases.
Although the concerts are an absolute necessity, the true charm of this DVD re-release is the recent interview with Ronnie about the origin of the band and the history behind the timeless “Holy Diver” album. In it, he answers all the frequently asked questions associated with it: how did you look for musicians? What was that unusual method that you applied to the recording of the drums? Why is the album art the way it is? Why are your lyrics mostly fantasy based? Pretty much every question that you can imagine is covered. Through it all, you behold a humble man with a persona that is in direct contradiction to the bum rap that he’s been given by some in the media as some sort of egotistical, evil little dwarf with a bad case of napoleon complex. For those of us who have seen him live and met him in person, the smell of bullshit is obvious, but for the rest of you, the interview speaks for itself.
Fans of Dio are requested, entreated, and hopefully persuaded to pick this up. If you buy one Dio performance on DVD, this is the one to get. I prefer the “Sacred Heart” video myself because I like Craig Goldie better as a musician and a live performer. But this doesn’t mean to downplay the obvious talent that Vivian Campbell has, a talent that both Ronnie and I can give credit where credit is due for, even and despite Vivian’s lousy attitude towards the band that made his career.