Ruisrock, Turku, Finland /
July 6th, 2003
By Marko Syrjälä & Arto Lehtinen
Ruisrock is one of the longest and oldest festivals, besides the
Provinssirock festival being another old running festival here in Finland.
It is known for having a wide range of all kinds of bands from various
musical genres. The most surprising thing was announced by the Ruisrock
organization when the old heavy metal legend Ronnie James Dio had been
booked in wake of various younger bands.
It has been two years since DIO's previous show in Finland.
They started this second leg of the Killing
The Dragon tour from the city of Zurich two weeks ago by doing both
festival and normal indoor gigs around Europe.
band's line-up has now once again changed as the guitarist Doug Aldrich
jumped to the Whitesnake ship and his predecessor Craig Goldy was
recruited to fill the guitarist slot after a year and a half break. Maybe
Craig is trying to break some sort of record because this is his third
reunion with Ronnie. The rest of the band's line up consisted of the long
time bass player Jimmy Bain, drummer Simon Wright (ex-AC/DC, UFO),
keyboardist Scott Warren (ex-Keel).
Dio's placement to the smaller stage compared to other bigger stages
situated in the whole area was kind of an odd choice as the legend
definitely pulled a damn huge crowd indeed. Anyway Dio didn't let down any
people down just doing a magnificent set consisting of several immortal
The opening song to kick the show off was the title track from
"Killing The Dragon" followed by "Straight Through The
Heart" from the classic Holy
Diver album. As for the set list, it mainly consisted of material
from the first two Dio albums and it wasn't unexpected that the front
cover of the legendary Holy Diver
album had been placed to hang as a background curtain on the stage because
of the album itself has a dominating role in Dio's solo releases. All in
all three tracks have been picked up from that album - "Rainbow In
The Dark", "Straight to the Heart", and "Holy
Diver". For obvious reasons, a couple of immortal Black Sabbath tunes
were included in the set. This time only "Heaven And Hell" was
added because of the lack of time. Whereas "The Last In Line"
had also been dropped for the same reason but other tunes off from the
same titled album namely "I Speed At Night" and "We
There is no doubt that the rarely played Rainbow song
"Stargazer" was the true highlight of the show. During the last
few years he has often played some parts from this ever great classic, but
now they definitely stuck to playing the song as a whole. Also, another
rarely played gem being "Dream Evil", a title track from 1987
album, was played and got a warm response from the crowd. The short show
was brought to an end with "Rainbow In The Dark" and another
encore wasn't expected at all. But after some wild noise from audience
requesting an encore, they appeared on stage once again and did "We
Rock". The band was very tight and they seemed to enjoy every second
on the stage. Craig especially looked great in his 80's look with huge
hair and black latex suit. Even though Ronnie's age is reaching the normal
retirement peak, the man is still capable of putting even younger
musicians to the shame! To be honest each of us could wonder and ponder
how it is possible that Dio can nowadays sing even better than a year
ago... Dio has always been praised as one of the best heavy metal
vocalists ever, and that's what he still is!