DIO – Mali vrač krotil zmaje in oživljal Rainbow ter Black Sabbath klasike (2002)
Lokacija: Gradec (Graz) / Orpheum Teater / Avstrija
Datum: četrtek, 19.09.2002
Sceno so odprli avstrijci Firestorm. Hmmmm, v riti sem imel dva ali tri pire (se ne spomnim več natančno), in avstrijska imitacija glam shock rocka, odprtih enostavnih rifov mi je odlično dela. Pravzaprav je skupina, odeta v sadomazohistični opravi s kontaktnimi lečami svetlo modre barve v očeh, sprva na pogled delovala sila zlobno. Z glasbo so me prav presenetili. Pričakoval sem kakšno “bruhanje” namesto petja in skratka popoln bogomor. A prav nasprotno. Perfektna priredba “Wild Boys” sedaj že legendarne skupine Duran Duran, katere člani so v prvi polovici osemdesetih najstnicam predstavljali prave inkarnacije princev na belih konjih, je bila žal edina pesem v njihovem repertoarju, ki sem jo poznal. Vodja skupine je imel seveda glavno besedo. Pel je glavni vokal in igral glavno kitaro. Solaže so navadno prišle ob klasičnih izhodih iz pesmi, dve pa je sprašil tudi znotraj komadov. Fant s svojo kitaro modela Gibson Explorer nikakor ni kompliciral s solo točkami (beri: triprstno soliranje rokerja iz šestdesetih) in tako skrbel, da je udarnost obstala. Pel je visoko in na trenutke zares podobno pojokaval kot kakšen Simon Le Bon (Duran Duran). Ugajal je pogled na dekleti v skupini. Prva, ritem kitaristka z modelom Gibson SG, je bila še posebej živahna, prav neukročeno je delovala in konstantno priganjala pasivno občinstvo naj vendarle malo “zašejka”. Druga, klaviaturistka, je delovala kanček skrivnostneje. In verjetno zato še bolj vzbujala sline. Ti, ti pokvarjenec, kaj vse mi roji po glavi. Vsi člani so se odlično izkazali v uigranosti skupine tudi pri izvajanju back vokalov. Torej, da Firestorm niso nobena šala so dokazali z izredno korektnim in zavzetim nastopom, kar me je šokiralo, ker od avstrijskih domorodnih skupin tega zares nisem vajen. Starejše fizične osebe – v mislih imam moške v “najvitalnejših” letih (od 40 navzgor), so seveda nad Firestorm godrnjali in vseskozi tarnali. Z izjemo enega. Ta je bil pijan kot “marajna” in ko je videl, da z Dejanom edina “pošejkavava” v prvi vrsti in ritmu “muzike za ples”, začel skrajno najedati in se obešati po naju. Ne vem, zares imam očitno smolo, ampak če se najde v hali na koncertu le en težak, se bo očitno znašel vedno poleg mene. Na Motorhead tri mesece nazaj v isti dvorani me je en takle tip, ki je bil zaradi alkoholnih substanc seveda “trd kot lešnik”, grabil za genitalije, medtem ko je rinil v prvo vrsto. Pol urice so Firestorm izkoristili kar se je dalo. Izzivalno, ni kaj. Vendar bo še treba piliti in “ornk” pljuniti v roke, da bo rohnelo na odru kot je treba. Zaželimo jim vso srečo.
Potem so imeli roadyji precej dolg šov. Seveda se bojijo in v celoti upoštevajo avtoriteto njegove ekselence Ronnieja Jamesa Dia, ki rad ponori, če kdaj kakšen od zvočnikov vsaj malo in nehote prdne, kot ne bi smel. No, skozi gosto meglo in ob zvokih intra so se člani skupine prikobacali na oder. “Killing The Dragon”, takoj mravljinci. Uf, ta rif!!! Dio, pred menoj je Dio! 60 letni možakar, metermož, ki vriskne, da nas sleče iz kož. In tudi tokrat je bil Dio kot Dio izpred tridesetih let. Takoj sem zaznal magijo med legendo Jimmyjem Bainom (ex – Rainbow) in Ronniejem na odru. Dva dobra stara kompanjona med katerima ni nobene skrivnosti.
In še več. Doug Aldritch (ex-Bad Moon Rising, Burning Rain) namreč. Ko so prešli naravnost brez pavze naprej na “Egypt (the chains are on)”, znamenito klasiko z Diovega prvenca, z oguljeno Fender Stratocaster v rokah, mladenič v katerem je zapisana večnost stvaritev R. Blackmorea, J Pagea, T. Iommija ipd… Nisem mogel verjeti. Kako je snel Iommijevo solažo pri “Children Of The Sea”. Igranje iz dna grodnice (os sacrum). Prelevil se je v enkraten medij. Torej čisti surovi “filing”. Največ kar ti lahko glasbenik na odru ponudi (poleg dobre set liste, sicer pa je Diova set lista lahko slaba le v enem primeru. Če bi jo sestavil iz dveh plošč: “Strange Highways” in “Angry Machines”, česar pa se ni bati, saj skladbe z njih vztrajno ignorira).
Na vrsti je bil Simon Wright (ex-AC/DC) s svojo solo točko na bobnih. Kmalu se je njegovemu nabijanju pridružila znana spremljava v ozadju iz opere “Carmina Burana” in Simon ni dosti ovinkaril, pač pa je na bobnih premitraljiral INSERT iz opere. Na, znova nekaj drugačnega. Bravo!
Da ne bi zazehali, je Dio po končanem Simonovem solo udrihanju vžgal publiko z “Ustaj i zavrišti!!!!” (“Stand Up And Shout”). Narod je ponorel. Dio z značilnimi gestami. Unikatno neponovljivo. Ko veš, da je Ronnie to kar je. Dec je bil v svojem elementu in oddajal je izjemne vibracije. Stalno se je rokoval z oboževalci v prvi vrsti, vsakemu posebej je namenil pogled in nasmeh. Brez slehernega kančka napuha. Ne tako kot večina pevcev, ko v sekundi preletijo prvo vrsto z “gimme five” foro in ob tem sploh ne pogledajo proti množici. Koža se mi je ježila, Dio pa je nadaljeval z “Don’t Talk To Strangers”, kateremu je sledila Rainbow klasika “Man On The Silver Mountain”.
No vendar, kljub šoku za šokom, ki smo ga prestajali ob izjemni set listi (madona, le pomislil sem ravnokar na to in že me je oblila kurja polt)… Dougova solo točka namreč. Turkizna zdrilana, zlizana, olupljena startokasterca je bila že s samo pojavo na odru kreacija, ki je ponujala več kot le kos lesa s šestimi žicami in vgrajenimi magneti. In ko je Doug začel… To je to. Vživeto, popolnoma vživeto. Ko se človek in inštrument zlijeta v eno. Takšne solo točke ne pomnim. Ne Steve Vai, ne Victor Smolski, ne Y.J. Malmsteen… ma kakšna šolska glasbena “napiflanost”, to odpade. Tu ni prostora za hladnost. Striktno preprosti prvinski občutki. Kako je fant gnetel pull offe, prašil hammering znotraj kvint, se sprehajal z arpeggioti po vratu in okraševal vseskupaj s kratkimi rafali na hitro izmišljenih rifov in izrednega lickinga ter obešanja po tremolu. Poleg je delal katarzične grimase, šobil usta, za konec pa se ulegel na tla s kitaro in skoraj uprizoril pravi seks z njo medtem, ko je izvabljal melodijo iz nje. Doug je bil v takem efektu, da je kitaro z vso silo zalučal nazaj proti svojemu ozvočenju in pod vznožje Simonovih bobnov. “Na dobila si svoje, katera je sledeča na vrsti!?!?” Tooooo, devastacija do konca!!!!
Po tem čarodejstvu, so Dio in kompanija nadaljevali z oživljanjem Rainbow (“Long Live Rock’n Roll”). Doug se je med solo točko ranil, izza levega ušesa je krvavel, poleg tega pa si je odrgnil tudi kožo s sredinca leve roke. A ni se zmenil za to. Neukročeno in do konca podivjano.
Pa dobro. Ustavite se malo fantje, mene bo zares razneslo. No in res so se. Sledili sta dve točki iz “Magica” albuma, kjer je tudi Doug lahko končno zajel malo sape. Temu je sledil veliki finale. Ultimativna norija se je pričela z drvečo jekleno Black Sabbath zapuščino “Mob Rules”. Za njo je sledila popolna tišina, ki jo je prekinil tisti znani imenitni intro na klaviaturah, ki je naznanjal, da se koncert počasi preveša v svoj konec. “Holy Diver”. Očitno nekaj ni štimalo. Dio je tolkel z levico po svoji stegnenici in nekajkrat zamahnil proti Simonu v smislu, da naj ta vendarle pospeši ritem, a Simon se ni pustil “motiti”, zato je bilo zaznati kar nekaj nejevolje na Ronniejevem obrazu. Je Simon proti koncu nastopa opešal, v kar močno dvomim? Simonu v tem primeru kakšen kondicijski trening ne bi škodoval, ali pa enostavno ni bil pozoren na Diove geste, da naj poživi hitrost obstoječega ritma.
Uganite, kaj je Dio prihranil za konec? Sledila so nebesa in…. pekel. Da!!! “Heaven And Hell”, ko se je oder zavil v črnino in je reflektor s snopom rdeče svetlobe od spodaj osvetljeval Diov obraz, da je tako Ronnie izgledal kot pravi hudič. Ahh ta grandiozni večni rif in magija Iommijeve pogruntavščine, Doug znova vživeto, po Tonyjevih stopinjah, Dio z vso močjo še enkrat zarjuje v mikrofon z Jimmyjem na svoji desni (gledano proti odru), ki vodi z basom predrefren. Ne, ne… naj se nikar ne konča! Da, le iluzija. Glavni del koncerta je bil končan.
Fantje so se vrnili nazaj in odprli dodatek z “Last In Line”. Dio je bil znova nejevoljen, kar je vidno kazal z gestikulacijami. Zvok monitorjev ni bil pravi. Nadaljevali so z “Rainbow In The Dark”, kjer je Scott na klaviaturah končno dobil vidnejšo vlogo. To pa je bil konec. Izpustili so klasiko “We Rock”. Zakaj, ni bilo treba dvakrat ugibati. Zaradi zvoka. Dio je bil besen. Roko na srce, zvok ni bil perfekten, Diov vokal ni bil dobro slišen zaradi slabe “štimunge” in Ronnieja je žal večkrat prekrila Dougova kitara med nastopom.
Toda kakorkoli obrneš, le legende pričarajo takšno vzdušje, le zakaj nisem mogel (hotel točneje) na Huhghes/Turner dva dni nazaj, madona sem besen sam nase. To so ljudje, kot dobro staro vino. Izkušnje, samozavest, to je enostavno občutek nepremagljivosti in večnosti. To so ljudje, ki so skreirali vse in tudi danes na odru dobesedno ubijajo s svojimi nastopi, takšno visoko ambientalno vzdušje so sposobni pričarati. Tega je danes čedalje manj. Izvirnosti, prvinskosti, razdajanja surovih občutij.
avtor: Aleš Podbrežnik
fotografije: Aleš Podbrežnik
English version(intie with Jimmy Bain included – scroll down the barr)
This is a very long report so I decided to divide it INTO a few chapters. I hope that you will be able to find the facts that you are most interested in without any problems.
1. PRE-CONCERT ACTIVITIES:
I was especially honored that day, HAVING a perfect view next to me on the back seat of our car. This is really rare, when my girlfriend decides to visit a gig. And Dio was the one she just couldn’t miss. We had a great time during our car drive to Graz talking about everything, but mostly about women. So the time passed quickly and suddenly we were in front of Orpheum. We had some problems with parking the car, so we made a few circles and finally succeeded in finding a cool place. At 6:30 p.m. we entered the Orpheum’s main gates and went directly for our tickets (35 Euro/person) and further on to spend our “change” on T-shirts. Merchandise was expensive as hell. The next logical move was to wait by the hall’s door that were still locked. At 7:30 p.m. we exploded through the main entrance and got our positions in the first row as usual.
2.1. Support act
The support group, Austrians Firestorm, came on stage at 8:00 p.m. Due to their sado-masochistic image and pale blue colour of their contact lenses, they looked very evil. I expected barking instead of singing, in other words a complete deicide. But my expectations were wrong this time. Firestorm are a good imitation of glam shock rock scene. Well, by that time I had two or three beers and I felt good. I really enjoyed group’s performance. Unfortunately everything that sounded familiar to me was a cover FROM Duran Duran (“Wild Boys”). It was perfectly figured out. Firestorm took things in their hands very seriously. They did it with enthusiasm and very precise. The leader of the band was playing lead guitar (Gibson Explorer model). His guitar solos were added mainly in fade outs, but two of them also found their place in middle sections of the songs. Plus that he performed lead vocals clean and high. But he has still a lot to practice on, I felt still a little lack of power here. Solos were easy structured and perfectly fitted INTO sound of the band as whole. GROUP of five members consisted of two girls. First was a rhythm guitarist using her Gibson SG model. She was very alive and untamed on stage, working very hard to warm up a very passive audience. The other girl took duty over keyboards. The band as whole also performed back vocals very well. Those half an hour was a proof that Firestorm aren’t a joke and that in I’m sure that we’ll hear a lot about this band in the future. I wish them good luck.
Roadies occupied the stage for quite a long time, giving us a real hard time while waiting for Dio to SHOW up. I understand their position. Ronnie is a professional. If one of monitors fart in a way it shouldn’t, Ronnie can go mad. So sound technicians have always plenty of work here. After I almost died of waiting, we could saw silhouettes on stage that was covered by fog. “Killing The Dragon”, yeah that riff. It began! Dio in front of me. Dio with 60 years in his pocket. A meterman that still kills with his shouts. The same shouts as they were 30 years ago. I felt the magic between two old friends Jimmy Bain (ex-Rainbow) and Ronnie (also ex-Rainbow). There are no secrets between those two guys. What a power voltage, but more was yet to follow.
Doug Aldritch (Burning Rain, ex-Bad Moon Rising) was guilty for that. After fade out of “Killing The Dragon”, the band continued their SHOW without pause with a classic song FROM Dio’s debut album (“Holy Diver”) “Egypt (the chains are on)”. Doug, with Fender Stratocaster, a youngster who carries all legacy of such maestros as R. Blackmoore, J. Page or T. Iommi are. I couldn’t believe my ears, when I heard how he did “Children Of The Sea” solo. If I closed my eyes for a moment, I would have thought that T. Iommi is on stage. I am talking about pure feeling here. Let us leave school knowledge beside. You won’t find rational coldness here, but pure emotional burnt offerings. Doug turned INTO a mediator and just let his feelings to express through soulful performance.
Simon’s turn was soon to follow. Simon Wright (ex-AC/DC) performed his drum solo through Carmina Burana main motive in the background. He perforated that motive with great rollings during his jam session. It was a new, different approach, I’m not used to anticipate. An interesting idea. How to make Carmina Burana sound even more ambiental and powerful, both at the same time. Now, can you imagine Carmina Burana main motive driven in heavy metal riffing?
After Simon finished his drum solo, the band went on full with “Stand Up And Shout”. The crowd went mad. Dio with his unique gesticulations, his acting… He is he. Just a man expressing himself as we all should, without fear FROM any authorities. He is living his life. So his vibrations were really something special. I felt peace and love. He was giving his thanks to the crowd in the front row by shaking hands. Anytime he gave his hand to someone, he looked that person in the eyes and smiled. This is why I call such acts like Dio unrepeatable. Pure magic. Band continued with “Don’t Talk To Strangers” and Rainbow’s classic “Man On The Silver Mountain”.
We went through plenty of shocks so far but more was yet to follow. The next one was Doug’s solo on guitar. Again soulful. When guitar and man collide. Fantastic. It was just pure drive of fast “in mind” created riffs perfectly mixed with first class arpeggios blazing all over the guitar’s neck. Oouuuch, what fast hammering with great pull-offs added. Everything was brilliantly spiced with nice licks, using of tremolo and taping bridges incorporated. A best possible puzzle. Again Doug turned himself INTO mediator, giving us a chance to enjoy and see a phenomenon when pure feelings overdominate musical knowledge. I don’t remember a guitar solo that could be played with such great balls. Soulfully. Doug was so inspired and full of enthusiasm, that he wounded himself. He was bleeding out of his finger on his left hand and also under his left ear. But he didn’t care. At the end of his solo performance he put down his weapon, laid beside it, still drawing tunes out of it. When he finished his trick, he threw the guitar in front of Simon’s drum kit, completely sweaty. Devastation ’till the end!
After that magic, the band continued in bringing Rainbow spirit alive by performing “Long Live Rock’n’Roll”. O.K. guys, calm down a bit, I’m gonna explode. And they did. They’ve slowed down a little bit. Two pieces FROM “Magica” album followed, so Doug could relax a bit. But not for long. The ultimate breakdown arrived. It was an iron piece, a part of Dio’s Black Sabbath stuff “Mob Rules”. After that great silence swallowed the hall for a moment. Then very familiar sounds broke it. Intro of “Holy Diver”. When they came to the main riff, the beat was to slow. Dio immediately felt that, giving Simon a sign to speed up things a little bit. But Simon didn’t let himself to be disturbed and continued to play the piece in unchanged lower gear. Dio was very angry because of that. I saw that look on his face. But nevermind. We came to the last piece. This was the return of heaven… and hell. Dio’s face spotted with red light seemed like Lucifer’s one. This was in my opinion the highlight of the gig. Uf, that grandiose eternal riff invented by Iommi. Don’t let this end. Ah, unfortunately just a grand illusion. It was the end.
Guys returned for an encore. They began with “Last In Line”. During performance of “Last In Line” Dio showed some frustrations again. Sound wasn’t right. And after “Rainbow In The Dark” the band finished their gig. They’ve left out “We Rock” FROM their set list due to sound problems. During the entire SHOW Ronnie’s vocals were sometimes obscured by guitars. Sound was therefore, concerning the vocals, far FROM being perfect.
But anyway, these are legends that bring magic, an ambiental experience that is very rare to find nowadays on stage. They carry on all their self-consciousness, experiences and a feeling of being unbeatable. That makes them eternal. They are like good old wine. These guys are even today, with all their years, real killers on stage. Revealing the power of ideas, which derives out of pure primordial feelings.
3. POST-CONCERT ACTIVITIES:
At the end we had some more entertainment. We wanted autographs. Both, roadies and security guards lied to us. They tried to convince us that the band won’t SHOW up and that is better for us to go home. If we had believed just one of them, it would be a real disaster. First of the band, who joined us in front of backstage, was Doug. He was delighted to receive some good critics about his performance. “Dio can raise you in heaven or crush you down straight to hell! It depends how you co-operate with him. I’m very honored to work with him and I’m HAVING a big time right now!” Doug wasn’t affected by someone’s really untasty comment: “But Rainbow and Ritchie Blackmore are still the best!” Then Jimmy came out of the backstage. Totally cool person, always prepared for a discussion. When he was asked to bring some guitar picks, he replied: “Of course man, I’ll be back in the minute!” It lasted more than a minute for Jimmy to get back, but when he did, he brought with him a dozen guitar picks.
Then the biggest moment happened. Ronnie himself came out of backstage. Dressed in his dark brown leather jacket. As on his photos in early eighties Black Sabbath co-operation. My friend sworn himself before the concert that he will fall on his knees if we succeeded to get Dio’s autograph. And he really did it. He fell on his knees in front of Dio, saying: “Dio you are a God to me!” Dio was a little embarrassed, when thanking my friend. Roady, who took care of Dio’s personal security, the same liar, who tried to convince us to leave the place, ’cause band is not in the mood right now, said to my friend: “Relax please!” Was he thinking perhaps that we would eat Dio alive? Stupid. Dio was giving thanks to each one of us. He talked to everybody, asking our names, where are we coming FROM and similar things. As a good old friend. I didn’t feel any distance between him and us. I’m still shaking when thinking back.
What the hell? The same guy, Blackmore’s admirer, even asked Ronnie the same old stupid question: “Is there any possibility for Rainbow reunion?” Dio simply replied: “Yes, there is always a possibility!” So he answered him something or nothing, as a good and well experienced politician. Stupid answer on a stupid question. If you ask me, it would be a real pity for something like this to happen. Ritchie’s narrow minded ego isn’t worth all of Ronnie’s talents. If we only compare poetry that Dio is writing. Not to mention how Ritchie’s mind went worse due to his strange musical adventures with his Candice. Dio simply rules! Rainbow reunion, what a crazy idea to think of. They are a part of music history. Only Dio is worth of keeping alive the spirit of bands such as Elf, Rainbow or Black Sabbath (in their early eighties). He, he, he. We got autographs FROM all band’s members. We laughed to the security guards, who tried to get rid of us as soon as possible just to go home and to bed.
4. A LITTLE CHAT WITH JIMMY BAIN:
This is still not the end of this report. Meanwhile, when we were waiting for Ronnie to come out of backstage, Anja had a little conversation with Jimmy Bain. It was funny because she didn’t recognize him, and when she joined us, she simply explained that she talked to “one guy over there”. Jimmy was dressed in an anorak and old jeans after the gig. A completely different image FROM what we saw one hour ago on stage.
Jimmy: “Where do you come from?”
Anja: “From Slovenia, ex-Yugoslavia.” Jimmy: “On border with Hungary?”
Anja: “Yes, and Austria, Italy and Croatia also.”
Jimmy: “There were certain rumors that we’ll play in Croatia, but than something went wrong, and that tour date was canceled.”
Anja: “What a pity. Croatians are much warmer people than these Austrians.”
Jimmy: “Yes. Today when I was walking around Graz, people stared at me as if I landed down FROM Mars! Uf, very unpleasant looks, I really got a bad impression.” (Jimmy showed some frustrations.)
Anja: ” Yes, that sounds familiar.”
Jimmy: “So, are you going back to Slovenia now?”
Anja: “Yes, it is only two hours FROM here when driving with a car. I came here with those people over there.” (points finger onto us)
Jimmy: “I see, are they a family?”
Jimmy: “I’m still fascinated. That kid (points on my friend’s son) sang all songs we performed today. Unbelievable. And his mum also!”
Jimmy: “Are in Slovenia all girls so pretty as you are?”
Anja (as a world champion of HAVING the greatest sense of sarcasm): “I don’t know any of them.”
Jimmy: “Don’t believe ya… I bet that you do!” (Jimmy shows her a bracelet made out of little ropes and asks her to bind that bracelet around his wrist)
Anja: “Where did you get this?”
Jimmy: “Today here in Graz, one guy FROM India sold me this thing. But please don’t bind it to strong.”
Jimmy: “Today the feeling wasn’t as good as usually. Stage was to high, we couldn’t communicate with the audience as we are used to. Yesterday we played in front of 2000 people in Vienna.” (meanwhile one guy stepped closer and observed both of them)
Jimmy: “Is this your guy?”
Anja: “Oh, no. He is over there. Do you see him, jumping full of enthusiasm around Ronnie carrying that green map, waiting for autographs?”
Than a guy who was obviously disabled came up to Jimmy. He was blind, and also HAVING psycho-motorical problems. It was also clear that he drank too much. So he was a real pain in the ass to all of us. Too aggressive. Jimmy had a real problem getting rid of him after giving him an autograph.
Jimmy: “I did a real stupid thing. I gave an autograph to a blind guy!”
Anja: “Who cares. It means a lot to him. He can hear you, feel vibrations, he knows that you’re not bluffing and that you are sincere. And that you are playing out of navel.
Jimmy: “Yes, we are playing FROM the heart, FROM that… whatever you said. This is everything I know. To play good.”
Jimmy (looking for a more relaxed theme): “How long are you with him?” (he thought about me, was I by coincidence Jimmy’s pain in the ass?)
Anja: “For a very long time.”
Jimmy: “Oh, I see. I’m married for a second time. I went through six years of marriage now, but I am in front of a new divorce.”
Jimmy gave two “Aftershow Party – Dio Tour 2002” permanent tickets to Anja and asked her to join the band on that evening. Well, after all, Jimmy failed to convince my girlfriend and luckily she is still here in Slovenia with me..
Well, I don’t remember so diverse things happening during a concert. Another fantastic experience. Pure entertainment. Dio obviously won’t give up. He is planing to record a new album entitled “Magica II” and that will be followed by another tour. We’ll see what the future brings. Life is so beautiful.
photos taken by: Aleš Podbrežnik
01. Killing The Dragon
03. Children Of The Sea
05. Drum Solo (S. Wright)
06. Stand Up And Shout
08. Don’t Talk To Strangers
09. Man On The Silver Mountain
10. Guitar Solo (D. Aldritch)
11. Long Live Rock’n’Roll
12. Lord Of The Last Day
13. Fever Dreams
14. Mob Rules
15. Holy Diver
16. Heaven And Hell
17. Last In Line
18. Rainbow In The Dark
19. We Rock (ni bila odigrana)