Last In Line

August 3, 2013
The Slidebar
Fullerton, CA

Review & Photos by Ron Lyon

The original musicians who helped propel Ronnie James Dio’s solo career to the top of the heavy metal mountain gathered together for the first time in 27 years on a Saturday night in Fullerton, California. The Slidebar was the place to be for this tune up of a short European run of shows that begin in September 2013.

Guitarist Vivian Campbell (Dio, Whitesnake, Def Leppard), drummer Vinny Appice (Dio, Black Sabbath, Heaven & Hell, Kill Devil Hill), bassist Jimmy Bain (Rainbow, Dio), and keyboardist Claude Schnell (Rough Cutt, Dio, Y&T) absolutely tore the roof off the room and treated the 150 sweaty, fist-pumping VIPs to a two-hour set of classic Dio songs. Playing only the best of the first three Dio albums, Holy Diver (1983), The Last in Line (1984), Sacred Heart (1985), the band delivered each and every song with renewed vigor.

It was an especially big night for Campbell, who recently acknowledged he’s been battling Hodgkin’s Lymphoma cancer. Although he’s lost his curly mane, he looked tan, strong and completely comfortable riffing as if it were 1983 all over again.

The band was fronted by singer Andrew Freeman (Vince Neil Band, Raiding The Rock Vault), who was humble and proud to be the one chosen to pull out the best of RJD’s voice when it was needed. He did a fantastic job and really soaked up the spirit coming from the adoring crowd.

Appice reminded us all of his awesome power behind the kit and why he should be ranked among the best rock drummers of all time. Bain and Schnell were obviously having a great time as well, constantly laughing, smiling and mixing it up with the audience, which included Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collen, Bullet Boys drummer Jimmy D’Anda, Kill Devil Hill guitarist Mark Zavon, and singer Mandy Lion.

Last In Line reminded everyone present about the importance of a special time in the history in the heavy metal. To witness this show from the front row was a moment not soon forgotten.

 

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