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“It’s not easy to be the first”: European success for reborn Dio

The CEO of live music hologram developer Eyellusion has hailed the success of the European leg of its Dio Returns tour, promising the company is "just getting started"

By Jon Chapple on 15 Jan 2018

Ronnie James Dio hologram, Dio Returns tour, Antwerp

Ronnie on stage in Antwerp

image © Eyellusion

Eyellusion CEO Jeff Pezzuti has spoken of the “unforgettable experience” of taking its Ronnie James Dio hologram on the road, as the company wraps up a successful  first leg of its Dio Returns tour.

Dio Returns: The World Tourannounced last summer, kicked off in November and wrapped up at Trix (1,100-cap.) in Antwerp just before Christmas. The tour – produced in partnership with local promoters – is expected to visit the US this spring and play festivals globally through the summer.

The hologram, which is backed up by the late Dio’s former band, Dio Disciples, made its debut at Wacken Open Air in August 2016.

“Last month, we had the privilege of reuniting the late Ronnie James Dio’s fans in celebration of the timeless music he left behind,” says Pezzuti. “The incredible Dio band and our Ronnie James Dio hologram played seven countries and ten dates in 18 days. As the Dio Returns shows went on and word spread about this special experience, the crowds kept growing. By the final dates of the tour, thousands were coming out for an unforgettable experience.

“It’s not easy to be the first to do something in an industry that doesn’t change all that often. But we’re fans first”

“It’s not easy to be the first to do something in an industry that doesn’t change all that often. But we’re fans first. We had a vision that the music that has helped form the foundation of rock and roll should be passed down for generations and generations to enjoy. In the current business climate, that means live tours. After all, there’s nothing quite like leaving everything behind for just a night to join fellow fans for an unforgettable experience. It’s about the sound, the lights, the memories – just getting lost in the moment.

“A huge thank you to the extended Dio Family for their unflinching support as we set out together to make history. None of this would have been possible without Wendy Dio, the band, the crew and everyone else who believed in us. With a successful tour leg under our belt, we head to Pollstar Live! next month to meet again with the industry and start plotting the rest of the dates that will feature even more songs and a bigger stage show. Yes, we’re truly just getting started!”

In addition to Wendy Dio, Ronnie’s widow, LA-based Eyellusion is backed by veteran artist manager Todd Singerman and drummer Kenny Aronoff (John Cougar Mellencamp, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Meat Loaf, Smashing Pumpkins).

It recently secured to rights to produce a hologram of Frank Zappa, with dates for the Back on the Road tour due to be announced soon.


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