Will the Real LOVE/HATE Fans Please…Sit Down? (Concert Review)

Pearce and Pearl of Love/Hate

When this weekend began, my goal was to write a review of the Love/Hate, Dio Returns concert, in St. Charles, Illinois. What it’s turned into, however, is a tale about the violation of our rights as ticket paying, rock fans.

I’ve been a huge Dio fan, like many, for decades, but my husband, but so much. Who he is a huge fan of, is Love/Hate, In fact, had they not been opening the show, I think (I know) it would’ve been a tough sell to get Chris here.

 We drove three hours to get to to the Arcada Theater, in St. Charles, and arrived at the venue, three hours early in hopes that we would have the opportunity to meet Jizzy Pearl. We waited for ages and finally Chris declared, “OK, twenty more minutes, and we need to head to the hotel and check-in.” (He’s much more rational than me, I would do the “five more minutes” thing until it was show time and I hadn’t eaten, changed or checked into the hotel). 19 more minutes passed and we were just getting ready to head to the car, and out walked Jizzy. (It really is all about the timing, all of the time). Chris had his back to him and for some reason, I lost my verbal skills so all I could do was point.

 He was super nice. We stayed for a while and had a good chat, and he signed a bunch of stuff for Chris, and as we were leaving for the car, we ran into Stevie Pearce (guitar L/H) and had a lengthy conversation with him, too.

Thrilled with our lucky timing, we headed to the hotel to check-in and then turn right back around to head back to The Arcada.

Tickets weren’t cheap for this show. $66.25 each for our 5th-row seats, but shows like this don’t come around very often, especially not in the Midwest. We took our seats, and shortly after, Love/Hate took the stage. We jumped to our feet, with excitement, since Chris has been waiting to see this band again, since 1990. Aware that no one else was standing for L/H (disappointing, but whatever…) we started singing along, (which was noticed and called out by band member Stevie Pearce). It was a couple of songs in, and a SWAT officer, dressed in full fatigues, complete with machine gun clips, approached Chris and said that someone had complained about the fact that we were standing and we were forced to leave our seats and go to the back of the venue. Come on people, this is a ROCK show, not the ballet! It was not only maddening but a little humiliating, as well. Someone even suggested to the people behind us (who were very nice, and watched our stuff for us, not even sure if we were coming back), that we might have had a bomb!!! WTF?!!! We paid good money to be there, and I honestly believe that if the said complainer didn’t like Love/Hate enough to be standing himself, then he probably didn’t like them enough to be concerned about his sightline. For the remainder of the  L/H set (which was AWESOME) we stood in the last row, at the back of the venue, where we couldn’t disturb anyone’s comfortable seating.

After the set, we tried to find management to discuss the venue’s policies and this violation of our rights as ticket holders, but apparently, there was no manager (I find that doubtful) on site.

After going to look at the Dio merch, (which was fantastic, and I bought a double-sided print hoodie), we went back in, to go to our seats, and guess what…everyone was standing, so apparently the rules changed in that 30-minute break. Most infuriating is that obviously everybody gets it!! They get how awesome it is to love an artist so much that you are brought to your feet to fully enjoy the experience. Never once have I sat through a rock show.

Ronnie James Dio
Dio in hologram form

Ok, so end of rant..for now, but I can assure you this isn’t over.

Dio Returns is an incredibly well put-together production. Jeffrey Pezzuti, from Eyellusion is the creator of the experience, and it’s just revolutionary, both in technical capacity and attention to detail. There’s really nothing like this show out there touring! The band (Dio Disciples), consists of Simon Wright (drums), Craig Goldy  (guitar), Bjorn Englen (bass), Scott Warren (keyboard), and arguably two of the best singers around today, Oni Logan, and Tim “Ripper” Owens. Obviously the two most perfect choices for an endeavor of this magnitude. The balance between both singers was perfect and they even performed a couple of songs together, leaving one or two performed by old tracks of Dio

I had been a little conflicted on how I felt about bringing Dio back from the dead, via hologram, but honestly, it was fantastic! The four-dimensional Dio moves freely (even his mic cord moved independently) and if you didn’t know he was dead, you might just believe you were seeing the real thing.

Aside from the ridiculousness of being removed from our seats, for standing up at a rock show, it was an excellent night.

Next up…Geoff Tate, tonight, at the same venue. I wonder if the SWAT  Team will be there again?

Love/Hate Setlist:

“Yucca Man”
•”Rock Queen”
•”Mary Jane”
•”She’s an Angel”
•”Spinning Wheel”
•”Fuel to Run”
•”Wasted in America”
•”Why Do You Think They Call It Dope”
•”Blackout in the Red Room”

Dio Returns Setlist
“King of Rock and Roll”
• “The Mob Rules”
• “Children of the Sea”
• “The Last in Line”
• “Holy Diver”
• “Stand Up and Shout”
• Drum solo
• “Don’t Talk to Strangers”
• “Rainbow in the Dark”
• “Egypt (The Chains Are On)”
• “Gates of Babylon”
• Keyboard Solo
• “Invisible”
• Guitar Solo
• “Catch the Rainbow”
• “Stargazer”
• “Heaven and Hell”
• “Man on the Silver Mountain”
• “Heaven and Hell” (reprise)
“We Rock”
“Neon Knights”


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