Ronnie James Dio Hologram Makes Live Debut, Already Has Tour Plans

UPDATE 10/08/16: Footage of Ronnie James Dio’s hologram has emerged online.

ORIGINAL STORY: Late heavy metal hero Ronnie James Dio, the man often credited with popularising the ‘metal horns’ hand gesture, has returned to the stage in the form of a hologram at Germany’s Wacken Open Air Festival, and there are already plans for a full-blown hologram tour.

As Rolling Stone reports, Dio’s hologram joined Dio Disciples for a version of the 1984 song We Rock to help close out the festival, complete with the singer’s trademark devil horns.

The Dio hologram, which was created by the company Eyellusion, made Dio’s widow Wendy Dio emotional the first time she witnessed it up and running.

“I cried the first time I saw it,” she says. “It was quite, quite scary. Our crew, when they first saw it at rehearsal, they were in tears. It’s absolutely amazing.

“I knew about the Tupac hologram and everything, but what appealed to me was that this would be the first time with a live band; Ronnie’s band. So that was exciting.”

Wendy Dio and Eyellusion CEO Jeff Pezzuti worked on the hologram for a year, with the final product mixing a live recording of Dio with an isolated vocal track. They also collected thousands of photos and videos of Dio to capture an aesthetic which wasn’t tied to a specific era of his work, but Pezzuti says the final product is mostly a late-’80s look.

“We’re celebrating Ronnie in his prime,” he says. “It’s the closest we are going to get to the real Dio and I think that’s really what it’s about.”

Wendy Dio suggests they could go on to make six to 12 songs into hologram performances, while Pezzuti is hoping for 14 so that they can have a rotating set list as part of a possible 2017 tour with the hologram. Pezzuti has also suggested that he’s been working with the idea of making a hologram for late Motörhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister.

Dio died of metastasized stomach cancer in May 2010, aged 67. Catch images of his hologram in action, below.

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