The revolving door of musicians that swung on and off stage all brought different assets to the show: Terry LeRoi, the planner of the event and singer of Titanium Black (and more than a dozen songs that night) was dressed in black military boots, a black, studded kilt, an unbuttoned black collared shirt with the sleeves ripped off and a gray baseball hat. He pumped out vocals that were shockingly accurate to Dio’s, delivering the same operatic vibrato and impressive range. “Country Girl,” a track from Black Sabbath’s Mob Rules was among his best, showing off the power of his ripping pipes and ability to drift into softer sections with the same skill.
Another stand-out performance, Tamaralee Shutt, vocalist of Salt City Jazz Collective, Ninety One, the Stan Colella Orchestra and her own band Kanjira, absolutely blew “Sit Down Honey (Everything Will Be Alright)” out of the water with her female take on a song that she delivered with her powerhouse of a voice. With full rockstar getup, she brought the words while keys player Bill Blachard (Alter Ego, Pop Rox and Glyphix) complemented with pounding, blues lines. The force of this song was just as driving as any metal tune, but bleeding with blues, making for an uncanny combo.
The musicians were all palpably energetic and visibly digging the chance to play some of Dio’s best while sharing the stage with other stand-out local musicians they might not otherwise work with. The crowd responded with shouts, claps and, of course, metal horns and many stuck it out right until the last ringing chord after 2 a.m. Many even lingered beyond it, tired, but still energized by the vigor of the performers and purpose of the event--to support Dio’s Stand up and Shout Cancer Fund and remember the man that brought so much to the music he performed and the fans that loved him.
Today, May 16, 2011, is the one year anniversary of Ronnie James Dio's death. RIP.
Rock on, Dio. Metal will never die.