Watch Ronnie James Dio Reunite with Bandmates Via Hologram

(Image credit: Gary Miller/Getty Images)

This past weekend, the late Ronnie James Dio reunited with his bandmates via hologram.

The surprise reappearance—which was witnessed by 75,000-plus fans at the Wacken Open Air music festival in Germany—took place at the end of Dio Disciples' set. The hologram of Dio, who died in 2010 at age 67, belted out "We Rock," the late signer's go-to encore song. Dio's likeness also flashed the singer's trademark devil horns.

Eyellusion's Ronnie James Dio hologram—which was almost a year in the making—represents the world's first rock hologram performance, not to mention the first time a hologram has been accompanied by a live band on stage. And, even if you weren't at Wacken, you might still get to see the hologram in action; it will be featured on a massive tour in 2017. Stay tuned for further details.

"When I first experienced the full production of Ronnie performing with his band as a hologram, I couldn't believe my eyes and ears," said Wendy Dio, Ronnie's widow, who manages Dio Disciples. "With Eyellusion, we have been able to get Ronnie back up on stage where he belongs, ensuring that his music and memory live on. I want Ronnie's fans around the world to share this experience."

"We know how much the fans miss Ronnie and the special and unequaled element that he brought to his live performances," said Craig Goldy, Dio Disciples' guitarist. "Being able to recreate that same kind of magic for his fans at Wacken was incredible. For so many years Ronnie always invested big in his live shows as his way to give back to the fans, and that is exactly what we aimed to do with this latest performance. We can't wait to bring this experience to even more of his fans and perhaps even a newer generation when we bring this incredible live experience on the road next year."

"Eyellusion is creating the best hologram content and live music productions for a completely new concert experience," said Jeff Pezzuti, Eyellusion's CEO. "We're taking every step to capture the excitement and energy that comes from seeing your favorite band perform live. That means when the lights go down in the venue, the amps are loud, the band sounds great and the pyro is blinding. We are creating an entirely new way for fans to experience their favorite music."

Dio Disciples features various members of Dio, which last performed with Ronnie in 2008. Members include singers Tim "Ripper" Owens (Judas Priest), Joe Retta (Heaven & Earth) and Oni Logan (Lynch Mob); guitarist Craig Goldy (Dio), bassist Bjorn Englen (Yngwie Malmsteen), keyboardist Scott Warren (Dio, Heaven & Hell) and drummer Simon Wright (Dio, AC/DC, UFO).

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Damian Fanelli
Editor-in-Chief, Guitar World

Damian is Editor-in-Chief of Guitar World magazine. In past lives, he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor. He's written liner notes for major-label releases, including Stevie Ray Vaughan's 'The Complete Epic Recordings Collection' (Sony Legacy) and has interviewed everyone from Yngwie Malmsteen to Kevin Bacon (with a few memorable Eric Clapton chats thrown into the mix). Damian, a former member of Brooklyn's The Gas House Gorillas, was the sole guitarist in Mister Neutron, a trio that toured the U.S. and released three albums. He now plays in two NYC-area bands.