Evil or Divine: Live In New York



Back before the dawn of time, the elders of rock bestowed the mystical secrets of metal magick on a few men whose souls were the blackest of black. One of the keepers of those legendary secrets is Ronnie James Dio. (The others include the members of Black Sabbath, Slayer and Tenacious D).

Now, with the live Evil or Divine, RJD takes listeners back through a tour of ancient lands — heavy metal parking lot lands where giant inflatable dragons were slain with laser beam swords and guitar solos lasted at least 10 minutes. Ah, smell the hairspray and stale beer!

Like an aging Gandalf, Dio’s world seems unreal — from this remove it’s hard to imagine a time that could spawn songs like “Holy Diver” or “The Last In Line” with a straight face. It’s not an uncomfortable place to inhabit, particularly for we folks whose formative years coincided with Dio’s mid-’80s heyday. But like Masters of the Universe cartoons and Cap’n Crunch cereal, the memory is way better than the reality.

That said, the performances in the concert documented here are solid, and Dio remains in good voice. And while they’re funny sometimes, Dio’s lyrics are still cooler than a lot of what passes for metal these days. It’s not a bad ride, and definitely recommended for the little twerps out there who keep fetishizing the ’80s. All these years later, it still beats leg warmers.

Brian J. Bowe writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to letters@metrotimes.com.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.