Corey Taylor, Halestorm + More Salute Ronnie James Dio in Los Angeles
The late great Ronnie James Dio may have passed in 2010, but his spirit, his legacy and the work he started still loomed large at the 3rd Annual Ronnie James Dio Awards in Los Angeles on Monday night.
The evening was a mixture of performers coming together to salute Dio's musical legacy as well as a spotlight being shown on those who've made significant contributions to the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer organization.
After opening remarks about the organization's continued fight against cancer and continued advancements from Ronnie's physician, Dr. Sandeep Kapoor, the attention turned to a live auction that allowed those in attendance to bid upon trips to South Africa, cruises, and signed guitars. One of the highlights of the event was a guitar adorned with the 'This Is Your Life' tribute album artwork that sold for $6,000.
With the audience starting to file into the Avalon, it was time to rock in honor of Ronnie. The festivities began with a pummeling version of 'I,' led by Oni Logan's powerful vocals, Adrenaline Mob's Mike Orlando rocking hard on guitar and Brian Tichy keeping a thunderous beat behind the kit. Jimmy Bain and Rowan Robertson rounded out the rendition of 'I.' Next up came a blistering version of 'Stargazer' that found Orlando and Craig Goldy riffing hard off of each other's licks, Logan and Tim "Ripper" Owens trading vocals and Bjorn Englen, Simon Wright and Scott Warren electrifying the audience.
Halestorm came next on the performance lineup, with Lzzy Hale speaking about the respect the band had for Ronnie before launching into their 'This Is Your Life' cover version of 'Straight Through the Heart.' The electrifying performance showcased Hale's vocals, while her brother Arejay unleashed some serious fury behind the kit. The band took the rocking in the room to a new level and were greeted with one of the biggest responses of the night.
A Corey Taylor led-lineup featuring his Stone Sour pals Christian Martucci, Jason Christopher and Roy Mayorga as well as Anthrax's Scott Ian brought the house down with their take on 'Rainbow in the Dark,' and they later welcomed Duff McKagan to join in for 'Neon Knights.' Taylor told the audience, "I'm no Ronnie James Dio, but I'm gonna give you everything I've got," as he rocked the house, including Wendy Dio who could be seen visibly rocking from one of the tables at the event.
The night's final performance was 'Stand Up and Shout' featuring a majority of those who had played earlier in the evening. Hale, Taylor, Logan and Owens could be seen trading vocals. Roy Mayorga was behind the kit with Brian Tichy grabbing a drumstick to play from the side. Drummer Arejay Hale grabbed a mic to sign along and everyone was enjoying the anthemic finale.
The other part of the evening was the awards that were given out between performances. Honorees included Rhino President Kevin Gore, music producer Greg Fidelman, 'Monsters of Rock' Cruise producer Larry Morand and ESP Artist Relations managers Tim Carhart as well as the "Metal God" himself, Rob Halford. The Judas Priest frontman used the stage to thank those involved with the organization for their continued work on cancer research. He also thanked the fans and then saved the end for recollections of Dio, stating that he continued to inspire him and was "a beacon of power and pride to the world."
Check out our photo gallery from the 3rd Annual Ronnie James Dio Awards red carpet below and stay tuned for our interviews from the event.
3rd Annual Ronnie James Dio Awards Photo Gallery
Halestorm's Lzzy and Arejay Hale
Pearl Aday and Scott Ian
Brian Tichy and Oni Logan
Halestorm's Arejay Hale
Ronnie James Dio 'This Is Your Life' Guitar