Dio – Finding The Sacred Heart – Live In Philly 86 DVD Review

What made Ronnie so endearing was how humanly kind he was to his fans and you get that mood from his interviews on the extra features of this DVD,...


Released by: Eagle Rock Ent

Release Date: Out Now!!!

Genre: Heavy Metal

Links: Eagle-Rock.com


Line Up:

Ronnie James Dio – Vocals

Jimmy Bain – Bass

Vinny Appice – Drums

Craig Goldy – Guitar

Claude Schnell – Keyboards



01. Draco Ignis

02. King Of Rock And Roll

03. Like The Beat Of A Heart

04. Don’t Talk To Strangers

05. Hungry For Heaven

06. Medley: ‘The Last In Line / Children Of The Sea / Holy Diver / The Last In Line (reprise)

07. Drum Solo

08. Heaven And Hell

09. Keyboard Solo

10. Guitar Solo

11. Sacred Heart

12. Medley: Rock ‘n’ Roll Children / Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll / Man On The Silver Mountain / Rock ‘n’ Roll Children (reprise)

13. Time To Burn

14. Stand Up And Shout

15. Rainbow In The Dark

16. We Rock


Bonus features include:


* “Sacred Heart Tour” Featurette

* Interview ’86

* Interview with Ronnie & Craig

* “Rock ‘n’ Roll Children” music video

* Behind The Scenes


There’s been a few great DIO packages that have come out in the last couple of years since Ronnie’s passing, some through Eagle Rock and the others by Niji Ent, I can recall the Heaven and Hell set Neon Nights: 30 Years of Heaven & Hell which was a great DVD and also the Dio Live at Donington which was vintage Ronnie in his prime. But until now the Dio Holy Diver DVD was the best live package representing Ronnie and his band in full metal glory, that is until this new edited and restored concert from the archives of 1986 where DIO and his band hit the road on this vintage metal masterpiece filmed on the Sacred Heart” tour in 1986 at the Spectrum in Philadelphia; proving that Ronnie was one of a kind metal icon and displaying the DIO band at it’s strongest peak. “The show was issued an edited form first on VHS and then DVD. Now for the first time the full concert is being released in the original running order, restored from the original 16mm film and with remastered sound.”

This tour had some interesting caveats, one which included the addition of new guitar player Craig Goldy to the mix, one which some fans had a hard time accepting as he came in replacing the exodus of Vivian Campbell. This trek featured the band’s taking on a huge and to this day their biggest live stage setup which was lead by a giant animatronic dragon towering over the stage as well as an elaborate castle reconstructed to fit the theme of the band’s music, alongside swords and dragons the visual display of lasers added an epicness of flurry to the majestic live setting.

Give credit to Eagle Rock Ent again doing a worthy job of restoring the sound of this live environment as well as the video restoration, something not easily achieved even with great left over footage from VHS. The line up featured here includes the great Jimmy Bain on bass, Claude Schnell on the keys as well as Vinny Appice mastering the drums, alongside the above mentioned Goldy on the axe and DIO himself on vocals.

The start of the set waits no time as it kicks into high gear with the first track “King of Rock and Roll” and third single released from Dio’s 1985 LP, Sacred Heart and it empowers the band’s sound with a natural appeal. Is not until you see Goldy being thrown into the fire pit as he tries he’s best interpretation of Campbell on “Don’t Talk To Strangers”, an admirable job though as he does more the hold his own, even the band admitted that they had to change some solos around for the tour to accommodate Goldy’s style of guitar playing to the older songs as both guitar players had their own colorful contrast in their playing. Admittedly Craig states that the fans eventually warmed up to his playing and welcomed him with open arms, once he proved it live. The medley of ‘The Last In Line / Children Of The Sea / Holy Diver is particularly great as all parties just rip it live with cunning infractions of melody and power, and Ronnie just puts he’s heart and soul into it. The classic “Heaven and Hell” always a staple of DIO, just shines profoundly as the lighting portion of the show is terrific here, the improvisation is always on key on this iconic metal staple. Interesting tune as “Time to Burn” makes an appearance, this one was the bands introduction to Goldy as they wanted something to represent the new lineup, so they recorded “Time to Burn” with him, and it was added to the live album “Intermission”. A nice rare tune from the peak DIO years.

Finally the set ends with the fan favorite “Rainbow in the Dark” and “We Rock” to close the night with a bang. The lighting, the giant dragon, the laser antics by Ronnie and the whole atmosphere of this live DVD just makes you really want to be there, for someone like me who wasn’t old enough to have seen it live then, there is no doubt in my mind that if I was of age in 86, I would spent anything to go watch this gig. As Ronnie says countless amount of times, you have to put on a great show for all those kids that spent money, make it worthwhile for them, and this tour was not only the biggest stage production, but it was the tightest the DIO band has ever sounded at their peak of Heavy Metal greatness. And what is there to say about Dio’s legendary voice? Nothing that hasn’t already been said more eloquently from others before me; because he graced the stage with his trademark devil horns and live charisma,  leaving this faithful reviewer longing more from the legendary front man.

What made Ronnie so endearing was how humanly kind he was to his fans and you get that mood from his interviews on the extra features of this DVD, when he’s talking about how he never balked in his music style and why through the years he never changed sound too much, to please the fans, because he knew this may enrage some of the loyal fan base. See bands like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, DIO and so on and on just get it. Is not always about progression but about keeping the steam rolling, the everlasting mystique of the music alive and well, even if it includes staying true to your sound, something many bands now a days don’t have or don’t seem to understand. And you forget about the live show? Yes anybody can go and electronically drop a riff, but can you do it live? Can you deliver the goods live? Ronnie always did, so did the talented band mates and that is why this old school performance is a MUST HAVE for anybody who calls themselves fans of Metal. This is not just a collectible package for DIO fans, but a key note in time that captures the performance of one of Rock’s gods.


“And find the Sacred Heart

Somewhere bleeding in the night

Run for the light

And you’ll find the Sacred Heart”


Written by Denys

Ratings    Denys    9/10

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Photo Credit: Josh Trotter

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