Throwback Thursday: Dio’s “Rainbow in the Dark” Live at Wacken 2004


At this point, you’re probably well aware of the esteem we hold for the late Ronnie James Dio here at Nine Circles. I could spend hours, even days, going over everything he has done for our favorite genre of music…and our lives. So, as this week begins to wind down and we approach Market Square Day here in my beloved hometown, I’m going to use this week’s #TBT as yet another opportunity to revisit Portsmouth’s favorite son…

First… a little background. For those unaware, Dio was born in Portsmouth—you know, that small city on the coast of New Hampshire that I very proudly call my home. I talk about Portsmouth all the time, but this coming Saturday is one of the greatest days the city sees on an annual basis: Market Square Day. Started in 1978, the event is basically a city-wide street fair… but only on the surface. 80,000-plus tourists—a massive number for our quaint city—visit each year on this day to, well…party. For us locals, it tends to get even weirder. So yes, this Throwback pays tribute to Dio. But it also pays tribute to Portsmouth as we approach Market Square Day once more.

But what about the video? It goes without saying that “Rainbow in the Dark” is one of Dio’s more popular hits, especially here. Yes, I could have used the more obvious “Holy Diver”. But when your blog names a series of posts after a song’s title? Hard to think twice there. But even more than that, this is also another chance for me to gush over an experience at Wacken:

I’ve talked about this before, but the first night I was there last year, I had the honor of watching some of the best past Wacken performances of all time on a big screen in the movie field. Dio was one of them. And let me tell you, seeing tens of thousands of strangers standing and singing to “Rainbows in the Dark” on TV with the sun setting on day one of Wacken Open Air 2014 will leave a mark in your memory. Seeing that many people react that strongly to a decade-old performance that they could easily stream at home on fucking YouTube? Unreal. So, without further delay, I give you Portsmouth’s own Ronnie James Dio:

“Ein Bier… bitte.”

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