Why this band isn't called BLACK SABBATH completely escapes me. I suppose people will say it's to avoid people buying concert tickets and turning up to see OZZY with his old band - but is anyone really that stupid? Dio, Iommi, Butler, Appice is not THE classic Sabbath line-up, but it certainly is A classic Sabbath line-up. This band was together back in 1980, touring the classic album 'Heaven and Hell' and their announcement of a worldwide reunion tour this year sparked great excitement in the world of rock and metal.
Recorded early on in the tour, 'Live at Radio City Music Hall' does exactly what is says on the tin! This is a full HEAVEN & HELL, sold out show from the legendary venue in downtown Manhattan, New York, captured on DVD and double CD. For Dio-era Sabbath fans, this release is an absolutely essential purchase. The video editing is excellent, with just the right amount of cuts and angles. As for the sound, it's also superb, thus making the CD worthwhile to enjoy the concert experience on the move.
As you'd expect, the setlist is made up of purely Dio-era Sabbath - with the best songs from 'Heaven and Hell', 'Mob Rules' and 'Dehumanizer' (although where's 'Time Machine'?). There's also the 3 brand new songs from the new 'Dio Years' collection, released in the summer. There are only two moments in the show where you can go and make a cuppa. There's the obligatory drum solo (zzzzzzzzz) and then the 45 minute version of 'Heaven and Hell' - OK, I'm exaggerrating, but the live version of the song doesn't half drag on!
As for the band's performance, Ronnie James Dio's voice is starting to show it's age, but he does sound better here than on his last live release, 2005's 'Holy Diver Live' (as DIO). Tony Iommi's plastic tipped fingers are still going strong, as he churns out his masterful riffs and terrific, blues influenced solos. As for Geezer Butler and Vinnie Appice, well, it would be harder to find a more reliable rhythm section.
In terms of DVD extras, there's plenty, including lots of interesting band interviews and a good insight behind the scenes of a HEAVEN & HELL show. Certainly, well worth a watch. Overall, this is a great package and fantastic document of a very important piece of BLACK SABBATH history. If this doesn't wet your appetite for the UK tour in November, then nothing will!