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Arriving at the venue twenty min after eight… The Silent Rage are already on stage, bolstering power and Metal, playing the first song off their set. I’m moving towards the stage. Sound is not the best and I blame the sound technicians for that, however, don’t you think it would be better to talk about the boys instead? The band is filled with passion, filled with tension and enthusiasm;

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Kiss released “Monster” in 2012, an album that rightfully pleased their fans a lot! So, it was about time they were coming back to Europe after 3 years and their “Sonic Boom Over Europe” tour in 2010.

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For the first time ever, HiRock Festival took place in Germany on June 1 & 2, 2013 – not in just one location, but two venues that were several hundred kilometers apart. The "Who is Who" of 80s melodic rock was scheduled to play in the Loreley amphitheater in the Rhine River valley as well as an indoor venue in Inzell, Bavaria. The bands who played one venue Saturday were scheduled in the other on Sunday - and vice versa.

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It was one of those nights that history was in the making. Only with the participation of 50 something singers as Rock’n’Roll Children’s guests to pay the ultimate tribute to our loved one Dio was something that was never done before. The cause was noble, because the funds raised from this special concert were going in favor of the “Kivotos Tou Kosmou” foundation which takes care of maltreated children. Even that was done in the spirit of the greatest singer of them all who had founded an institution for children himself.


As for… Rock’n’Roll Children they were at the top of their game with a marathon tribute of 40 songs that lasted more than 4 hours with all Dio classics, either from his solo, Rainbow, or Sabbath career along with some “rarities” that made the whole thing even more interesting. Because, certainly epics like “Mob Rules”, “Man On The Silver Mountain” and so on had to be played, but on the other hand great songs are not just the classic ones, but songs like “Killing The Dragon”, “Hide In The Rainbow”, and of course “Dream On” of Aerosmith that was sometime covered by Ronnie and Yngwie Malmsteen. My only complaint on a gargaduant setlist was the superb ballad “As Long As It’s Not About Love” that the band played only as an intro.


Of course, an article on such an event could not be a review, given the whole atmosphere, the cause and the amazing participation of Greek singers that took the mic to sing. However, a general comment like “they all gave their best” would be unfair to those that stand out in the hearts and minds of everyone who was there that night. Because, I am sure that for everyone who attended the show was impressed by something different.


So, in my case I will not forget –at least until next year-Chaostar’s  Adroniki Skoula crying after delivering an amazing performance of “Rainbow Eyes” with Iliana Tsakiraki accompanied by vioin and flute that gave the entire venue goose bumps… Victor Anastasopoulos amazing performance on “Voodoo” that he had to sing alone at the last minute, but of course he didn’t have the slightest problem with that… the very tight stage act by Iraklis Zotos and Dionysis Kontis on the “Like The Beat Of A Heart/Night People” medley… 12year old Phoebus Dokus’ daughter that got on stage to sing “Self Portrait” with her dad and Nektarios Poulakos… the breath taking performance of Yiannis Papadimitriou on “Falling Of The Edge Of The World” that in the intro sounded exactly like Dio… the  16year old Raphael Kritoulis that sung “Neon Nights” with Michalis Livas and of course the five Rock’n’Roll Children, Yiannis Papanikolaou, Manolis Tsigos, Yiannis Tsimas, Nikos Anastasiadis, and George Georgiou for their superhuman effort to put this thing together, and play all that material from different Dio eras. Because, it might not be easy to sing like Dio, but then again it’s not easy to play like Blackmore and Iommi, like Cozy Powell and Vinnie Appice, like Jimmy Bain and Geezer Butler, like Tony Carey and Geoff Nichols, on the same night for four hours. I am curious what they will think to leave us speechless again next year!


Congratulations to Rock’n’Roll Children, and all the guests who honoured the whole attempt in their unique way, packed the venue and offered their valuable help serving Rock’n’Dio 2013 noble cause…


Yiannis Dolas


More photos here


Setlist


Children Of The Sea - Giannhs Papanikolaou
Breathless - Giannhs Papanikolaou
Man On The Silver Mountain - Leuterhs Pletshs (War Dance) / Kwstas Kounadinhs (Anorimoi)
One Night In The City - Giwrgos Drimulhs (Heart Attack) / Bill Colin (Total Starlight)
The Last In Line - Fwfh Roussou (4Bitten) / 8odwrhs Gourlomaths (Ex-Bloodstained)
Egypt - Panagiwths Papagewriou (Parthian Shot)/ Nikos Roussakhs (Guardian Angel)
Voodoo - Viktwras Anastasopoulos  (Maidenance)
Stargazer - Giwrgos Eikosipentakhs (Innerwish) / Straths Steele (Endomain)
Lady Of The Lake - Eua Sakellarh (Bad Apples) / Natasa Mpasta (Aima Starr, Noya)
Mistreated - Mixalhs Dandoulakhs (Remember Lizzy, Saints & Sinners) / Tasos Iwannidhs (Ex-Phase Reverse)
Self Portrait - Foivos Ntokos / Mikaela Ntokou / Nektarios Poulakos (Keado Mores)
Like The Beat Of A Heart + Night People - Dionushs Konths / Hraklhs Zwtos (Roll The Dice)
Still I'm Sad - Giwrgos Stauropoulos (Strikelight) / Giannhs Papanikolaou
As Long As It's Not About Love (intr) / Mob Rules - Kwstas Tokas (Power Crue) / John Soti (In Phaze)
Holy Diver - Aggelos Iwannidhs (Sorrow's Path) / Nikos Tragakhs
Evil Eyes - Giwrgos Aspiwths (Spitfire) / Nikos Surakos (Steamroller Assault)
Temple Of The King - Viku Arxontoulh (Remember Lizzy, VHS) / Antri Lagiou (Andry & The Harps)
Naked In The Rain - Dhmhtrhs 8eodwrou (Illusory) / Stergos Volas (Big Ballz)
A Light In Black - Giannhs Papanikolaou
Neon Knights - Rafahl Kritoulhs (Reptile) / Mixalhs Livas (Crusade Of Steel)
Rainbow In The Dark - Petros Karalhs (False Metal) / Giannhs Kaluvas (Flying Mercury, Reign Star)
Falling Off The Edge Of The World - Giannhs Papadhmhtriou (Dark Nightmare)
Tarot Woman - Billy Vass (Terra Incognita) / Xrhstos Katsireas (Insomnia)
All The Fools Sailed Away - Giannhs Papanikolaou / Xristianna Xatzhmixalh (Elysion)
Gates Of Babylon - Manos Fatshs (Dark Nova, Bad Case, M2) / Marios Karanastashs (The Silent Wedding)
Rainbow Eyes  - Andronikh Skoula (Chaostar) / Iliana Tsakirakh (Solo Artist, Ex-Meden Agan)
Sunset Superman - Giannhs Papanikolaou
Sixteenth Century Greensleeves - Alikh Kwstopoulou (Ruthless Steel)/ Vaggelhs Krouskas (Valor)
Die Young - Nektarios Santamourhs (Tidal Dreams)/ Dhmhtrhs Giannakopoulos (Sunlight,Secret Illusion)
Dream On - Andreas Kapatahs / Mhnas Tsigkos (Danger Angel)
Shame On The Night / Hide In The Rainbow - Giannhs Papanikolaou / Giannhs Papadopoulos (Wardrum, Until Rain)
Killing The Dragon - Giannhs Papanikolaou / Nikos Surakos (Steamroller Assault)
Long Live Rock 'N' Roll - Mina Giannopoulou (The Rain I Bleed)
 / Elina Laivera (Seduce The Heaven)
We Rock - Xrhstos Kounelhs (Disharmony, Bigus Dickus, Art Of Simplicity) / Tasos Krokodeilos (X-Piral, Hybrid, Fire And Steel)
Love Is All - Giannhs Papanikolaou
Don't Talk To Strangers - Maxi Nil (Visions Of Atlantis)
Heaven And Hell - Giannhs Papanikolaou / Straths Steele (Endomain)
Stars - Giannhs Papanikolaou / Straths Steele(Endomain) / Tasos Krokodeilos (X-Piral, Hybrid, Fire And Steel)

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It’s absolutely mind blowing how time flies when you are eagerly awaiting for a specific day; a specific moment…an experience that will last forever and remember for the rest of your life! I still remember that it was November when we made all the necessary arrangements for the trip in Bulgaria in order to witness yet another Bon Jovi concert. Up came May, the 13th and we found ourselves at the Eleftherios Venizelos Airport where we met the boys and girls of the Bon Jovi Greece Fan Club.

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