The spirit of Ronnie James Dio loomed large over Syracuse, New York’s Lost Horizon on Saturday night as more than two-dozen musicians gathered to pay tribute to the late legend. Held just two days shy of the first anniversary of Dio‘s passing, “Lock Up the Wolves” featured such area artists as co-organizer Terry LeRoi and his band TITANIUM BLACK performing classics from throughout Dio‘s five-decade career, including ELF‘s “Hoochie Koochie Lady”, BLACK SABBATH‘s “Heaven And Hell” and DIO‘s “Holy Diver”.
“The evening went off without a hitch,” smiled LeRoi the following day. “The energy was consistent throughout the two and a half-hour show. But the highlight for me was walking out on stage and seeing a full house. Lost Horizon had not hosted that large of a crowd in a very long time. People came for all over the area, including Dio‘s hometown of Cortland.”
The music icon, who lost his battle with stomach cancer on May 16, 2010, was a club regular during his days fronting RONNIE AND THE PROPHETS and ELF.
“The club was called The Yellow Balloon back then, but little else has changed,” explained LeRoi.
Although the show’s proceeds will benefit the Ronnie James Dio “Stand Up And Shout” Cancer Fund, the evening was about great music and paying tribute to the Central New York music scene’s most successful alumni. In addition to TITANIUM BLACK, members of MALACHAI, KANE and CAROLINE BLUE and SALT CITY JAZZ COLLECTIVE were among the artists who stepped on stage in different configurations.
“Everyone was excited to see their favorite musician get up and do his or her thing,” said LeRoi.
The TITANIUM BLACK frontman began to realize just how special the night would be when the musicians gathered at his home to practice for the performance.
“Usually, you don’t have people applauding at a rehearsal,” he laughed. “The musicians and their friends came out to my garage to support each other. It was like a club scene.”
LeRoi is already looking forward to next tribute concert.
“I would do this again anytime,” he explained. “I love the collective nature of this event. “There is really nothing I’d change, though next time I’d love to include musicians who worked with Dio during his illustrious career. I know they’d be impressed.”