Dio – Finding The Sacred Heart: Live In Philly 1986 (Review)

Dio in his spectacular 80s live prime: explosions, lasers, crystal balls, knights, heraldry and a big fucking dragon! None of that on the CD version though… but have no fear! The music is just as spectacular. The band, including new guitarist Craig Goldy, breathe fire into the new material from the under-rated Sacred Heart album: King Of Rock N’ Roll is an explosive opener; Sacred Heart and Like The Beat Of A Heart are stately magnificence; and Hungry For Heaven and Rock N’ Roll Children are fun melodic anthems. The powerful band does a great job on the older Dio tracks like We Rock, Stand Up And Shout and Rainbow In The Dark too. In particular, the version of Don’t Talk To Strangers here is goosebump city: the best version of the track I’ve ever heard. Unfortunately, some of the other Dio, Rainbow and Sabbath classics get shoehorned into medleys, which are enjoyable enough but a bit frustrating. Especially when drum, keyboard and guitar solos are allowed to drag…on(!) for 18 minutes of valuable running time. So there’s both heaven and hell here for Dio fans. If you can find the sacred skip button, you’ll discover golden renditions of your favourites and fresh excitement from some lesser-heard treasures. Buy the live DVD too… it’s got a big fucking dragon in it!

24 thoughts on “Dio – Finding The Sacred Heart: Live In Philly 1986 (Review)”

  1. Love this one, although I agree that the keyboard solo is a bit goofy, and replacing the back 20% of Heaven and Hell with a keyboard solo was a very bad idea

    Sacred Heart rocks big time though

    Liked by 2 people

  2. 18 Minutes of solos! Yikes, that’s almost 3/4’s of an old Van Halen album! haha.
    I’ve seen this one kicking about. Looks interesting but I guess DIO was pushing his solo stuff but also wanted his past to be represented so perhaps that’s why its in medley form.
    Like you said use the skip button!
    Great writeup!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s almost all of Dressed To Kill! Haha

      Yeah I get that but he could have cut out 10mins of soloing and done a couple of whole songs.

      Dio was always bad for medleys and solos though. I saw him supporting Alice Cooper and his second song was a drum solo. In a support set!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Here’s another case of fact being stranger than fiction in my life. I was actually at this concert, in Philly in June of 1986. It was an awesome concert and the dragon was out at the beginning and came out again at the end. Fantastic night!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You know, I did have a notion you were at this! Must have talked about it before. What a great show to have seen. I didn’t see him till later on but I’ve seen him about 4 times and he always delivered live. Never seen the dragon though! Boo.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. There are not enough dragons at live performances, is there? That’d be worth the admission price alone. I’d be down the front heckling the dragon while holding out some marshmallows.

    Liked by 1 person

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