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Singing Dio's Praises

October 13, 1990

I vehemently must attack Jim Washburn's criticism of the Dio concert (Calendar, Sept. 26).

Washburn's negative, anti-heavy metal mind-set makes me wonder what criterion The Times uses to hire hard-rock music reviewers.

Dio's singing has never been better. He was commanding, elegant, captivating, (with) a stage presence unequaled by any performance I have seen anywhere (from Bolshoi ballet to Bowie). His diction was sharp as he sang songs that embraced love, betrayal or the ambiguous undercurrents of a mystical world.

Dio has assembled talented musicians and stage designers to produce a stellar show molded around the general theme of his albums complete with a simple but sinister set, a fusillade of colored lights and, of course, a few clots of gelignite-type flashes. It was fun to see Jens Johansson play Bach on a keyboard suspended by cables that shot out smoke and an explosion as it was hauled up and away.

A great show. Great entertainment. Heavy metal will change and continue to slide surreptitiously into our society, movies, TV commercials. And I think it is time for critics to search out the better bands, read the lyrics and brave those clangorous chords, those whorls of cataclysmic angular sounds. Hold tight and educate yourselves. Listen to Dio, Iron Maiden, Scorpions, Metallica, Queensryche, Def Leppard and such.

There is more beer and violence at a baseball game.

KENT METHMANN

Carpinteria

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