I have been to the Wacken Open Air metal festival 11 times, and people sometimes ask me, “What’s the best metal performance you ever saw there?” It is the one in the video above, captured live in August 2004, of Ronnie James Dio singing “Rainbow in the Dark.” You can’t see me (of course), but I was in the crowd somewhere.

This performance captures not only the essence of Dio’s power and genius, but also the electric feeling of being at Wacken itself. It was almost indescribable–incredibly cool, full of friendship, power, awesome music, and good times.

Dio left us on May 16, 2010. He was taken from us far too soon. Thankfully his recordings like the one above remain behind as a testament to what an amazing entertainer he was. This one is a must for all metal fans!