The 2nd Annual RIDE FOR RONNIE Motorcycle Ride and Concert

Wendy Dio and Lita Ford at the starting line of Ride For Ronnie 2

Wendy Dio and Lita Ford at the starting line of Ride For Ronnie 2

The 2nd Annual RIDE FOR RONNIE Motorcycle Ride and Concert, Las Encinos Park, May 22, 2016

The 2nd Annual RIDE FOR RONNIE Motorcycle Ride and Concert, held on Sunday, May 22nd, raised $50,000 for the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund (www.diocancerfund.org). Some 1,000 people participated in the day’s events, including 300 motorcycle riders who made their way from Harley Davidson in Glendale to an afternoon of live entertainment at Los Encinos Park in Encino, California.

Wendy Dio, President/Co-Founder of the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund, states, “It was such a fun day, riding, listening to great bands, and feeling the love and support from everyone. Thank you to everyone for your constant outpouring of generous support in Ronnie’s honor – he must be smiling down on us.”

Wendy Dio raises the horns high backstage at Ride For Ronnie 2

Wendy Dio raises the horns high backstage at Ride For Ronnie 2

And what a sight it was, to see the many participants on motorcycles leaving Harley Davidson in Glendale after a continental breakfast.  All would make the trek to Los Encinos Park for a concert in what would be absolutely perfect Southern California weather.  The always gracious Wendy Dio welcomed the crowd to the event. And along with Dio Cancer Fund Medical Director Dr. Sandy Kapoor, Ms. Dio presented a check for $25,000 to Dr. David Wong of UCLA for his research on a saliva test for the early detection of cancer. After the presentation, it was time to wave the Dio horns high and proudly in the air, and rock out!

Doctors Of The Earth

Opening the show was a blistering set by Doctors Of The Earth, whose raging songs such as Metal Will Never Die and Hell Down Below had the early arrivals headbanging and waving those Dio horns fericously in the air.  Then the magnificent Sonia Harley took to the stage and proceeded to win over the crowd with her dynamic voice and wickedly wonderful charisma.  Highlight of Sonia’s set included the devastating Jimi Hendrix/Lemmy mashup.

Budderside

Budderside is a new collective from Los Angeles exuding a great deal of promise and potential. With an upcoming album being produced by Paul Inder Kilmister (son of Motörhead’s cultural icon, Lemmy), and the sizzling tunes to back it all up, Budderside proved at Las Encinos Park that they ARE the future of rock and roll!  Watch for their new album hitting store on July 29th!

Gabbie Rae and guitarist Sam bam Koltun

Gabbie Rae and guitarist Sam Bam Koltun

Gabbie Rae

Gabbie Rae always delivers the goods in a vast and epic way, and her performance at Ride For Ronnie 2 was stunning to behold.  In addition to her own original material, Gabbie Rae and her topnotch band unleashed a triumphant live rendering of The Last In Line – a cover that would have made RJD very proud indeed! Before the set, Gabbie’s guitarist Sam Bam Koltun made the remark about being a bit nervous about playing the song with Dio guitarist Craig Goldy now in attendance.

Closing out with the impassioned sounds of Scream, Gabbie Rae and band left a wondrous lasting impression on all!  This young lady is a tremendous talent – a rising star that is just beginning to captivate audiences all across the country.  Be sure to catch Gabbie Rae at the Hair Nation Festival on September 17th!

Dio Disciples at Ride For Ronnie 2!

Dio Disciples at Ride For Ronnie 2!

Dio Disciples

The highlight of the Ride For Ronnie Festival was the grand appearance of the one and only Dio Disciples.  On this day, we had appearances by three of the very best vocalists on the hard rock and metal scene today – Tim Ripper Owens, Oni Logan from Lynch Mob, and Joe Retta of Heaven and Earth.  Also included in this staggering all-star lineup are guitarist Craig Goldy (Dio), bassist Bjorn Englen (Yngwie Malmsteen), keyboardist Scott Warren (Dio, Heaven & Hell), and drummer Simon Wright (Dio, AC/DC, UFO). In addition to the mighty Dio and Black Sabbath classics, Dio Disciples also premiered a few new songs, including You’re A Superstar and World Of War.  Closing out with all three vocalists on a mesmerizing collaboration of Rainbow In The Dark, one could feel the vibrant memory of Ronnie James Dio being celebrated in full force!  An absolutely amazing performance!

Lita Ford at Ride For Ronnie 2!

Lita Ford at Ride For Ronnie 2!

Lita Ford

The legendary Lita Ford and band made the trek out to Ride For Ronnie 2, and ripped it all to shreds with a loud and rambunctious set of tunes.  It’s always a wicked pleasure to hear Cherry Bomb live and Ms. Ford’s fiery cover of The Bitch Is Back would surely have the official seal of approval of Sir Elton John himself!  In remembrance of another fallen rock hero to cancer, Lita Ford unveiled Can’t Catch Me – a song she co-wrote with the one and only Lemmy Kilmister.  Another highlight of the set was an explosive cover of the Ozzy song Close My Eyes Forever, which featured Lita’s dynamic guitarist Patrick Kennison on co-vocals.  And the entire park erupted into a massively singalong when Lita Ford and band closed out with their hit single Kiss Me Deadly.  Lita Ford’s latest magnum opus Time Capsule is now available from SPV Records.

Great White

Closing out the event on a rip roaring note was Great White, who transfixed the crowd with a collection of songs from a vast and brilliant career.  Even after all of these years, Great White remains a mighty hard rocking force to be reckoned with.  What a fantastic conclusion to a memorable day in the park, celebrating the life of Ronnie James Dio!  Here’s looking forward to Ride For Ronnie 3 in 2017!

(Review by Ken Morton – Photos by Jack Lue)

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