The 25 years spanning history of LIFE OF AGONY is an eventful one. There have been many ups and downs, chart-breaking records and singles, departures, splits and reunions. The last one happened in 2014 and since then, the New York Alternative veterans are quite active on the live sector.
I have never seen LIFE OF AGONY before, so I was much excited to get to see them twice or even thrice this year. Or not. Shortly before the European summer/festival tour, drummer Sal Abruscato broke his collarbone, what let to festival cancellations and tour postponement.
So, 6 months later here we are at the re-scheduled dates :). Finally. At least one show this year and my LOA debut. And the :: Zeche Bochum :: was completely sold out.
:: pics :: SECOND FUNCTION ::
The evening was kicked off on time by Swiss rockers :: SECOND FUNCTION ::, who tour with LOA for the third time now, a fact that made them visibly proud as much as they enjoyed to share stage with them.
SECOND FUNCTION were brimming of energy and played with much delight and enthusiasm. It was just the audience that was less susceptible as the response was calm. Ok, with LOA headlining it is surely a difficult task. Besides, the band’s Alternative Rock could have been played with a bit more punch and power. However, SECOND FUNCTION presented their brand new EP Feed Yourself, which was released in August. Additional songs came from the band’s sophomore Dry, Crisp & Bittersweet. To gain more attention, SECOND FUNCTION offered mentioned EP for free for the first 10 attendees at the merch and later took much time to talk to the people and to spread stickers and flyers. Yes, this band was committed from root to tip.
Setlist: Falling Down, The Other Side, Navigation Road, Slaves To The Sea, Spotlight, Shame On The Gods
:: pics :: PYOGENESIS ::
Also :: PYOGENESIS :: can look back on a long and eventful history. The band started as a Death Metal act, developed to Gothic Metal, Alternative, Punk-Rock up to Power Pop. For more than 10 years the band was put on hold with an uncertain future, before PYOGENESIS decided to go on exploring new shores musically and returned with the comeback album A Century In The Curse Of Time. On this one the band sounds new and familiar at the same time. They melted their musical past and variety into one record and that’s the way they sounded live too: we got everything from death growls up to Pop-like melodies. Only the crowd was once again kind of ecstasy resistant. The spark didn’t want to jump over. Maybe PYOGENESIS played too routined and too stereotyped. Even classics such as Undead and Don't You Say Maybe couldn’t make the show a highlight and didn’t change the audiences mind either. Too bad. Here I expected more.
Setlist: The Swan King, Those Churning Seas, This Won’t Last Forever, Flesh And Hair, Undead, Lifeless, Steam Paves Its Way (The Machine), Don't You Say Maybe
:: pics :: LIFE OF AGONY ::
During the change-over it got quickly clear, for whom the fans were here for: :: LIFE OF AGONY ::! Everybody poured into the hall and pushed close to the stage. At the end it was so packed and crowded that not even a mouse could have passed. And now the crowd demonstrated how a storm of enthusiasm looks like.
As you may have noticed, LIFE OF AGONY signed a deal with Napalm Records and announced a new album, entitled A Place Where There's No More Pain, for 2017. They already played one song from this one, Dead Speak Kindly, but it completely went down between all the classics.
The New Yorkers inexpertly kicked off with the band’s 1993 debut River Runs Red, where they played most of the songs from, and then moved forward in the band’s history. Latest at the speedy Love To Let You Down the crowd freaked out completely, created circle pits and jump spots, so that Mina Caputo afterwards spoke out to care for each other and not to hurt anyone. Every song was a smasher. Wow, what an atmosphere. It was hot, sweaty and it was electrifying. LIFE OF AGONY pretty much enjoyed the dedication and unbroken enthusiasm for the band. And there was so much love for Mina. Of course, she was in the focus. I myself was much curious how she would present herself. What a lively petite lady. Much feminine yet with quirks not so lady-like. But also bassist Alan Robert and guitarist Joey knew how to play to the gallery.
Unfortunately, the show was way too short. The 2 encores spotted on the seltlist, Bad Seed and Underground, were already played during the regular set. After a little bit more than an hour the show was over and no encore given. Well, as enthusiastic the fans were during the show as lame they were afterwards chanting for more. Hm.
And unfortunately, LIFE OF AGONY were on tour with minimal merchandise. I had a special tee in mind but they only had one kind of a male shirt to sell. Damn. Need to find what I wanted online. All in all it was a great show and I’m happy that I have finally seen LIFE OF AGONY.
Setlist: River Runs Red, This Time, Other Side Of The River, Love To Let You Down, Method Of Groove, Respect, Weeds, Lost At 22, I Regret, Dead Speak Kindly, Through And Through, My Eyes, Bad Seed, Underground