home Concert Review Life of Agony – Irving Plaza NY, NY – 01/03/03

Life of Agony – Irving Plaza NY, NY – 01/03/03

Wow.

Even weeks later, the Life of Agony reunion show has me virtually speechless.

Back for the first time in over five years, the Brooklyn, New York natives returned to the stage in front of a frantic sold-out crowd in New York's Irving Plaza. The original lineup of LOA, Keith Caputo, Joey Z, Alan Robert and Sal Abruscato reunited and treated everyone to what can only be called a moving, powerful experience.

Fans from across the world witnessed the guys from LOA breath life and excitement into songs that for all intents and purposes were trapped on cds when Caputo left the band back in 1998.

Playing a full set of songs across their discography, they were tight and in form, despite each member being heavily involved in new projects since LOA called it quits.

Caputo was a sight to behold, bathing in the limelight and the utter admiration from the packed house. Looking like David Lee Roth (minus the spandex) and performing like Janice Joplin, Caputo belted out track after track with a force and passion not often seen in music today.

Clad in backwards black ballcaps, Roberts and Joey Z headbanged along while putting down riffs and rhythms that had the crowd enthralled. The immense, tattooed Abruscato kept the show moving along well with his solid hardcore-based skin work.

Track Listing:
(to the best of my memory)

River Runs Red
This Time
Other Side Of The River
Hope
I Regret
Weeds
Method Of Groove
Lets Pretend* (see review)
How It Would Be
Bad Seed
My Mind Is Dangerous
Lost At 22
Tangerine
Seasons
Heroin Dreams
My Eyes
Underground
Through And Through

The only gray cloud in the show was some problems with Roberts' bass after “Method Of Groove” (about seven songs in). As he feverously worked to repair it, Caputo spoke to the fans for a while and then decided to play acoustically. Showing his prima donna side, just a few chords into “Lets Pretend” Caputo stopped playing saying how his guitar wasn't tuned and he couldn't go on. Thankfully just as he stopped, the bass was fixed, and LOA went right into “How Would It Be“.

The highlights, of which there were many, included the opener “River Runs Red“, “I Regret“, “Heroin Dreams” and the closer “Through and Through“. Before going into the aforementioned “Heroin Dreams“, Joey Z took a moment to reflect on where the band was, and how they were still mourning the loss of Caputo's father, who passed in 2002 to heroin addiction. A lone, touching, sober moment in an evening that made the band, their friends, and their fans drunk with delight.

Just for completion's sake, the opening bands were Among Theives and Shinedown. Among Theives is Roberts' current project and played a generic, unimpressive hard rock/grunge metal-ish set. Shinedown, on the other hand, were rather good. Featuring a down-tuned, southern metal sound not unlike Down, SOiL or a heavier Tantric, they played a tight, powerful short set. The crowd, who were solely focused on LOA 's return, barely responded or even paid attention to the music – their loss.

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