Entries tagged with: Life of Agony
bloody nose at LOA's show @ Starland Ballroom earlier this month
Stage diving is the hot topic of the week with Joyce Manor speaking out publicly against it happening at their shows. It reminded me of all the attention stage diving was getting after a kid died jumping off the stage at a Life of Agony show at L'Amour. I looked it up, and that kid was 18-year-old Christopher Mitchell, and the sad incident happened on Dec. 18, 1994, almost exactly 20 years ago. It resulted in charges (reminiscent of the Lamb of God situation), court cases, and made the NY Times. Not much has changed. Here's an excerpt from that 1996 NY Times article:
...Bands welcome it, and in some cases, have come to demand mosh pits, as an energizing form of feedback from the fans. Audiences have taken to it as a freeing physical release.Read the rest in the NY Times.
"The kids would mosh to Paul Anka right now," said John Dittmar, president of Pinnacle Entertainment, a New York booking agency. "It almost doesn't matter what band it is, the kids want to get out there and move around."
Ron Delsener, a New York concert promoter whose company handles events at arenas like the Roseland ballroom and Madison Square Garden, said that moshing is to the 1990's what jitterbugging was to the 1940's. "Moshing is getting out your stress and tensions," Mr. Delsener said. "America is pretty wild these days. Now it is not only, 'I touch you,' but 'I push you.' "
Victims of moshing are increasingly seeking damages for their injuries. According to Entertainment Insurance Agency, which specializes in insurance for performing artists, concert venues and promoters, claims are about six times what they were 10 years ago.
"We've grown into a more litigious society," said Walter R. Howell Jr., who owns Entertainment Insurance. "A lot of these are mosh pit cases."
In the same year as Mr. Mitchell's death, two young men became quadriplegics as a result of moshing injuries, according to Crowd Management Strategies, and the Woodstock concert accounted for 7,000 injuries alone.
"It ranges from chaos with etiquette where the physical contact is light, to literally a raging brawl, where there are people in the pits who come to hurt people or to sexually assault women," Mr. Wertheimer said.
Those involved in the production of concerts, however, say security is usually good and that incidents associated with moshing are the exception, not the rule.
"Maybe you'll have a broken bone or two every now and then, but the real serious injuries that you see a lot of press on is not what is happening on a day-to-day basis," said Mr. Dittmar, the booking agent, whose clients include the Spin Doctors and White Zombie. "Is it a little bit more aggressive these days? Yes, but everything is more aggressive."
Life of Agony were never the same after they witnessed someone die at one of their shows (how are Miss May I and the family of Alberto Scott doing?). LOA singer Keith Caputo (now Mina Caputo) was/is always warning the crowd to be extra careful, including at their most recent gig which was a sold out, packed house at Starland Ballroom in NJ earlier this month. Despite the warnings though, not everyone walked out of the 2014 show unscathed. The girl in the picture above suffered a bloody nose, and one dude left with blood running down his face. Neither seemed upset though, and Mina later posted: "Girl breaks nose at gig last night, Boy splits his head! Sending U both love. i Feel terrible about it! Obviously last night was incredibly amazing! Dangerous & Inspiring #LIFEOFAGONY pits R like fuckn war zones, but ironically full of love. Unreal." Love was in the air (as was bassist Alan Roberts who closed the show as usual by riding for a bit on top of the crowd).
Since our last post about bands speaking out against stagediving, others have joined in the conversation too, like The Hotelier, whose singer Christian Holden told AltPress:
I hate stage diving both as a listener and performer. When I'm playing, I don't care about the spectacle of the "wild crowd" and more so just find myself worrying if the people up front are getting kicked in the face, if the smaller folks are getting crushed and if someone is going to trip on my cable and rip the head off my bass cab or step on our pedal boards. My energy onstage correlates to the energy in the crowd, and when I see that someone is annoyed because he or she is getting crushed, it bums me out. I'd rather see peeps in the crowd yell at a stage diver or let the person fall on his or her face. There is more power in small or shy people speaking for themselves and affirming themselves in the spaces they occupy.Andrew W.K. (who almost got sued for stagediving) and Dan Ozzi of Noisey "give you in the ins and outs on how to successfully stage dive and how to take part in a mosh pit", in the recent CoS video below...
Against Me! put out six studio albums in the past 12 years, and arguably just keep getting better. Brooklyn's Life of Agony put out classic metalcore album "River Runs Red" in 1993, two more albums before 1998, and then just continued to reunite every so often without new material, not counting their short-lived attempt at a comeback with their mostly-ignored new album on Epic in 2005. Nobody should be surprised then that Against Me! frontman Tom Gabel's transformation to Laura Jane Grace received tons of attention, while LOA's Keith Caputo's transformation to Mina Caputo received much less (it was cool of Laura to have Mina open some shows for her though).
I think most Life of Agony fans thought LOA was finished for good. They already aren't an active band, and it's just hard to imagine Mina Caputo fronting LOA at this point. Maybe Against Me!'s success at making it work inspired them though, because earlier this year LOA announced they would return to the stage with Mina to play some European festivals (they were always bigger in Europe), and now a local show is officially happening too...
Life of Agony will play Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, NJ on Saturday, September 13th. Tickets on sale Friday, July 18th at noon.
All dates are listed below...
photos by Lukas Hodge
Laura Jane Grace @ Knitting Factory - 8/15/13
The tour first hit NYC last night (8/15) for a sold out show at Knitting Factory Brooklyn. Both last night's show and tonight's show were/are being opened by another transgender punk singer, Mina Caputo (formerly Keith Caputo of Life of Agony), and Allison Weiss. Pictures and a video from last night's show are in this post.
To preview the new Against Me! album and this tour, the band released a two-track free EP on their website. It's no longer available to download, but take a listen to the powerful closing track, "True Trans Soul Rebel," along with more pictures and the video from the Knitting Factory show, below...
Against Me! singer Tom Gabel reveals plans to begin living as a woman in the new issue of Rolling Stone. Gabel, who has dealt privately with gender dysphoria for years, will soon begin the process of transition, by taking hormones and undergoing electrolysis treatments.Against Me! will soon hit the road with The Cult and hit Terminal 5 in NYC along the way.
Gabel will eventually take the name Laura Jane Grace, and will remain married to her wife Heather. "For me, the most terrifying thing about this was how she would accept the news," says Gabel. "But she's been super-amazing and understanding."
Chuck Ragan's band Hot Water Music has some shows coming up and a new album.
today in NYC
* Stef Eye @ The Stone
* Matt Munisteri @ Barbes
* Miya Masaoka @ The Stone
* Grupo Los Santos @ Barbes
* Questlove @ Brooklyn Bowl
* Gene Ween @ Mexicali Live (NJ)
* Sofia Coppola @ Apple Store SoHo
* Fran Healy, Foley @ Bowery Ballroom
* Dirty Dozen Brass Band @ Brooklyn Bowl
* Ronnie Spector @ the Strand Theatre (NJ)
* Florence and the Machine Live on Letterman
* AwShockKiss, Make Out @ Mercury Lounge
* The Hundred in the Hands @ Death By Audio
* Jenny Slate, Joe Mande, Matt Fitzpatrick @ Coco66
* Life of Agony, Biohazard & VOD @ Best Buy Theater
* Jen Gloeckner, Mia Riddle, M Lamar @ The Bell House
* Mammal of Paradise, Glory Girls, Peasant @ Bruar Falls
* Christmas In Balthrop, Alabama @ Lincoln Center (free)
* Jimmy McMillan of the Rent Is Too Damn High Party @ Europa
* California King, Earl Greyhound @ The Studio at Webster Hall
* Starscream, Web Dating, Doldrums, Shark?, Moon @ Shea Stadium
* Job For A Cowboy, Skeletonwitch, Misery Index @ Santos Party House
* Computer Magic, Grandchildren, Soft Reeds, The Stationary Set @ Pianos
* Dan Peck Trio, Weasel Walter, Duchampion, Cancer Dance @ Silent Barn
* MiniBoone, The Gypsy West, System Noise, Bangladeafy @ Bowery Electric
* Apollo Heights, The Archive, Sweat Hearts, Hunters & Runners @ Lit Lounge
* Keepaway, Headless Horseman, Slow Animal, The Young Maths, Phury @ Glasslands
* Ryan Hobler, Wynn Walent, Matt Singer, Great Elk, Casey Shea @ The Living Room
* Kung Fu (featuring members of Raq, Deep Banana Blackout, The Breakfast, Jazz Is Dead, Allman Brothers) @ Southpaw
* Something About Death Or Dying (member of The Gaslight Anthem), Communication Redlight, Go Falcon!, I Hate Our Freedom @ Maxwell's
Trap Them is no longer playing Santos tonight, but do have a show coming up at Cake Shop in January.
Peasant appears at Bruar Falls tonight.
Steve Mason @ Knitting Factory is cancelled.
Check out This Week In Indie for more.
Singer-songwriter Wynn Walent has spent the past year or two doing humanitarian work in places like Haiti and South America. Sometimes he comes back to visit and plays a show with friends like he is doing at Living Room tonight.
Life of Agony and VOD play Best Buy Theater tonight (with Biohazard), and Starland Ballroom in January.
A new Radio Dept video for "Never Follow Suit" is below...
photos by Tim Griffin
The band was formed in the summer of 1989 by singer Keith Caputo, bassist Alan Robert and guitarist Joey Z. After playing with several drummers, they enlisted Type O Negative drummer Sal Abruscato before recording the debut album River Runs Red (1993) after they signed to Roadrunner Records.[Wikipedia]River Runs Red (and the demo that was out before it) was a major album for me growing up. Unlike Pixies' Doolittle (which I got into years after its original release), I remember the day River Runs Red came out. So, there was no way I was passing up the chance to see the Brooklyn band perform it in full to celebrate their 20th anniversary, even if they chose to do it in New Jersey. Why mention Doolittle? Because I saw the Pixies perform it in full just five days earlier.
I arrived at Starland Ballroom in Sayreville around 9pm on Saturday night (11/28). That meant sitting through two of the four local openers which was good because it gave me time to talk to friends. The show sold out in advance and the place was packed. Shaved/bald heads, tattoos, and muscles were in abundance. I knew it was going to get rough when LOA finally took the stage at 11:00, and that's exactly what happened as the band immediately broke into "This Time", the first track off "River Runs Red".
Starland has raised back and side areas, but the majority of the 2200-capacity room is the floor area and the pit broke out from the front to the back. There wasn't any stagediving (the occasional crowd surfer), but you did need to watch out for fists and 400 pound shirtless men occasionally barreling towards you. Fists were also constantly in the air and everyone knew all the words.
Without much stage banter, the band played the entire album. They were full of energy and completely on point, Keith's vocals included. They even played the taped skits that happen at the beginning, middle and end of the concept album ("Monday", "Thursday" and "Friday").
Produced by Type O Negative keyboardist Josh Silver, River Runs Red was the work of songwriter Alan Roberts (bass/backing vocals/lyrics), Keith Caputo (vocals), Joey Z (guitar) and Sal Abruscato (drums), four kids from Brooklyn with the kind of personal lives that make you wonder how they even got out of bed in the morning, much less made one of the most definitive underground records of the early '90s. But who'd have guessed they were total Floyd nerds? For a band that was ostensibly associated with the NYC hardcore scene, Life of Agony weren't really much of a hardcore band. Keith Caputo is an actual singer with an impossibly mighty voice; Joey Z's full-metal solos are straight from the Kirk Hammett school of amphetamine-shred, and Alan Roberts wrote the kind of hard-knock concept record--at age 20--that most 30-year-old prog-rock dorks couldn't dream up in their most vivid Jim Carroll fantasy-headaches. [Decibel Hall of Fame]After River Runs Red they left the stage for a bit and came back to finish off the night with six songs from their later albums. Unfortunately those six songs felt like a downer after the first part of the show. The energy in the room lowered - I even walked to the front with minimal fear of getting a broken nose.
They started the encores with "Other Side of the River" off 1995's Ugly which, as the title of the song even suggests, was a good segue into the later material. Then came two sort-of-blah songs off 2005's post-reunion, major-label-attempt-at-being-a-band-again Broken Valley. Keith dedicated one of those, "The Day He Died", to his parents (RIP) (I was hoping to hear the similarly themed "Time to Pretend").
They closed the whole show with "Lost at 22" (or "Lost at 35" as Keith changed the lyrics to at least once in the song) , but not until after a slight interruption from family and friends. There was a cake on stage, "20 girls from the audience" (I think they were even embarrassed), champagne, and a bunch of speeches.
They're not performing the album again (that I know of), but you can catch LOA at Highline Ballroom in NYC on December 15th. More pictures and the full NJ setlist below...
Life of Agony now have two shows on their schedule. In addition to the Thanksgiving weekend gig in NJ where they'll be performing "River Runs Red" in its entirety, they've added a December 15th show at Highline Ballroom in NYC. No gimmicks advertised for the new one, though it would be nice if they played the album there too. Tickets for the NYC show are on sale (and for the NJ show still too).
Life of Agony will headline the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville NJ on Sat. Nov. 28th!. This will be a very special show as the band will perform their entire debut album, River Runs Red! More details soon...Tickets are on sale!
Type O Negative also has a show coming up at Starland (and one in NYC too)
Paul F Tompkins @ Nokia Theatre (more by Chris La Putt)
today in NYC
* Wu-Tang Clan @ Starland Ballroom
* Yo La Tengo & Oneida @ Maxwell's
* Biohazard & LOA @ Crazy Donkey (flyer below)
* Matisyahu & The Crystal Method @ Webster Hall
* Heavy Winged, Hell's Hills & Talibam! @ Union Pool
John Spence, a founding member of No Doubt, died today in 1987.
Paul F Tompkins is the comedians opening for Yo La Tengo tonight. Oneida is the band.
W-Tang Clan play Hammerstein Ballroom Tuesday.
by Black Bubblegum
Brooklyn's own Life of Agony have dropped off a gift just in time for the holidays... a pair of NYC area shows! Tickets are on sale for Dec 13th at Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, NJ (here) and Dec 14th at the The Blender Theater in NYC (here). The Blender show will keep it family, with Spoiler NYC (featuring Alan Robert of L.O.A.) and My Mortality (featuring Sal Abruscato of L.O.A./Type O Negative) serving as appetizers. Keith Caputo (vocals) has been busy on the solo tip as well... currently promoting his latest record, A Fondness for Hometown Scars and the tour-only release Dass-Berdache, a collection of rarities and demos.
Speaking of NY hardcore-like/metal-like bands, Vision of Disorder have announced that in addition to that previously mentioned Dead In New York live DVD and their lone show at Irving Plaza (tickets are still available), the band is currently working on NEW material for a summer/ fall 2009 release and on the hunt for a new label.
LOA's Keith Caputo recently played a now rare solo show at Mercury Lounge in NYC. Although he played no LOA material, Alan Robert did join him on stage for a second. A video interview with Alan and Joey Z, and those dates below...
"Reunited New York metallers LIFE OF AGONY have parted ways with Epic Records after releasing only one album through the label, informed sources have revealed to BLABBERMOUTH.NET....'Broken Valley' has sold 27,000 copies in the United States so far, according to Nielsen SoundScan."
COREY TAYLOR & KEITH CAPUTO @ NOKIA THEATRE
I missed the Roadrunner 25th Anniversary show at Nokia Theatre a few weeks ago. Billboard reviewed it. They said the Roadrunner house band played "music from Biohazard (whose Evan Seinfeld joined for 'Punishment'), Madball (with show host and Hatebreed frontman Jamey Jasta singing 'Set It Off') and Life Of Agony (featuring singer Keith Caputo revisiting 'River Runs Red')." One more thing I wished I could of seen was "the sole acoustic number" sung by Caputo and Corey Taylor (Slipknot). Metal Injection has a ton of pictures.
Stylus Magazine, not afraid of metal, gave the recent Roadrunner 25th CD a B+.
BONUS: Roadrunner Records staff and bands list their top albums of 2005.
Life of Agony played another sold out show at Maxwell's in Hoboken, NJ last night (June 16th, 2005). I would of loved to have been there, but I wasn't. JP was there though, and he sent me these photos.
The first time I saw Life of Agony (LOA), they were opening for Type O Negative at (the now closed) Lamour in Brooklyn approximately 13 years ago. Type O Negative weren't "goth" yet. Life of Agony only had a demo out (and I guess Sal was drumming for both bands).
They still have as much, if not more, energy as they did over a decade ago. They're aging better than me. Long story short, seeing LOA play (the soon to close) CBGB last night (June 14th, 2005) was awesome - guaranteed to make my list of top ten shows this year.
(It would of been more exciting had it not been the sixth time I saw them since they reunited in 2003 - Irving, Irving, Birch Hill, Birch Hill, Birch Hill, Starland Ballroom).
Johnny Kelly of Type O Negative & Danzig (and Sal's former drum tech) was at the show AND worked as Sal's drum tech. (must humble guy ever). Regulars like the girl from FUSE TV, Keith's uncle, Sal's wife, other relatives, and Rob Mastrianni from Next Tribe (Keith's solo guitarist) were also in attendance.
Quick LOA history lesson: Life of Agony (from Brooklyn) made some of the best hardcore/rock/heavy albums ever (in my opinion of course). Their singer Keith Caputo has an awesome voice. They broke up, did separate things including a solo career by Keith, and then reunited for two shows at Irving Plaza in 2003. June 2005: They're playing three special small shows in this area (CBGB tonight!) to celebrate the release of their new album (their first new material in a zillion years). Their new album has a major label K*Rocky (NY rock radio station) nu-metal overproduced sort of sound now which sux, but I can't help but still be happy to have LOA again.
Vampire Magazine says...
"It takes some time to fully grasp the beauty of "Broken Valley", but once you have grasped it, this gem keeps on growing and growing. "Broken Valley" is hard on its way to become my second favourite Life of Agony record, with, naturally, "River Runs Red" on number one."
Stream the new Life of Agony album (Broken Valley) at AOL Music where you can also stream albums by:
* Foo Fighters
* Funeral for a Friend
* Indigo Girls
* Kraftwerk (pitchfork review)
* David Meade
* Lizz Wright (if you like her, she's playing free in NYC tonight)
* Fat Joe
* Batman Begins Soundtrack
Tues 06/14/05 CBGB's New York NY
Wed 06/15/05 Downtown Farmingdale NY
Thurs 06/16/05 Maxwells Hoboken NJ
Maxwells will be nuts. Tickets are on sale.
LOA also has a new video that you can watch at their site. Those who know them will be amused at their major-label pretty-boy heavy-on-the-album-production makeover.
'LIFE OF AGONY proudly announce their signing to EPIC RECORDS. The band is very excited about being part of the EPIC family alongside labelmates AUDIOSLAVE, CHEVELLE & OZZY OSBOURNE (among many others). Ben Goldman, Senior Vice President of A&R for Epic Records, signed the group on the strength of their 4 song demo featuring songs such as "Love To Let U Down," "The Day he Died," "Justified," & "The Calm That Disturbs You." The group plans to enter the recording studio before year's end with a producer to be named shortly. A tentative release date is scheduled for early 2005.'