I was there, front and center, for one of the reunion shows at The Birch Hill in Jersey. The show had sold out in ten minutes, but I was first in line. It was magical. If your not from here ,then it will be hard to describe, what Life Of Agony means to us. New York, New Jersey. Yeah, L.O.A. Despite a six year departure, the college radio always continued to play Life Of Agony as if they never broke up. Yeah, I saw Joey's band and Alan's a couple of times but.....well you know. I missed the original reunion shows at Irving Plaza, NY, but they didn't forget Jersey. They did five magical reunion shows between NYC and Jersey. They found out, we had not forgotten them. The Red River was running again.
I got some awesome pics from The Birch Hill show. Lost five pounds of sweat in the pit. The good ol' Birch Hill Sweatbox. I saw them again at the new Starland Ballroom. Magical, man. Magical. They had a new song. I knew then that they were staying together. Then at Jersey's Hellfest 2004. I got awesome pics from both. Right under Keith's microphone. I have my own webzine called STOMP! in which I wrote an awesome article about the magical reunion show with pics, but it's just a bunch of AOL homepages linked together and doesn't really get any attention. I'm also known as The Pit Photographer and I have a gallery in the U.K. in which I put up an album on the Hellfest show and it gets o.k. viewage, but it's not too well known. However, it gets me in alot of shows for free. It helped me for the Starland show when I contacted L.O.A.'s manager and he hooked me up with guest list and photo pass. As a matter of fact, it helps me get in lots and lots of shows for free. It helped get the attention of Harm Magazine, this most awesome, awesome site that I am now a contributing writer for. So, when I saw Life Of Agony playing The Electric Factory, I knew what my next article was going to be. However, The Electric Factory is huge, with a high stage and a large gap between the crowd and the stage. I've gotten O.K. pics there on one occasion, but....I needed a photo pass.
Life Of Agony's manager, Dan Devita, hooked me up once before, so I e-mailed him, telling him about Harm Mag,and that I wanted to do an article. Could he hook me up with guest list and photo again. Dan, Tgod cannot express in words how thankful I am for what you did for me. It was an absolute priveledge to be where I was when Life Of Agony hit the stage.
Me and my 14 year old son, who now accompanies me to mostly all shows, picked up my dear friend, Nicole, who although is twenty years younger than me, shares the same fond memories of growing up with "River Runs Red", which is a testament to the band that I just had to take her to see. We then picked up my best friend and assistant photographer, Donna, and headed for Philly. Donna had a ticket and I had guest list, but Nicole and Mike Jr. didn't and I never saw any indication on the Electric Factory site saying that the show was completely sold out. We payed over double the price to get them in. I went up to the ticket window and there was a ticket waiting for me there with a photo pass. Dan you are THE man.
They would not let any cameras in and if you got by security with one, they would take it as soon as they saw you flash it in the crowd. They took Donna's at the front door. BLOODSIMPLE was already done when we got in. Sux I missed them. They're awesome. The lights went out and American Headcharge was coming on, so me, my son and Nicole headed through the pit and got up close. We usually get split up and we did, my son testing the surfing waters, but we all usually end up in the front somewhere. I saw Nicole and pulled her over in front of me and we jammed to an awesome set by American Headcharge. Donna soon found us, pushing her way up through the pit, but I had a pass so I soon headed around the barrier after Headcharge was off. I showed the security my pass and they let me through. They told me I couldn't use a flash, so I was worried. I take all my pics with Fuji disposables, so I had to use a flash.
There was only one other photographer there. I stood there in awe looking out over the thousands deep pit and the packed balcony of The Electric Factory. As I said before, man, this was a priveledge like no other to be standing here. I decided I was going to flash. Even if they drag my butt out I'll get at least five good pics. I'm here! Fuck it!
L.O.A. chants were starting and I was chanting and screaming my head off with my arms up in the air when the lights went out. No words can describe my excitement. L.O.A. walks out and pandemonium takes over the Factory. I was jumping up and down like a madman. These guys are my idols and they were right freakin' in front of me. Alan was within arms reach and Keith hopped down on the platform below the stage right next to me on my right. I was completely insane!!! Then, Sal's cymbols...Tssss Tssss Tssss. "I got the razor at my wrist 'cause I can't resist!
Holy Freakin' Sh*T!! "River Runs Red"! I started flashin'! Nobody stopped me! I flashed and jumped around like a maniac. It was soooooooo freakin' awesome. I turned around and saw my son, incoming, atop the crowd and got an awesome pic of him surfing with horns up. Thank you, Thank you, Dan! I could only shoot for three songs, so I headed back into the pit. Luckily, I put that camera back in my pocket, cause when I started taking pics of the kids in the pit a security guy jumped me and took the camera. I showed him my pass to no avail. Dick! They kicked into the new one,"Love To Let You Down", and the circle pit went nuts and I was able to steer myself back to the front, where I found Nicole and Donna. Keith, at one point, leaned into the crowd and shook my hand. It was amazing! Once again, Life Of Agony put on a show that I can only describe as magical. They finished the show with "Underground" and Keith leaned in the crowd and put the microphone in front of my face and me and everybody kept "screaming these words, screaming these words, till every voice was heard." Unbelievable!!
When "Broken Valley" comes out, The Red River is going to flood the world!!!!!!
Oh yeah, Mudvayne was awesome too.