Kenny Hickey

Life of Agony 9/30/18 Baltimore Soundstage

Life of Agony 9/30/18 Baltimore Soundstage

For Nearly 30 fuckin years……damn, I have been a fan of Brooklyn based hardcore band Life of Agony. When I heard they were coming to my town, and then found out it was on a Friday night…OH WE ARE GOIN!I spent many of my younger years, listening to , and going to as many shows that i could when ever the band came around, well its a few years later and I sure as hell didn’t want to miss it!

The show originally was slated for Friday September 13th, the same night we were supposed to get hit with a hurricane. Just my damn luck! Luckily the tour rescheduled for the 30th…a Sunday….SUNDAY, REALLY?!?! Fuck it, I’m still there!Baltimore Soundstage here we come!

The night started off being fortunate enough to have been able to schedule a video inter with bands bass player, Alan Robert, who talked with us about being on the road, meanings behind many of the lyrics, his artwork and him doing laundry! We spoke and hung out for close to 30 minutes. My wife Steff and I had such a great time talking with him, very hospitable, genuine good person! I must also admit, having been such a huge fan of the band, i was actually a bit shaky when he first entered the room with us.

As the show got under way, local Baltimore Hardcore band End It All kicked things with a short, but very powerful set! These guys are doing a few shows in the west coast soon so show support and get your ass to see them, they are so worth it!

Next on stage, and pretty much arriving and jumping on stage due to car issues, Silvertomb. Many of you were or like me still are fans of the once great goth rock band Type O Negative. Silvertomb is comprised of guitarist from Type O Negative Kenny Hickey and drummer Johnny Kelly as well as Joseph James from Agnostic Front. I knew of the band, but sadly hadn’t actually heard their work yet. I’m here to tell ya, after the somewhat short set, I am a fan! Kenny fronts Silvertomb so perfectly, and the band is just tight as hell!! Great emotionally strong sound and lyrics with a very strong stage presence made for a very memorable show. It was also great to see the guys playing again since TYPE O Negative was such a huge part of my life.

Then the time came for the moment we were all waiting for. Now mind you, this is now on a Sunday, the crowd about 1/3 its capacity , so that was kind of upsetting, but they were true fans and were just glad to see the band! The band came on stage and everyone went nuts, even the band. The band kick it right in to high gear from the get go. Playing such a perfect mix of old school, and all thru the years. We were up front for a while then slowly made our way back so we could just relax and take in the show it self.

The energy pouring out on stage is incredible! Many bands after this many years of playing just start slowing down. Not the case with Life of Agony! They were all over the stage, and totally giving love to the fans, and further most, to each other. You can easily see that after so many years together they are so much more than just a band, they are family and that made the show even that much more enjoyable! But still, when they played River Runs Red, the place still goes nuts!!

 

This was the last show of this leg of the tour, everyone was going home, then they were off to conquer Europe . So that made it kind of a special show. What really made it though, was when Silvertomb came out on stage while during ‘s. Life of Agony set with a birthday cake with lit candles and all to sing Happy Birthday to Alan. The entire crowd  joined in as we all wished Alan a Happy Birthday!

 

 

All and all do i wish there had been a larger crowd, only for the band’s sake. As far as I was concerned it was perfect, a more intimate show if you will, and the guys are just as good now if not even better live than they once were! They killed it!!!

Be sure to take a minute, actually 15, and check out the great video interview that Alan Robert did with us prior to the show! Thanks again Alan!!!

www.lifeofagony.com

 

John and Steff w/ Alan Robert of Life Of Agony

 

Keep It Evil

 

Posted by John Roisland in Categories, EVENT REVIEWS, INTERVIEWS, MUSIC REVIEWS, 1 comment

TYPE O NEGATIVE

untitled (4)By John Roisland

TYPE O NEGATIVE

In honor of the late Peter Steele celebrating his birthday January 4th, I bring you my personal tribute two Type O Negative.

Formed in 1989, Type O Negative, out of Brooklyn, New York, hit the hard core/heavy metal scene with a sound that was of their own. Heavily influenced by The Beatles, Black Sabbath, and The Doors, the "Drab Four", as they were nicknamed, lyrically gave us songs about romance, depression, death loss, addiction, vampirism, and hate. The lyrics were often with a very dark sense of humor that lady over many of their songs.

When I was first introduced to the band, just after the 1991 release of their first album Slow, Deep and Hard, I thought to myself, "Okay, not bad". But at the time, I was into heavy thrash metal, so these guys weren't fast enough for me. But before I knew it, I was absolutely in love with them. They just made sense to me at that point in my life; the lyrics, spoke to me. I can remember putting their CD on repeat while I would be home and my old roommate getting very pissed after hearing about 4 hours of Christian Woman!

Over the years their creative style and dark imagery was burned into my heart, my mind, and my soul. It inspired me to the point that if I were an artist, Type O Negative would have easily been my muse. And the odd thing is that they have actually inspired me to do artwork every time I've listened to them in recent years. The Brooklyn New York music scene was known for its hardcore bands, Agnostic Front and  Sick Of It All for example, and then some long haired guys come on stage with songs about vampires and a following of their own.

With the 1993 release Bloody Kisses, they took the world by storm! Type O Negative were now touring the world over and over again. A follow-up album in 1996, October Rust, earned them critical acclaim. From one album to the next as each followed, their level of maturity grew in their music, as lyrically they  became darker, more emotional, and more personal. The last three albums, World Coming Down, Life Is Killing Me, and Dead Again, were both incredible and very sad, because you could hear him singing about his real life monsters: alcoholism and paranoia brought on from newest vice, cocaine.

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Lead singer Pete Steele was a monster of a man who stood 6'8 and towered over everybody on stage. Though I am 6' tall, the few times I was fortunate enough to have met Mr. Steele, my neck was sore from looking up at him. He was an incredible person to talk to, and he spoke genuinely and honestly. He didn't hold back, which I appreciated,  but he was also a very shy and depressed person. Steele suffered from being both bipolar and clinically depressed, which led him to drink before going on stage to get over his stage fright, and he sometimes consumed an entire bottle or two of red wine while on stage to continue.

Their shows were always phenomenal, no special effects, no fancy light show, just four guys performing great music. I think seeing them in DC on Halloween night was very suiting! Their songs are ones that you could dance to, throw down in a pit, work out, have on in the background while you were doing things around the house, or even have sex to, but their music to me was much more. Their music was never, ever turned off if ever their song was playing. I always allowed it to finish. I'm not trying to say that every song they wrote was  masterpiece, but there was never one that I could say I didn't like either.

Listening to Peter Steele's voice always amazed me. This 6'8 mountain of muscle had a voice that could hit some of the lowest sounds I've ever heard. It was as if you were listening to Lurch from The Addams Family singing to you, and on the flip side has voice with so melodic and graceful. If you didn't know who he was, you may have thought to put a battle axe in his hands and throw him into a set of Conan the Barbarian, but you wouldn't think of him as a a singer.

Back in my day, every time Type O Negative  came to town I always had my tickets and never missed a show. No matter how big or small it was, it was  always a great show. It didn't matter who they were performing with , the  likes of Danzig, Pantera. or taking a night off from a major tour and doing a small club show unannounced, they were always awesome!

Peter Steele died April 14th, 2010 from heart failure due to an aortic aneurysm at only 48 years old. I miss Type O Negative a lot, I still listen to it all the time.  As a  matter of fact, it's the most popular played Pandora station that I have. I listen to it at work, in the car, and any chance I get. The memories that I have of them are very strong though they weren't  everybody's cup of tea. The friends that I hung with were all metal heads and hardcore music fans. I was the Type O fan of my group, and they all knew and respected that.

The untimely death of Peter Steele and the end of the band hurt. I was living in Florida at the time and had just got home from work. I turned the computer on and saw the headlines. I was crushed! Memories of their concerts, sounds of the music, and friends I was with as their music played thru out the years came rushing to me like a hail storm of bullets.

To this day , through me, their music lives on and always will. People always ask one another, "What's your favorite...?" Well, I don't know what my favorite food, or actor is. Not sure what my favorite movie is (unless its horror), but I do know what my favorite band is, ..... Type O Negative.

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So to Peter Steele, Kenny Hickey, Josh Silver and Johnny Kelly, I thank you for the music and memories that were and will be made through it.

And to Peter, I hope you are no longer fighting with your monsters, and can nest rest easy.  We miss you.

Keep It Evil.

Posted by John Roisland in EDITORIALS, 0 comments