Life Of Agony

Copenhell - 2015

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Falling deeply in love with Life Of Agony upon hearing the River Runs Red album back in the day, but never getting round to seeing them, this was definitely the band at the top of my priority list this year – there was no way I was going to miss this show! Luckily, I didn’t even have to wait long, as Life Of Agony was opening the Hades stage on the first day of Copenhell, and thus the first band we were going to see.

“We’re the crazy Italians from New York!”
- Mina Caputo (vocals)

With some ten years since their last visit to the country, it seemed Denmark was ready to welcome back Life Of Agony with open arms, holding no grudge about the absence. And to our luck, despite all the break up’s and changes the band has seen, it was the original River Runs Red line-up we now had before us, with former Keith, now Mina Caputo on vocals, Joey Zampella on guitars, Alan Robert on bass, and last but certainly not least, one of my all-time favourite drummers, Sal Abruscato, behind the, well yeah, drums, of course.
I’ve heard and seen different reactions to Caputo’s choice to change into a woman, and while being surprised at first, my only concern now was how she’d let it affect her vocals. Caputo’s vocals was such an integral part of the sound back then, and I was afraid that if she’d decided to use a more girly voice, as it were, it would take away from some of the impact of the music. Thankfully, it didn’t take long for all such fears to be laid to rest – after the opening Plexiglass Gate snippet the musicians played as an intro, Life Of Agony threw us straight into River Runs Red, where Caputo proved her vocals were as strong as they ever were!
As if that wasn’t enough, the entire band delivered a stellar performance, full of life and energy. Zampella couldn’t stay on the ground for long, Robert was the groovy counterweight, and Abruscato was simply coolness. All of them had a great connection with the audience, and presence enough to follow what was going on the other side of the stage border. In this way, Zampella both managed to high five and hand out a guitar pick to a crowd surfer as he ran by in the security pit to get back to the crowd.

“Tak! Am I saying that right?”
- Caputo (vocals)

It wasn’t just the crowd that visited the security pit however – when the band reached My Eyes, Caputo went into the pit as well, standing on the fence singing and getting close to the crowd. One guy even gave her a hearty hug, one that would last long and bring a great smile to the front-woman’s face. Caputo stayed down there through Through And Through as well, greeting more fans as she went from side to side, and back again.
The crowd wasn’t yet completely warmed up though, and didn’t give Life Of Agony quite as wild a response as they were giving us a show. But don’t think for a minute that the love for the band wasn’t there, constant shouts and sing along parts constantly reminded us why this was a great idea for a booking on Copenhell’s side! Fair enough, a lot of the singing/shouting and wild headbanging came from my side, but I don’t regret a thing, even though I was sore all over for the rest of the festival and more from the energy I spent wildly thrashing about to the heavy tones of Life Of Agony.

To put it short, Life Of Agony delivered a perfect show.
It was everything that I had hoped for, and so much, much more on top of that. Already after the first three songs, I scribbled down in my notebook that this was enough to make the entire festival worthwhile, and I stand by it. They delivered a perfect beginning to the festival, and no other band would match the thrill of seeing them.


Plexiglass Gate (instrumental snippet)
River Runs Red
This Time
Bad Seed
Love To Let You Down
Method Of Groove
Lost At 22
I Regret
My Eyes
Through And Through

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