CONCERT REVIEW: Life of Agony – Dog Eat Dog – Empire Fallen: Live at The Sherman Theater


Life of Agony made a stop in East Stroudburg, Pa. On their Lost at 2022 tour, featuring Dog Eat Dog and local opener Empire Fallen for the Lost At 2022 Tour. Despite a sizeable snowstorm that pounded the entire region, loyal fans of LOA gathered patiently outside The Sherman Theater comparing stories and recalling how many times they had seen the band since 1993 when the Brooklyn based band was supporting their first album. So now tonight, after 2 years, the LOA familia were not gonna let a snow storm or any other act of God stop them from being reunited with this band that has been the soundtrack of so many of their lives

Empire Fallen was the night’s opener; a five- piece band from northern New Jersey. These guys are an energetic group, each bringing their own style to EF’s collective sound. This heavy edged rock band is modern rock radio ready with small hints of funk and hip hop from the drums. They got a decent response from the crowd and the energy they brought was a great start to the night.

 

After a short change over, Dog Eat Dog took to the stage in commanding fashion. Another group from the Garden State, bringing us a mixed sound of hardcore, funk, rap and metal all wrapped up in one – a sound that they’ve perfected over the past 27 years. These guys are full of energy with a stage presence guaranteed to suck you in whether it’s your first Dog Eat Dog show or you’ve been a lifelong fan.

When Life of Agony hits the stage, I’m reminded again of the complete and utter loyalty of their fanbase. You could just feel the vibe of the room explode as the band opened up with “River Runs Red”. This set for LOA seem to carry a certain intimacy as it was a lighter crowd (with the nor’easter and all), but these hardcore fans were full of appreciation to see them back on stage.

Mina Caputo was laid back but still bouncing around the stage with her seductive moves, as if she was sucking in the energy from her fans and feeding off of it. She was flanked by bassist Alan Robert on her right and guitarist Joey Z on her left and laying down the thunder behind them was drummer Veronica Bellino. Their connection on stage is undeniable and it’s visibly understandable why this group has been able to always come back together and continue to bring us amazing music.

The band’s force and intensity seemed to grow as the show went on. Plowing through songs like “Scars,” “I Regret” and the tour’s namesake “Lost at 22” (one of my favorites) right into “Weeds.” LOA’s entire body of work was well represented with the set list. Mina was mesmerizing, commanding the full attention of the crowd as she was all over the stage. Nothing about the performance put forth by Joey, Alan and Mina would have anyone believing they’ve been doing it for 30 years. It’s like they had the energy of teenagers! They finished off the night with “Through and Through,” “Underground,” and “This Time” and the Sherman Theater crowd showed their love and thanks for everything Life of Agony left out on the stage.

WORDS AND PHOTOS BY MELISSA STILES