LIFE OF AGONY performed at Belgium's Alcatraz Metal Festival on Friday, August 8, one of the first shows since the group's lead singer Mina Caputo (formerly known as Keith Caputo) came out as transgender in 2011. The famed "River Runs Red" lineup, rounded out by guitarist Joseph Zampella (a.k.a. Joey Z), bassist Alan Robert and drummer Sal Abruscato, took the stage together once again after a three-year hiatus.
Fan-filmed video footage of the entire concert can be seen below.
"We've helped so many people around the world cope with their emotional struggles through our music, it was time to get back out there," said Robert regarding the group's decision to reunite for the show. "Our songs connect with people on an emotional level because they were written out of real pain and hardship. It doesn't matter if you're white, black, blue, green, gay, straight, trans or whatever. Our fans know it comes from a real place and have stood by us. We've always worn our hearts on our sleeves. That is just who we are and that is something that will never change."
Mina Caputo spoke about the band's future plans during a radio interview in June 2011. He said, "We realize that LIFE OF AGONY has become an extremely nostalgic act and the music that used to not be dated, in our eyes, is dated, and the whole situation is dated. It's a nostalgia, and we don't want to take advantage of that nostalgia anymore, nor do we wanna take advantage of the fans.
"[Our] three shows [in July 2011] [are] probably gonna be the last shows that we do for a very long time. In fact, we just may call it quits. Because we feel like we set out to do what we needed to collectively.
"We're very honest people, we love each other dearly, but we just can't get it on; we can't turn each other on in the studio. We hit a brick wall together, and it ain't cool. So there's probably not gonna be a new [LIFE OF AGONY] album, nor a new single… So people better start getting used to [the 2005 album] 'Broken Valley', because that's probably the last piece of music that they'll hear from the band."
On April 3, 2010, I Scream Records recorded and filmed LIFE OF AGONY's performance at the Ancienne Belgique in Brussels, Belgium, the second show of the band's European "20 Years Strong" tour. The "20 Years Strong - River Runs Red: Live In Brussels" live album — which is a digipak combo release containing a CD of the entire concert as well as a DVD with a 10-camera production of the show, an on-the-road documentary and much more — was released in July 2010.
LIFE OF AGONY played sporadic shows over the course of the six years after completing its successful touring cycle for the 2005 Epic Records release, "Broken Valley".