Stryper, Shock Frenzy and MourningWagon
Cleveland Agora Theater, Sat Nov 12th.
by: Dom Rini, guitarist MourningWagon
November 12th marked the debut of MourningWagon at the legendary Cleveland Agora Theater. What I can say about this event was: To have the opportunity to open for one of our favorite bands, Stryper is huge, but to sell out a venue and have it move to a bigger stage and theater is something surreal. From preparing for the show we all in the band were really ready for us to hit the stage. The idea to have a big stage and for us to perform on is huge. It really beats a little stage or no stage at all. But either way its all the same, deliver, deliver, deliver. We had a show to put on, a 35 minute set and we had to be fast. Get in, do your thing, get off and next band come on.
From my perspective, we could have stayed on that stage and played all night. The crowd was amazing, we had a light show, and the sound was pretty damn good. Plus the thought of all the masters who have graced the stage over the decades and we were there to be part of the history. Ok, so I am still excited about playing that show and why shouldn’t I. Living in Cleveland and growing up seeing concerts since 1979 and being a guitarist since that year always wanted to play that dream venue, the Cleveland Agora Theater. Don’t get me wrong, playing the ballroom was a huge deal to me years ago to see that lighted up AGORA BALLROOM light behind us was a thrill, but man, to play the main stage, that’s a dream come true.
I personally think that we did a pretty damn good job of getting our vibe out to the audience. I fed off the crowd’s enthusiasm and at times got a bit too consumed and had to refocus. “The guys in the band were on friggin fire! We all did what we came to do, destroy!” and that’s what we did. One of my highlights that evening was; before the show I took a stack of our CD’s and went out into the audience and looked for kids, I introduced myself to them and their parents as to my role in the band and that we will be on the stage playing for them and wanted to give them a CD. The excitement on their faces were priceless, the parents were excited as well. Who does this anymore? I have always thought that the way to introducing kids to the music scene is to have them be a part of the process. Meeting the band, interacting with them and having a good experience is memorable for the kids and the parents. After our show at the merch booth we had a father and son came back to meet me and wanted to thank me personally for the CD and that they enjoyed our show. They also took a picture with me. Tell you the truth, that trumped the whole show! They got it! Mission accomplished. Also at the merch booth I got to meet some pretty interesting people, a biker who accepted a CD from us and in return gave me a flyer for “Bikers For Jesus.” Oh this gets better, I had the opportunity to meet magician, who graciously did numerous tricks for me at our booth, I didn’t ask him too, he just did them. I in return did a card trick for him and won him over. Really cool to meet different people at this show.
I can blab on an on but am not going to do that anymore. I just wanted to do an overview of how I felt and my experience. I am sure the other guys in the band has their own thoughts on the show and what happened.
I wanted to give a cool shoutout to the other bands, Shock Frenzy who did a great job rockin’ the stage after we did and of course our closing band Stryper. Shock Frenzy kept the band fired up and Stryper did their job as they always do.