Chimaira reunion show at The Agora was a successful “Resurrection”!!

Chimaira at the Agora performing during Christmas reunion show. Photo taken by Shannon ‘Hammy’ Hamilton.

Inclement weather failed to deter an anxious crowd from gathering at the world renowned Agora Theatre in Cleveland, Ohio on December 30, 2017, and for good reason. Hometown metal heavyweights, Chimaira were putting the band back together for a one-off extravaganza that featured four other local acts Brothers at Arms, Nine Shrines, Solipsist and Impending Lies.

Fans came from as far away as the Netherlands, Australia and Canada for the reunion of the rockers that first got together in 1998.

Photo of Jordan Buckley’s poster design for Chimaira Christmas reunion.

Folks who purchased the VIP meet-n-greet package began to lineup at 4:00 p.m. in the blistering cold just to grab there laminates. The purchase also included an amazing limited edition poster designed by world famous, Jordan Buckley. Being the fan that I am it was a must for me to be a part of the group and the poster itself made it worth the price itself, it is an amazing piece of art work. Of course, the opportunity to get a pic with the band, as well as getting their autographs was a sweet deal too.

As for the show, Brothers at Arms were an exceptional choice to open. The vocals of Ryan Neuhaus were powerful and robust, while Robert Taylor (bass) and Shaun Tipton (drums) was an explosive rhythm combo. Jeremy Johnston and Alex Walton’s twine work was spectacular.

BAA’s set began with, Book of Lies from their Ep, From the Ashes and rumbled their way through the fan favorite, Icarus. It’s always cool to catch these guys on stage. They have a true love for the Cleveland metal scene. I highly recommend taking in one of their performances.

Nine Shrines, the hot new commodity from the north coast was next to hit the stage. It was the first opportunity for me to catch them, but I had heard that they put on a great show. That, my friends, was a vast understatement; they absolutely blew me away. The energy level that this quintet emanates is off the charts. They were immediately added to my playlist following the show.

Chris Parketny, the man in the middle, unleashes a sound that is filled with verve and charisma. He truly is what a lead singer is supposed to be. Evan McKeever and Andrew Baylis handle the guitar work with passion while Davon Voisine (bass) and Andrew Wetzel (drums) had a reverberating, powerful ear-splitting sound. And I mean that in a good way.

Chimaira performing during Christmas reunion show. Photo taken by Shannon ‘Hammy’ Hamilton/

Cleveland metal band, Solipsist followed Nine Shrines, and they were accompanied by an increasingly larger pit area. They independent band is led by vocalist Noah Buchanan with guitarist Steve Sinko backing him on vocals. Mark Witherspoon and Nate Taddeo also take care of the six strings while Dave Vezdos plays bass and Dave Chojnacki twirls the sticks.

Impending Lies held down the spot just before the headliners and they were outstanding as always. They opened their time on stage with “Scream to Whisper” featuring the vocal talents Matt Hayes. Roger Lewis was terrific behind the kid with new bassist, Kris Jones teaming with him as a formidable rhythm duo. James Skrtich and Davo Billock handle the guitar duty and add to the vocals. The fun-filled set concluded with their single “Wither”.

If you haven’t witnessed this rambunctious quintet you owe it to yourself to do. I guarantee you’ll have a great time and leave wanting more.

Finally it was time for the mighty Chimaira to hit the stage. They did so with an excitement and anticipation that I haven’t seen at the Agora for quite some time. The powerhouse ravaged the fans with a disparate heavy metal that likened that of the fire-breathing, three headed Greek mythological creature called Chimaera, in which their name was derived.

Mark Hunter (vocals) is the leader of this six-headed monster while Rob Arnold and Matt De Vries shredded the guitars. The duo of Jim LaMarca (bass) and Austin D’amond (drums) shook the rafters with their sheer force while Chris Spicuzza added a unique touch with his synthesizer and programming.

Pits opened fast and furiously as Hunter took control of center stage. LaMarca held nothing back including his visible exuberance as he displayed a Cheshire Catlike grin from the opening note to the bands departure.

Chimaira didn’t miss a beat considering that they hadn’t played together since 2014. Tunes such as “Pure Hatred”, “The Flame”, “Power Trip” and “Six” took the fans back to the early 2000’s.

Perhaps the only damper to the evening was the fact that Andols Herrick was unable to join his former bandmates due to his ongoing medical issues. We at The Rust Belt Chronicles as well as Chimaira fans worldwide wish him well with his recovery and hope to see him return for yet another reunion show. I know this fan would be more than receptive to the idea.


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Shannon Hamilton About Shannon Hamilton

Shannon Hamilton is also known as “Hammy” by his close friends. Born in Ashland, Ohio and he currently resides in West Salem, Ohio with my wife, Laura and daughter, Allysa. My love of music started when I found a copy of Black Sabbath’s 1973 album, “Sabbath, Bloody Sabbath’.
Music has always been a strong presence in my life starting as a young kid. My first concert was Iron Maiden at the age of 15 in 1988 at The Richfield Coliseum. My enjoyment of music extends to every level from the national, regional and local scene in Cleveland, Ohio. I tend to lean toward the heavy side of music scene with my favorite bands being MUSHROOMHEAD, Pantera and White Zombie.

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