The Agonist

Live at The Fonda Theatre

Hollywood, CA

September 26th, 2015

Review and photos by Travis Baumann

I have been a fan of The Agonist for quite some time now and have had the opportunity to see them several times over the years, but this is the first chance to catch their new lead singer, Vicky Psarakis who took over for Alissa White-Gluz when the latter was recruited by Arch Enemy.

The Agonist's latest offering, "The Eye of Providence" immediately gave credibility to Vicky's talents and promised to carry on the legacy of The Agonist but I was still excited to see her live and see how she mixed her own material with what her predecessor had written.

They started off the set with one of their best known tracks, "Thank You, Pain" from their sophomore release, "Lullabies For a Dormant Mind". Vicky gave us a double barrel blast of classic Agonist material that alleviated any apprehension of how she could handle the older material.

She thanked everyone for coming out and announced the next song as "Gates of Horn and Ivory" from their latest release. The juxtaposition of melodic beauty and unabashed brutality in a vocalist has always been a huge draw for me to this band and I am really happy they were able to find an artist with the talent and ability they did in Vicky.

They played another new song with "Danse Macabre". My favorite parts of the set were when Danny Marino and Pascal Jobin on guitars along with Chris Kells on bass would crouch down in a low stance and hit us with deep, powerful riffs. With Simon McKay on drums, they created chugging headbangers, rich in the low end and quite moving.

They touched on their previous release with "Panophobia" from the "Prisoners" album, and then did one of the fan-favorite tracks, "Business Suits and Combat Boots" from their debut release, "Once Only Imagined".

Continuing with the crowd-pleasers, they moved around their back catalog with "Dead Ocean" off of "Prisoners", "The Tempest (The Siren's Song; The Banshee's Cry)" from "Lullabies For The Dormant Mind", and "The Escape" also off of "Prisoners".

They definitely have a unique sound and style when it comes to song-writing. At times they can be very avant guard with their song structures and vocal melodies.

Vicky thanked everyone again for supporting them and giving them a reason to do what they love to do. She said it was her first time in Los Angeles and they also gave a supportive shout out to Epica who pulled out of the tour.

They finished the set with "Follow the Crossed Line" off of "Eye of Providence". It was a great show and I was glad to get to witness it.

I met Vicky by the merchandise booth after the show and she was a very unassuming, down to earth woman with a big smile and lots of heart. Its great to see this band excelling and I look forward to their next visit.

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