Sindust was on point as they opened for Gene Simmons last Saturday March 18th 2017 at the Cleveland Agora. We were able to get a behind the scenes look at what it takes for a show this big to work.
The guys warmed up backstage by doing stretches, pushups, and letting out some primal screams. Tom Phillips, on the drums, was beating on a practice drum pad while Chad Laubenthal, instrument tech, let out a hiccup. The band was surprisingly relaxed and stoked about the night’s show. Sindust has been on a seven year break pursuing other musical projects like Pop Rocks Cleveland and other acoustic endeavors. But, when it came time to take the Stage Sindust sprang into action with the onstage chemistry the band is famous for. Mark Gordon was even brandishing a replica of Gene Simmons axe styled four string bass as an homage to Kiss. Aaron Nichols, guitarist, was in perfect rock star form raging and gritting his teeth onstage. We caught up with him having a moment with his family before the show. Nichols sweetly knelt down to listen to his son’s excited words for him outside the Agora. Chris Donley’s voice was strong and seemed to express a beautiful pain. Drummer Tom Phillips commented about his resting bitch face while playing. The man is a beast on the drums with his aggressive nature and crazy style. Fans from all around came out in force to see the epic performance by Sindust and to show their support.
This is Sindust’s full setlist from the show. “Kid Ego”, “Heartach Lottery”. “Bottom of my Lungs”, Candy from Strangers”, “Nice Guys Finish Last”, “Smile”, “Daddy Long Legs”, “7 am’s”
Check out Sindust here
Gene Simmons and his band was perfect and polished, after all its Gene Simmons. So, let’s talk about what we saw while we were hiding in the shadows backstage. Its story time my little rocklings!
The air carried with it a distinct scent, but what was it? Concert halls are notorious for smells like, Stale beer, vomit, cannabis, and sweat. But not that night, an aroma, a taste so strong it trumped all other smells. The fine essence of tuna permeated the hall not long after Gene entered the building. The lingering aroma floated around every doorway and into my mind. “Gene Simmons, rock god, sex idol, is in the building and now it smells like tuna? WTF!” Turns out Gene had a special caterer come in to prepare him a meal of pan seared Ahi tuna. “Oh my, fancy and so healthy” and more jokes then I should mention filled my head.
Gene Simmons had personally done a 30 minuet sound check with his band earlier in the day. That’s why he sounded so amazing. He spoke to the fans in between many of the songs. It sounded like a love note to his devoted crowd. Gene doesn’t need to tour, but he does it all anyway. You can tell that the love of the stage, live music, and the cheer of fans is what fuels him. He entertained us all with jokes and funny faces and responded to taunts and comments from the audience with style and humor. It truly was an evening with Gene Simmons. I can only imagine that he is doing this all now to thank his fans the way he always wanted to, by preforming the way that makes himself happy. The Agora seemed to grow smaller and was transformed into a small bar like atmosphere by his relaxed vibe and personable approach to the fans. Gene hand plucked Ladies from the audience and one by one the crowd lifted them up and over the security gates. Each girl had their moment onstage and were captivated by Gene’s gaze. Rocking Johnny was one of the few men who were lucky enough to share the stage with Gene and the guys. He is a super fan and Simmons invited him to share the experience that night. Gene was whisked away after the show in the front seat of a black Escalade. Our source told us that he prefers the front seat. One girl was spotted making a mad dash, in high heels up the stares to the dressing room to get close to the musicians. Security escorted her back down the stares moments later, hearing her apologize for her efforts. You have to respect the crazy that comes out in the most timid of fans when Gene Simmons shares the same space. I was left shocked myself, Gene took a quick glance at me, and my bra clasp magically snapped off.