DevilDriver and Jinjer Heat Up Halloween Agora Crowd


While many claim the legendary Cleveland Agora to be haunted,  the crowd gathered  Wednesday night at the historic venue was delightfully shrieking at the bands gathered to celebrate Halloween night.

Raven Black, a California-cum-Michigan based band, warmed the crowd up with a spirited set.  Diminutive frontwoman Raven, tiny in stature but not in her ability to belt out a tune, was dressed appropriately for the All Hallow's Eve occasion.  Her band, billed with one-named monikers, really shone in their short time onstage.  Muppet, on drums, bore a keen resemblance to Rob Zombie.  The Doctor and Stitches, on lead guitar and bass, respectively, really got the crowd revved up.  

Headliner DevilDriver, dressed to thrill, played to a large Theater crowd.  The middle act, up-and-coming Ukrainian metalcore band Jinjer, however, may have stolen the show from the more  experienced senior metal outfit.  

Jinjer frontwoman Tatiana Shmailyuk, dressed as Amy Winehouse for Halloween night (and a jaw-dropping doppelganger for the late singer), brought her quartet onto the stage for a spirited thirty-five minute set. With four albums already under their belt, this is the band's second tour in the last eighteen months and their second visit to Northeast Ohio in 2018.

Starting with "Words of Wisdom" from their newest effort, King of Everything, Shmailyuk set the bar fairly high for the rest of the night.  The one-two punch in her vocal/scream  brought out the best in the audience, many of whom were dressed for the Halloween festivities. Or, perhaps, it was a typical Wednesday night for the metal crowd and their dripping eye liner.

Launching into one of their bigger hits, "I Speak Astronomy," the band then offered "Pisces," from the new album as well as "Perennial," and "Who Is Gonna Be The One?" from their 2014 release Cloud Factory.

Based on the crowd's reaction, this is a band to keep an eye on.  Their energy and presence is a breath of fresh air.  The exotic lilt to frontwoman Shmailyuk's voice doesn't hurt anything either.  It gives her a classic bent on a very American art form.  Plus, for Halloween, it doesn't hurt anything.

To paraphrase old Drac...the creatures of the night, what beautiful music they make.

Review and Photos by Brian M. Lumley