RIOT V, formed in tribute to late RIOT guitarist/founder Mark Reale by members of the band's most recent line-up, performed on February 9th in Athens, Greece. Fan-filmed video is available below:
Riot, now known as Riot V, is continuing on in honor of the late great founding Riot guitarist Mark Reale who died from complications from Crohns disease in early 2012 and these dates are in tribute to the guitarist. The band decided to continue on in his honor and wishes as well as the blessings from the estate of Reale to keep the music and spirit of Riot alive.
The continuing members decided to alter the name to Riot V as the fifth chapter of the bands long history as well as Todd Michael Hall being the fifth singer following Guy Speranza (Mar. ‘56–Nov. ‘03), Rhett Forrester (Sept. ‘56-Jan. ‘94), Tony Moore and Mike Dimeo in the sum odd 30 years of the band's existence. The band heads to Italy for a string of tribute dates starting in Brescia, Italy ending in Thessaloniki, Greece then returning home to start recording the new record slated for a summer 2014 release. The touring band for these tribute dates are long time members Mike Flyntz on guitar who has been Reale's guitar partner for over 25 years and is joined by long time Riot bassist songwriter Don Van Stavern (Thundersteel, Privilege of Power, Immortal Soul), new vocalist Todd Michael Hall (BURNING STARR, REVERENCE) and Riot's Army of One drummer Frank Gilchriest (VIRGIN STEELE, LIEGE LORD) steps in as Bobby Jarzombek is fulfilling his duties with FATES WARNING and SEBASTIAN BACH. Riot feel that obviously Reale can never be replaced so they have recruited for live guitar duties former student turned teacher at Mike Flyntz’s guitar school in Long Island New York, 26 year old guitar virtuoso Nick Lee.
Mike Flyntz states: "I have decided to have guitarist Nick Lee join us on the live shows in Europe. The decision whether to add a guitarist or try it myself was very difficult. We did play some shows without Mark when he was sick. Although they went as well as could be expected giving the circumstances, I felt it was better for the music to add a second guitarist, as Mark added me in 1989. It is very important to me that everyone knows that Nick is not Mark's replacement. MARK REALE CAN NEVER BE REPLACED. I will be taking on Mark's parts and Nick will be doing most of my parts.
Nick studied with me weekly from ages 9-17. Nick has always been a perfectionist and has always poured his heart into his music. He is a great writer and performer. I am very proud of him. He lives and breathes music and is one with his guitar. He has met Mark and saw us play live. Nick and I are sitting and practicing in the same room at my school where Mark and I practiced and wrote for 19 years. I know there is no one else better matched to come in and help us recreate the Riot sound. After the first rehearsal I was convinced that we are doing the right thing by carrying on Mark's music and legacy. Mark's dad Tony has been involved and has advised me with every step and in all the decision making and it has been crucial to us that we have his blessing.
At our first rehearsal playing our opener Narita, I actually shed a tear hearing the song that I had played so many years side by side with Mark, but know the band will shine on in his honor and not disappoint the die hard fans."
Live dates now include:
4 - Chicago, IL - Metal Apocalypse Festival
24 - Brande-Hoernerkirchen, Germany - Headbangers Open Air Festival
Venues will be confirmed soon. For information and updates go to this location