October 26, 2011, was a night that would change everything for Sons of Azrael founding member, Tony Lorenzo. He was walking through Elmwood Village in Buffalo, NY, and was shot, leaving him paralyzed from the chest down and a bullet lodged in his spinal column. Then less than a year later, the band suffered the tragic loss of friend and frontman, Joe Siracuse.
When asked to recall the events of the evening, here’s what Tony had to say: “The kid asked me, he said, ‘Give me what you got.’ And before I could even get my wallet out, he just shot me,” Lorenzo recalled to Buffalo’s WIVB TV. Though initial reports said that the guitarist may have known his attacker, both Lorenzo and his mother shot down those reports. Lorenzo also expressed shock his attack came a week after another similar incident near the area. “I’m not going run away from my town. I’m not going to up and move away. I want people on the west side to realize this stuff is happening and to look out for each other,” said Lorenzo.
After a rough few years of adjusting to life in a wheelchair and other medical issues, Tony sadly left us in March 2017 at the age of 30.
I was fortunate enough to meet Tony and see Sons of Azrael play in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, with the mighty Emeth from Belgium, as well as here in Rochester, NY at The Penny Arcade. We never had the opportunity to get to know each other well, but he was one hell of a ripping guitar player and an even nicer guy. Rest easy Tony… ~ian
Fo those who can attend, there is a benefit show at The Waiting Room in Buffalo, NY on Sunday, May 7th starting at 3:00 pm. From the event organizers: “A gathering to celebrate the life of Tony Lorenzo. Our friend, our brother, son, nephew, warrior.” Doors open at 2:00 pm – it’s $15.00 under 21 and $12.00 for those 21 and over. Please spread the word and do what we can to show our support.
Bands performing in no particular order are and confirmed as of now:
Prepare for the Mindscan
Sons of Ghidorah