Legendary U.S. metal band RIOT played its first show without founding guitarist Mark Realelast night (Wednesday, January 18) at B.B. King Blues Club Grill in New York City. Fan-filmed video footage of the performance can be seen below.
Reale was admitted to a San Antonio hospital last week in critical condition due to complications of Crohn’s disease — an ailment he has battled for most of his life.
The band earlier in the week released the following update on his condition:
“Due to complications arising from treatment for Mark‘s illness, he remains hospitalized in San Antonio and will not be healthy enough to appear as scheduled.
“Mike [Flyntz, guitar], Tony [Moore, vocals], Bobby [Jarzombek, drums] and Don [Van Stavern, bass] have, at the strong urging of Mark‘s family, decided to perform the shows without Mark on guitar.
“We are receiving updates on his condition several times daily, and Mark is currently undergoing procedures to stabilize him. His father, in addition to several dedicated friends of the band and the family, are at Mark‘s side constantly as doctors work to restore him to health. In accordance with the family’s wishes, no further details are being released at this time.
“While we are saddened by these developments, RIOT‘s music has been Mark‘s lifeblood for over 30 years. We have struggled with idea of performing without him, and we are continuing to prepare with heavy hearts, but the entire RIOT organization has agreed on the importance of bringing our music to the fans who have supported us for so long.
“Thank you for continuing to support RIOT during this difficult time, and we will see you at the shows.”
Remaining RIOT shows (to be played without Mark Reale):
Jan. 19 – West Springfield, VA – Jaxx
Jan. 20 – Rochester, NY – Montage Music Hall
Jan. 23-27 – Miami, FL – 70,000 Tons Of Metal
Mark has been battling Crohn’s for most of his life, working and performing while enduring almost constant pain and the side effects of treatment for his illness. He was in Texas bravely attempting to practice for the shows, but was felled by a severe onset of Crohn’s symptoms leaving him in the Intensive Care Unit at an undisclosed facility.
Mark was struggling with these symptoms throughout the production of RIOT‘s new album, “Immortal Soul”, and guitarist Mike Flyntz recorded a major portion of the guitars on the LP with Mark‘s creative direction while he was unable to perform.