Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

Benefit for Pete DiRienzo. 

Friday, April 19, at the Beachland Ballroom.

From the Rolling Stones' whiskey-soaked revelry to Sleater-Kinney's open-armed embrace of punk whimsy, the best rock and roll has always celebrated being alive. Maybe that's why, whenever tragedy strikes at a rock show -- from the Stones' nightmare at Altamont to Pearl Jam's calamitous set at Roskilde two years ago -- it seems to resonate that much louder. Perhaps this is the reason so many locals have been galvanized by a recent passing at the Beachland Ballroom. Last December, during the Cheeseball punk show, 30-year-old Pete DiRienzo died of a heart attack, leaving behind a seven-year-old son.

"He went down in front of the stage, and at first, I think everybody thought the guy just passed out," says Blake Ferguson, a longtime friend. "They got him into the back hall, and that's when they called 9-1-1 and started CPR."

DiRienzo's death spurred Ferguson to put together a benefit show in his friend's honor, with all the proceeds going to a college fund for DiRienzo's son. A slew of bands, including Buffalo's progressive punk shitkickers the Blowtops, Dayton's blistering Mystery Addicts, and local badasses Stepsister, the Vacancies, the Defnics, and more, have lent their support and will be playing without pay. Most impressive, though, is the reunion of the storied Cleveland rock band Knifedance, which hasn't performed since 1990, but will regroup for the one-off gig, simply because it was one of DiRienzo's favorite bands.

"You go over to Pete's, and he's listening to Knifedance," Ferguson recalls with a chuckle, as he ponders what it would have meant to DiRienzo for Knifedance to reunite in his honor. "It would have made him pretty happy."

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club


Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.


Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.


Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Speaking of Previews

Latest in Livewire

More by Jason Bracelin

Read the Digital Print Issue

July 28, 2021

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Calendar

Staff Pick Events

  • Open Turntable Tuesday @ The Winchester

    • Tuesdays
  • The Black Crowes/Dirty Honey @ Blossom

    • Wed., Aug. 4
  • John Caparulo @ Hilarities Comedy Club

    • Thu., Aug. 5

© 2021 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.


Website powered by Foundation