Former ADRENALINE MOB drummer Mike Portnoy will rejoin his bandmates on stage tonight (Saturday, March 21) at the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, New Jersey as they pay tribute to their fallen drummer, A.J. Pero (also of TWISTED SISTER). Also appearing with ADRENALINE MOB will be former BREAKING BENJAMIN drummer Chad Szeliga.
Says ADRENALINE MOB: "A.J. put his heart and soul into ADRENALINE MOB and would want nothing more than for the show to go."
Tonight's originally scheduled headlining band, DROWNING POOL, will still play a full set, but will take the stage at 10:00 p.m., before ADRENALINE MOB.
Pero died Friday morning (March 20) at the age of 55.
According to the Associated Press, Pero was on tour with ADRENALINE MOB when members of that group were unable to rouse him on their bus Friday morning. He was taken to a hospital in Poughkeepsie, New York, where he died of an apparent heart attack.
Pero was a member of TWISTED SISTER from 1982 to 1986, from 1997 to 1998, and again from 2003 until his death. Pero performed on ADRENALINE MOB's last two albums and recently joined FOUR BY FATE, also featuring former FREHLEY'S COMET members Tod Howarth and John Regan.
ADRENALINE MOB said in a statement: "We write this with tears in our eyes and our hearts broken to pieces.
"Our beloved brother A.J. Pero peacefully passed away in his sleep [Friday] morning on the bus.
"We are in complete shock and our hearts and prayers go out to his family.
"It has been nothing short of an honor to have shared the stage with such a beautiful soul and legend!
"We love you, A.J. Rest in peace."
ADRENALINE MOB guitarist Mike Orlando said: "Here it goes... Not sure how to make sense of this, but one of my dearest friends for almost 20 years passed away [Friday] morning while we were on tour. He passed away peacefully in his sleep on the bus.
"A.J. Pero was one of the kindest, most caring and giving souls I've ever known! I have shared the stage with him on and off for almost two decades. It was nothing short of a true honor to not only have called him my bandmate, but one of my dearest friends!
"I will never forget you, buddy. I love you, brother!
"Rest in peace, my dear friend. You are a true legend!!!!"
Portnoy quit ADRENALINE MOB in June 2013 due to "scheduling conflicts."