When Fozzy dropped ‘Judas’ way back in May, and it started to become a success, I was incredibly pleased. I had long trumpeted how Fozzy were not just ‘that band with Chris Jericho in’ but an actual honest-to-God great band. Sure they’ve had successful songs prior to Judas, but not this extent, the music video has been played over 10 million times on YouTube and it’s had the most radio play the band has ever had, how do they hold up as a live band though? Read on to find out.
Fozzy were not the only band on the bill, it was a crowded show to say the least with four acts over the space of about three hours. I shall say a few words about the other acts although bare in mind that not all of them were quite up my street style wise, I’d still say give them a try if they sound like your thing, the other bands playing were The Last Band from Sweden, New York outfit Madame Mayhem and Hardcore Superstar who according to Wikipedia have had many number 1 hits in their native Sweden.
The Last Band (ironically) were on first, they had a very nu-metal/grungy sound, I missed a part of their set as they were on before the ticket said doors opened, nu-metal isn’t really my thing (I’m more of a classic style guy) but their cover of Rage Against The Machine’s ‘Bulls on Parade’ was good and their lead singer had energy to burn, which made him very watchable, even if their music wasn’t really my thing.
Madame Mayhem were up next and they were probably the support band I enjoyed the most, getting their name from the lead singer (making them more of a solo band than anything) they had an epic almost operatic style that I very much enjoyed, Madame Mayhem’s vocals are also very impressive, would recommend checking her music out.
Then was the turn of Hardcore Superstar, they seemed to have a few fans in too, lots of people sporting band merch and mimicking the look of the band which was nice to see, as for them, well it wasn’t quite my cup of tea, although I did get into their act later on, a couple of catchy songs helped, for a style reference, imagine a mix of The Darkness and Steel Panther, except that doesn’t quite do them justice, according to their Wikipedia page they pre date both bands, forming in the 90’s which is surprising as they have a very recent feel. I wouldn’t go out of my way to see them again, but I did end up enjoying their show at the end what more can you ask for?
The first thing that I noticed when Fozzy took to the stage was just how into the music the crowd were when Fozzy hit the stage, opening with ‘Judas’ you could barely hear the band for the crowd singing along, which was awesome to be a part of. It was also nice that the crowd knew a lot of their songs, not just the recent songs, which is great because I’m a big fan of their older stuff too, they’ve been one of the most consistent bands album wise in the last few years, and have been turning out great albums since 2010’s Chasing The Grail.
On stage itself they had a very no nonsense set up, a big flag with that band’s logo on and a small platform for Jericho to stand on at the front, incidentally it’s a good job Christ Jericho isn’t any taller as the roof was quite low. The simple set up was made up by the band themselves, who looked like a million bucks.
Jericho in particular looked every inch a rock-star, not just in the way he dressed but how he worked an audience, something he’s perfected in a wrestling ring as well as a music stage, he was entertaining and charismatic to an art form, interacting with the crowd between songs to great effect, with the crowd showing their appreciation extremely loudly.
As a unit, Fozzy are as tight as any band you’ll find, under the musical stewardship of veteran musician Rich Ward, the music flourishes, with Ward’s riffs as catchy and memorable as the lyrics. Accompanied by drummer Frank Fontsere (who has an eye-catching look in his own right) keeping the rhythm alongside bassist Paul Di Leo and rhythm guitarist Billy Grey, they keep the Fozzy experience tight and glorious.
Playing an hour set of their best and most well-known songs, Fozzy left a great impression on the crowd, leaving the place buzzing until the last note. They are a heavy metal powerhouse who must be experienced to be believed.
Fozzy’s Judas Rising Tour continues throughout Europe until November 18th. See their website fozzyrock.com for ticket information.