Those “huge rock stars” Fozzy, led by the all round entertainer Chris ‘Y2J’ Jericho and The Duke Of Metal Rich Ward hit London for the first time in over a year on Sunday night for the last night of what has been Fozzy’s biggest European tour to date. We went along to Dingwalls in Camden to see if Fozzy would sign off the tour in their typical entertaining style.
As a result of being able to have some time to interview and talk to The Duke himself Rich Ward (that interview coming here soon exclusively on Rocksins) I saw nothing of the opening band, and only the end of second band Memories In Torment, not enough of them to pass any proper comment on their show, they sounded pretty angry though.
Main support for the evening came from a band called Voodoo Vegas, who had something of an old school rock & roll style to them, influences of the likes of AC/DC, GnR and Led Zeppellin could easily be heard in their music, which had a very “feel good” nature to it. Frontman Lawrence had bags of stage presence and worked the crowd brilliantly during their half hour long set in between belting out songs such as King Without A Crown. It was a thoroughly good introduction to Voodoo Vegas and I’d thoroughly recommend anyone who enjoys a good bit of rock & roll to check them out, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
Due to the fact there had been four bands on tonight’s show, the stage changeover times were fairly short, so before you knew it We Will Rock You was booming out over the PA and one by one the members of Fozzy hit the stage, with Chris Jericho last to enter in a bouncing blur of arms and legs as the Fozz launched into opener To Kill A Stranger. For the last night of a tour the band looked fresh and energetic, with Rich Ward in particular his usual whirlish dervish self, barely stopping still for the entire performance. Launching straight from To Kill A Stranger into Martyr No More nearly brought the house down, as Rich’s trademark groove riff permeated throughout Dingwalls. Unfortunately, for these and a couple more songs thereafter, the sound mix was a little bit off and it was quite hard to hear both the guitars and Jericho’s vocals.
Whether the band were aware of the sound issues I’m not sure, but it didn’t stop them (Chris and Rich in particular) from inciting the crowd into a frenzy at every opportunity. The crowd chanted for Fozzy after almost every song, with no prompting whatsoever for lengthy periods of time, at one point for a good full minute at the end of one song leaving a smiling Jericho speechless for once as all he did was applaud the crowd. A particularly heavy sounding Wanderlust was a highlight (especially as this is about the time the sound got fixed) as was the cover of Krokus’s Eat The Rich, one of the earliest songs from the Fozzy repetoire but always one of the most fun. Chris continuously challenged the crowd to be the best on the tour and the crowd always responded (and they must have done a good job, because on his Twitter afterwards he remarked that London and Dusseldorf were the two best crowds of the tour).
The last portion of the gig was Fozzy at their heavy, groove filled best. God Pounds His Nails, Let The Madness Begin and Chasing The Grail opener Under Blackened Skies were received with an assortment of bouncing, clapping and headbanging that increased with each song as Under Blackened Skies brought the main part of the set to a close. While Fozzy were offstage, the crowd alternated between chanting for one more song and for “Enemy”, arguably Fozzy’s most well known (and many would say best) song. As the band returned the “Enemy” chanting intensified, leaving Y2J to ask “Do you want Enemy? Are you sure you want Enemy? You got Enemy!”
With that, the show was brought to a close with the crowd going suitably crazy to Fozzy’s trademark anthem sending both band and fans alike home happy. Fozzy have always had fanatical fans but this was probably the loudest Fozzy audience I’ve ever seen at one of their gigs. Fozzy were very good as always and seemed to settle more into their usual rhythm after their initial sound niggles and it was a very entertaining show.
As always, we look forward to the return of the “huge rock stars” who have promised to be back before the end of 2011. Tonight with this audience they were treated as just that, and maybe if some of the bigger parts of the UK rock press get behind them on a larger scale, that will become a serious comment rather than an in joke.