Regular visitors to Rocksins.com know that we’re big supporters of Fozzy, and our presence is pretty much guaranteed to be there whenever they return to their home away from home in the UK. When the announcement was made that their late 2012 trip would be a co-headline jaunt with Soil, who are back together with original vocalist Ryan McCombs, and supported by Breed 77, that sounded even more appealing, so off we went to Camden’s Electric Ballroom on a cold London Wednesday night.
Sadly, we missed opening band Villains, born from the ashes of Essex metallers Never Means Maybe, due to the fact that we were having a chat with the top man that is Frank Fontsere, drummer of Fozzy, for an exclusive interview that will be available on the site very soon. So the opening band of the night for us were Breed 77. The British / Gibraltan flamenco metallers have been around the scene for a long time now, and despite some very good songs they seem to be a band who’ve not quite fulfilled their potential, though others may disagree with that statement.
Kicking off with old favourite Calling Out, Breed77 started the show with intent and didn’t let up for the duration of their 35 minute set, with vocalist Paul Isola on particularly good form for the majority of the performance. New single Drown (which is available to download for free) from their “much delayed” new album was a promising sign of material to come, while a partially acoustic version of The River, Insects and the ever popular set closing La Ultima Hora were high points of a performance that show that Breed 77 are still a very good live band with plenty left in the tank. Let’s hope some overdue success finds it way to them with their latest album The Evil Inside.
Surveying the substantial queue for tonight’s show before the doors opened, the majority of those in said queue were sporting Fozzy shirts, so it was less than surprising that Chris, Rich, Billy, Paul and Frank were greeted with an almighty roar upon taking the stage and launching into the opening track from Sin & Bones Along Came A Spider. The room was positively bouncing for new favourite (and recent single) Sandpaper, which was a contest between band and crowd as to who had the most energy (Rich Ward in particular being a blur for most of the song) while their cover of Krokus’s Eat The Rich hit the spot as it usually does.
As the years have passed Chris Jericho (who’s not exactly the shy retiring type anyway) has grown ever more into his role as Fozzy frontman and he was on fine form here, bouncing around the stage with the energy and enthusiasm of someone half his age and he constantly got the most out of a very willing audience, that chanted “FOZZY, FOZZY” in between pretty much every song. He was also on top form vocally this evening, performing the new songs from Sin & Bones (of which quite a few found their way into the setlist) in particular very well. As one might expect, some of the best reactions were reserved for old favourites, with To Kill A Stranger and Enemy going down particularly well, before an impressive rendition of Blood Happens finished things off.
The masses were happy, and chanted loudly for one more song (perhaps, slightly disappointed as this reporter was, that the epic Martyr No More had been left out of tonight’s setlist), but you can’t always have everything. Whilst not quite at the extremely high level they have been at on previous trips to London, Fozzy still thoroughly entertained everyone and put on a very good show. Many (us included) will eagerly await their return.
Soil in their current form, with original singer Ryan back in the fold were something of an unknown quantity for us, but reports of their performance at Download 2012 were very positive. Within seconds of the opening Breaking Me Down it was clear everyone in attendance was in for a good time with Soil as Ryan emphatically put any fears over his voice to rest, sounding as powerful and potent as he would have done first time around nearly a decade ago.
It was not surprising that Soil’s setlist was steered primarily to their breakthrough album Scars (with that being the most well known album of Ryan’s first stint with the band) but they did dip their feet into other periods of the bands history as well. It was on the Scars material that they shone brightest though, with the power of My Own and the groove of Unreal particularly impressive.
The loudest reaction of the entire night was reserved for the closing number of the main set Halo, which remains one of the true Nu Metal anthems of the early 00’s and it was fantastic to hear it with Ryan on vocals for the first time. At this point we had to make a hasty exit but were thoroughly impressed by what we had seen from Soil. Their current aim is to fund a new album through Kickstarter, and it will be very interesting to see if and when they can raise the funding what the end results will be.
Please check out some exclusive photos of Soil & Fozzy from the show below:
Overall, a really good evening from start to finish with three bands who all have interesting (and hopefully successful) times ahead of them. Rocksins is likely to be in attendance when they all return to a stage near us in the future! For more live rock & metal gig reviews please keep checking back with us on a regular basis.