Fozzy – The Gov Tuesday 13 November 2018.
Words Geoff Jenke
FOZZY are back in Australia with their Judas Rising Tour, 5 years after their previous visit to Adelaide. Surprisingly, it is nearly 20 years since the band formed when Chris Jericho and Rich Ward met after a wrestling match in Texas, U.S.A. Where does time go these days?
Fozzy has always been about hard work, dedication and delivering great rock and roll music to the masses loudly and tonight was no exception. Judas, released last year, is the bands seventh album in their career.
The track before they came on was AC/DC’s High Voltage which melded into Black Sabbath’s song Black Sabbath (remixed), the perfect opening for the band. The song Judas, which had been released as a single is the bands biggest hit in their career, so it was surprising that they opened the night with it. The band had the audience (aged 7 – 70) in the palm of their hand from the onset with lead singer, Chris Jericho encouraging the crowd to jump and head bang.
Chris has read the book 101 Instructions for a Lead Singer in Rock n Roll, or maybe he helped write it. He knew exactly where to stand with arms out wide, knew when to get the crowd to “Jump, jump, jump”, when to wear the sparkly jacket that lit up red and white, when to “get those hands in the air” and even do the side to side arm wave. Yes, there was nothing new in the arsenal but what he did use, he used so well.
After the song, the chant of “Fozzy Fozzy Fozzy” went up from the audience and Chris and his band mates just stood there and took it all in, huge smiles on their faces. Drinking with Jesus and One Crazed Anarchist followed. At one stage the “Fozzy Fozzy” chant turned into “Fozzyshit, Fozzyshit”. Not sure if this was an Adelaide “thing” or not but the band seemed surprised by it. In fact, after another song Chris wanted to hear it again.
During Burn Me Out, the stage was invaded by young kids who thoroughly enjoyed their 15 minutes of fame by being on stage with their idols. Nice touch.
The band were certainly full of infectious energy and excellent musicianship. Fran Fontsere set the standard with a degree of drumming that has to be seen t be believed. Not that guitarist Rich Ward and Billy Grey held anything back with their playing either.
The roof almost caved in when the opening chords to ABBA’s S.O.S. started. Not sure what Benny and Bjorn would think of the heavy metal treatment given to their song but it certainly rocked, hard.
While most of the songs came from the last three albums, they dug in deep to play Enemy from 2005’s All That Remains Album. During the song Rich Ward delivered a guitar solo that was breath takingly magnificent. It almost came undone when after crowd surfing while playing, he took a heavy fall trying to get back on stage. Luckily, he appeared to be alright.
The last song was introduced “We want to play a song by the greatest band ever and they are Australian! They start with a A” and the crowd erupted. “Yes, it is Air Supply and here is their greatest song ever, T.N.T.” Nice!!!
With the main set finished, the band just stood around while Chris pretended to leave the stage before telling us “You know how this works, we go off stage, you yell and cheer knowing we will come back on for another song. We then come back on for another song pretending to be surprised. Why should we bother going off stage?” They then launched into Sandpaper from Shin and Bones as a finale with an extended crescendo finale. The band remained on stage for ages drinking in the emotion coming from the audience. The audience then started filing out of the Gov with huge smiles on their faces.
I ended last weeks Dead Kennedys review with “The “Fun Gig” of the year.” Oops! I spoke too soon and was a week out.
Nothing will top this as the fun gig of the year.
P.S. There is no book called “101 Instructions for a Lead Singer in Rock n Roll” that I know of.