Photos by Squirty G
Before we get started, just know that my experience of this show may not be the same as others…
For the first time in many attempts, I actually got to a show early enough to see These Four Walls bang out their brand of hard rock. I have heard plenty about these guys and spoken to them a few times, but had yet to pop my live cherry until Wednesday night.
Was it worth the wait?
You betcha it was!
They might come from the land of the scared sheep, but I’m pretty sure we have claimed them as our own here in Australia so shove it Kiwi’s! Everything I had heard about These Four Walls was on the money.
Big sound? Check.
Great stage presence? Check.
Cool as fuck? Check.
I could go on, but all boxes will be checked, so you get the picture.
Taking the brave and confident step of opening with their new track Marigold – so new it was only a couple of days old -These Four Walls had the crowd dancing and jumping from the outset. Their sound was huge and judging by the shit-eating grin plastered on each of their faces they were pretty happy to be here.
A short chat at the bar with Andy Clark let me know these guys have been on his radar for years and if they’re good enough for Andy…
The set was over with a little too quickly, with the boys powering through Fire Away and White Lies before playing Slow (original) which lead into a scintillating rendition of Led Zeppelin’s Whole Lotta Love that pleased all of us older rockers in the crowd.
Finishing off with Bravery and Nothingland, I’m going to be brave here myself and declare These Four Walls the musical highlight of the whole evening! Very impressive.
I have never seen Fozzy before, nor heard much of their stuff, but after interviewing guitarist Rich Ward last week and being smitten by his exuberant personality I knew I had to see him live.
And the man didn’t disappoint.
He was like an uncaged lion up there, bouncing, running, sweating and constantly smiling. What a legend.
Frontman Chris Jericho is a dominant presence on stage with his hulking frame and wrestlers physique. And he knew how to turn on the charm. In buckets.
His band persona isn’t too dissimilar to his wrestling superstar image, with his use of theatrics and animated performance making sure he was the centre of attention at all times when Rich wasn’t stealing the limelight.
Two television screens on either side of the stage pumped out visuals and lyrics the whole time, their unobtrusive size and positioning a welcome relief from the massive screens that dwarf the stage used by most venues.
Opening with Sane before powering through One Crazed Anarchist and Nowhere To Run, the set highlight of Do You Wanna Start A War was more of a statement than a question and then Light’s Go Out sent the crowd into raptures.
But it was Fozzy’s rendition of Relax by Frankie Goes To Hollywood that drew the most applause, and what a damn fine, unexpected song to insert into the set!
The boys closed out the set with Enemy and Judas before Jericho returned to the stage after earlier shouts of “shoey” from the crowd had seemingly gone unanswered.
Jericho re-emerged with his own shoe (maybe not his own, but he came back on stage with it) and proceeded to dutifully drink from the foot anchor and the crowd lapped it up.
But, spoiler alert here, IT WAS ALL KAKA.
HEAVY’s intrepid photographer Squirty managed to get a photo of said shoe and upon closer examination, the dirty details were revealed. Check out the photo to see for yourself…
Speaking of dirty, Fozzy played a cover of AC/DC’s Dirty Deeds as an encore, but I kind of wish they hadn’t.
Full respect to bands that cover an Aussie artist when they play here, but if you are going to choose someone like AC/DC then you had better fucken get it right.
Especially when the guitarist from Australia’s premiere AC/DC tribute act is in the crowd.
It was okay as far as a novelty finale but definitely not one of Fozzy’s greatest stage moments. Nuff said!
Now to Buckcherry.
I have seen these guys a couple of times before and loved every show, but tonight was… less than inspiring.
The band sounded flat from the outset, the youthful energy of guitarist Stevie D the only highlight both visually and sonically. His solos – which started in the first song – were awesome and his engagement with the crowd was a welcome distraction from the lethargic and uninterested performances around him.
I don’t want to be too harsh because, being the first show of the tour, the boys could have been a little jet-lagged still, but that’s clutching at straws a little.
To put it bluntly, Buckcherry were off their game tonight.
So much so that people started leaving during Lit Up, which is one of the fans’ favourite songs.
The band trudged through So Hott, For The Movies and Hellbound, with vocalist Josh Todd doing his best to bring some life to proceedings with his usual swagger and anecdotes, but for some reason failed.
By the time they played Everything – which was only seven or eight songs in – I caught the eyes of both people I was attending with, and their pained expressions were quickly followed by “can we go now” and, I’m sorry to say, I said fuck yes.
I can’t remember the last time I walked out of a live show, and hopefully, it doesn’t happen again, but it is a long drive home and I had music that I knew was good in the car.
Don’t let my thoughts cloud your judgement if you plan on going to any of the other shows because I did almost have an argument with two guys in the toilet who were saying how great the show was…
Of course, I couldn’t help but give my opinion.