Fozzy was the show that Melbourne needed last night. When I turned up to Max Watt’s last night for the show Melbourne was a town in mourning. Walking up to the venue black Police vans lined the street and the police tape and the Bourke Street Friday night darkness being pierced by red and blue emergency lights was a stark reminder of the terrorist attack that had happened just a few 100 metres from the venue a couple of hours earlier.
Respectfully Fozzy led by the enigmatic Chris Jericho gave Melbourne what it needed last night… a way to forget the outside world for awhile. What I don’t think anyone expected though was to see that Fozzy have become a great band… and I mean a GREAT band that last night put on one of the best shows of 2018 last night.
The last couple of years have seen big things for Fozzy. The release of their Judas album in late 2017 was a real game-changer for the band. What to me was the perfect hard rock album suddenly had the band be noticed by people who had never noticed them before. The album ended up producing three Top Ten singles and the result seems to have flowed on with the band playing now with a new found confidence. A confidence that made last night truly memorable.
There were no weaknesses at all for Fozzy during the gig. They had the crowd in the palm of their hand from song one and even a moment of silence on the stage caused a chant of ‘Fozzy, Fozzy’ to rise up… if there was any doubt on Fozzy’s popularity in Australia last night diminished all of that – they have found a home away from home. There was no teasing the audience about doing the hits as encores Jericho and co exploded into ‘Judas’ first up and from the get-go you could tell this was going to be an energetic and skilful set.
The band were oozing with their new-found confidence and any idiot that still sees them as a gimmick band was soon eating their words as Chris Jericho showed why he is one of the best front-men going around with a guttural, primal scream that certainly would test most vocalists vocal chords at the end of ‘Drinkin’ With Jesus’.
The crew also need a round of applause for the night, their work led to one of the best mixed live sets I have ever heard. When the band launched into ‘One Crazed Anarchist’ it sounded so perfect it felt you were listening to the album and from there things just got better and better as the crowd joined in on tracks like ‘Sin And Bone’ and ‘Burn Me Out.’
Jericho kept reminding the audience that this was a bash was his birthday and he wasn’t wrong because everybody seemed to get presents. He got Tim-Tams and a KISS hat from one audience member and the crowd were treated to amazing performances of much-loved tracks like ‘Painless’ and ‘Do You Want To Start A War.’ By the time Jericho’s famed ‘light-up’ jacket came out the band were delving into a brutal versions of ‘Spider In My Mouth’ and ‘Lights Go Out’. On top of that was one of the highlights of the night – Fozzy’s great cover version of ABBA’s ‘SOS.’
Anyone still sceptical over Fozzy’s musical pedigree would have been blown off their feet by the brilliant performance of Rich Ward on guitar during ‘Wolves At Bay’ and ‘Enemy’ the latter containing a guitar solo that shows why Ward is one of the most under-rated guitarists in modern rock. His playing last night was nothing short of phenomenal.
Last night’s gig showed every music fan why Fozzy are one of the most exciting bands in the world at the moment. They delivered a pure show of amazing hard rock and you have a hard rock fan this is one tour you shouldn’t miss in 2018 because this a band that has just reached an amazing new peak.