Scrap the ring, this time it was Fozzy vs. Jettblack in The Well. The place was heaving and I was hoping to leave with all my limbs intact; but all bets were off and it was anyone’s game! The first crack of the whip went to the rough and ready Jettblack; I don’t know which one was geared up most, the band or the audience. Anyway, guitars on tight, drumsticks picked up and… action.
How do I put this? When a band opens the night with an eh-hem, less than modest song called Slip It On; it’s pretty hard not to have a ravenous response. So right from the combustible guitar intro, to the jacked-up audience, the night was already ripe. Come on, if you’re gonna dish out some raw ‘cock-rock’, it has to be served undiluted!
Next on the register was Mother F***er. Musically it was bang on! Doing the classic, ‘rise at the front of the stage to show the audience who’s boss’, had to be done!
Here’s a cocktail for ya; mix up two singers with elasticated vocals, add one bass thundering its way through, plus a drummer beating the crap out of the kit, and what do you get… the ‘lock up your daughters’ Two Hot Girls. Of course half way through it had to happen; tapping here, harmonics there, bending and yeah you guessed it, the whammy. It’s a fact, guitar-offs are a must have, especially when you do them right; let just say, we got our ticket's worth.
There is always a song that is the dark horse of the set; a song which makes you lose all sense of surroundings. To be blunt Get Your Hands Dirty was the clear leader of the set; or I could even say “this one goes to eleven”. Everything just gelled like a hand in a velvet glove! Even though it was their last shot of the night, that song left smoke marks behind it!
Yes the stage was pretty basic. But hey, you always make the most out of what you can work with! Some support gigs get the image of just being a gateway to the headliner; a warm up band maybe. There’s also the others, who even though they are co-headlining, they don’t act like the entrance, they behave like the goods behind the door! In this case, it just shows never underestimate the support act! Job done!
First thing I want to clarify about round two is that I felt pulverised; I’m not the wrestler but still felt like I needed padding! So when Fozzy landed on stage with Jericho wearing sunglasses, it was pretty inevitable what welcome he received; one bigger than his muscles!
Well Paraskavedekatriaphobia (Friday 13th) caused a rumble in the jungle, to say the least. Good song choice to break in the set. Musically, they were squeaky clean; well as clean as a tornado song can get. Sod the wake-up call; it was blow your heads off time!
If there was ever a moment where it was impossible to keep still, it was during Eat the Rich; I think everyone else would agree. I swear down it was skin crawling! The drive behind that loyal audience skimmed with the ‘I don’t take no crap’ attitude of the band, tore the place down! One problem, shame they didn’t play it again!
With the ride going along smoothly, Grail hit the stage. More like holy hell! What baffled me was how intimidating Jericho was. He stood there, in sunglasses with this belting voice and I didn’t know whether to give him a pat on the back and say “well done mate” or run and hide. I’m not slating it or anything, it just bewildered me how easily he could dominate the audience.
Before playing the flammable God Pounds His Nails, we were instructed to do the usual audience games such as; you sing this when I do this etc….It did the trick though; the Fozzy legion were eager to obey! Nice touch, it made the set personal!
Encore = Enemy. With everyone almost drooling over the stage, I’m surprised they weren’t knackered; unless they’d been working out of course! If there was any song that was gonna leave burn marks on a stage, it’s this one! From the rough and tumble vocals of Jericho, the impeccable stain marks of the guitars and bass and that tick, tick ticking of the drums; the songs performance was a hybrid spawn of musical perfection. In other words the encore was watertight!
I must admit, there were no stage props again or gimmicks, just the band, the audience and the atmosphere; that good enough for ya? All in all, a good gig. It was Fozzy; they weren’t gonna leave without a fight (sorry it had to be said). They kicked off with the stage, hacked it to shreds, chewed it up and spat it out. Should it be any other way…. s**t no! Seriously, good luck in peeling your shirts off tonight folks!
by Kathryn Longbottom.