Fozzy – Nonpoint: Soundcontrol, Manchester (UK)

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Despite a typical rainy evening in Manchester, the rock and roll spirit of tonight’s crowd cannot be dampened as a night of rousing heavy metal is to follow. Tonight’s headliners Fozzy have continually brought their high energy show to England, acquiring a credible reputation for their unforgettable performances.  Still reveling in the success of their 2014 opus Do You Wanna Start A War (Century Media) they are back and ready to ignite the ardent crowd that awaits them.

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Sumo Cyco. by Rich Price

Sumo Cyco, Canadian rocking punkers, kicked things off to a reasonable response, before Nonpoint take to the stage and despite my unfamiliarity with their material, they leave a lasting impression. Their upbeat, passionate delivery makes them an ideal support, front man Elias Soriano in particular shines with strong vocals and enthralling stage presence. A cover of Phil Collins ‘In The Air Tonight’ is unexpected but oddly works and provokes a big reaction from the crowd. Track ‘Bullet With A Name’ emerges as a fan favorite, bursting with nu-metal nostalgia, it’s undeniably catchy.

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Nonpoint, photo by Rich Price

Much to the crowds delight, Fozzy burst on stage with vigor, kicking straight into ‘Do You Wanna Start A War’. Frontman Chris Jericho lights up the room (literally) with his signature glowing jacket. Energy is instilled from the get go, as Jericho electrifies the crowd with his dazzling stage presence, executed with ease and confidence. What is so commendable about Fozzy, is the passion in their performance, despite playing a small-ish venue in Manchester they bring their all as if they’re performing at Wembley Arena.  The crowd is grateful, demonstrated by the chants of “Fozzy Fozzy Fozzy” between every song. Popular hits such as ‘God Pounds His Nails’ and ‘Enemy’ go down inevitably well, but it’s the sleazy anthem ‘She’s My Addiction’ that I personally favor. Clearly the night of bizarre cover versions as Fozzy put their own spin on ABBA’s ‘S.O.S’.

Concluding proceedings with M. Shadows from Avenged Sevenfold collaboration ‘Sandpaper’ and Krokus cover ‘Eat The Rich’, the crowd look disappointed that tonight’s festivities have come to a close. Aside from Chris Jericho’s individual prominence as a wrestler, Fozzy as a band once again prove why their live performances are immensely popular.

 

WORDS BY HEATHER BLEWETT

PHOTOS BY RICH PRICE

 

Fozzy – Do You Wanna Start A War?

Fozzy-Do-You-Wanna-Start-A-War-Album-Cover

 

When Chris Jericho rose to stardom in the WWE (or WWF as it was then) rings of the late 90’s he burst through the exciting, dangerous, Extreme (Championship Wrestling) influenced times of the “Attitude era” as a firebrand, risky, exciting loud-mouth. His intro hit, the arena darkened, and there he stood, mic in hand with everyone on the edge of their seat. In the ring, he’d go Hardcore, Lion-saulting around, adding to the unpredictable chaos that was pro-wrestling at its best. And he was one of the best.

Yet, fifteen years on, the WWE product has become boring, while Jericho’s own character turns up every few months for a run of cheap pops and some same old same old, the impulsive inspiration gone, as the five-moves-of-doom are performed with safety paramount – and we’re not talking safety in terms of not doing ridiculous things with barbed wire or smackdowning someone with a steel chair to the head (that is completely understood) – but in terms of stories, angles, match content and arcs.

And so Chris Jericho and his Heavy Metal Roadshow, Fozzy, return for album number six, Do You Wanna Start A War? (Century Media) and that theme of safety is prevalent again as they run through another slew of disposable rock/metal/groove tunes that scream WWE Metal. When Stuck Mojo (from which band guitarist Rich Ward and drummer Frank Fontsere originate) released an album with a wrestling belt on the cover maybe it wouldn’t have been a huge leap to see them penning pro-wrestling entrance theme and Pay-Per-View music in their future.

For that is what Fozzy is; safe, obvious, predictable music that suits being played over promos of uninspiring wannabes oozing testosterone at each other. Do You Wanna Start A War? is interchangeable with any number of Soils, Drowning Pools, Salivas, Black Label Societys or Shinedowns with its obvious grooves and you-know-what’s-coming-next choruses.

Jericho’s vocals are decent, even if you can hear the auto-tune at times, and there is a bit of schizophrenia abound as they flit from heavier grooves to trying to be radio hits, succeeding on the feel-good ‘Tonite’ which features Steel Panther’s Michael Starr but overall, even in the realms of mainstream more commercial rock/metal, there are plenty more doing it better.

File under “alright” and spend your time listening to something more worthwhile. Like the new Woven War.

 

5.0/10

Fozzy on Facebook

 

STEVE TOVEY