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.
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.
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