After standing in the pouring rain waiting for the doors to open, the seering heat inside The Talking Heads would be an ironic punishment for anyone who’d complained about the weather outside. Tonight Fozzy, the side project of former undisputed wrestling champion, Chris Jericho and Stuck Mojo guitarist, Rich Ward, were going to play to a sauna of the most rambunctious rock fans I’ve ever seen.
Firing off the set with ‘Under Blackened Skies’, some of the more bear-like attendees found the temperature an ideal excuse to cast aside their shirts and mosh up front. The energy was matched on stage, with Rich Ward headbanging hard enough to make even a passive observer dizzy. As the set continued, blasting through the single, ‘Martyr No More’ and ‘Grail’, Jericho himself commented several times on the atmosphere, and how it was “sweaty and dirty and rock n’ roll, yeah!” The crowd response was in turn hugely enthusiastic, with many fans clad in ‘Lady Gaga must be destroyed’ tour shirts, chanting between songs. At one point even Jericho’s old wrestling moniker ‘Y2J’ was chanted, which visibly embarrassed the singer in his current role.
Continuing on, material from their latest album remained a prominent feature of the set, with ‘Paraskavedekatriaphobia’, ‘God Pounds His Nails’ and ‘Let The Madness Begin’ soliciting a warm reaction from the crowd. Playing to the tastes of their audience, the band also included a cover of Judas Priest’s ‘Freewheel Burning’ which added some variety to the setlist. Jericho, famous for his charisma in wrestling, encouraged the fans further by offering to write a note for anyone who’d need to miss work for having rocked out too hard; signing his dictated letter off with a tidy expletive for the imagined boss.
The set rounded off with the encore of ‘To Kill A Stranger’ and ‘Enemy’, two older numbers from the band, which were met with an increase in sweaty crashing around from the topless populace of the mosh pit. Meanwhile the rest of the crowd expressed their appreciation by simply surviving the sweltering heat. As the last song ended and a cold rush of air entered from the doors outside, Rich Ward made a point of leaning into the audience and shaking as many hands as remained; a fitting ending for a band that are all about the fans. It was a shame to go back into the rain.