can you take the weight of my world?
Fozzy @ Manning Bar, Sydney NSW Australia 10/11/2018 written by Brendan Lewis, photos by Kristin Harrigan & Mark K’Nell
Come my child, I hear your SOS, your calling, your desperation for greatness. Let us take the infernal elevator down to the fiery depths, to a place your enemy dare not enter. The Judas in your heart may have left you raw and brazen like sandpaper, but tonight, it’s time to leave your wolves at bay, become painless, unstoppable, and come running with the bulls and dance with the brides of fire, on the Fozzy, ‘Judas Rising’ tour here in Sydney tonight!
Are you ready? Can you truly handle the weight of my world? We shall see, we… shall… see… Muahahahaha!
As we descend to the depths of the show tonight, our ears are now melted with an explosion of enormous bass as the band emerge from the darkness and onto the stage, to unleash the first song, ‘Judas’. The fire in the audience is lit straight away by lead singer Chris Jericho, gracing us with his presence up close to the crowd, and acts out the fierce musical intent in blazing on-stage energy, as billowing smoke shoots up from the stage around him. And finally, with a higher-pitched, almost falsetto vocal scream from Chris and one last blast of billowing smoke, an eruption of cheers emerge from the audience! This is one hell of a scorching blaze of glory to start this infernal set that’s for sure!
You think you’ve got this show all figured out now don’t you? HA! Your ignorance is bliss, for playtime is over sweetheart!
The insanely red-hot energy from the band continues to fire-up the crowd for the next four songs yes, (‘Drinkin’ With Jesus’, ‘One Crazed Anarchist’, ‘Sin And Bones’ and ‘Burn Me Out’ respectively), but in this group of infernal rock majesty’s, there is but one who’s fire rages too wildly, burning all in it’s path. The bass, of course, it’s always the f***in’ bass that tends to burn out of control if a sound mixer isn’t careful! From what is audible, Chris’s smoky rough yet smooth in a tasteful melodic blend, seem on par with the recording from what I can tell, and in ‘Drinkin’ With Jesus’, the vocal levels do seem a little heightened. But still, sadly, along with the vicious guitar brutality, do struggle to keep their godly (or demonic, depends which way you look at it) flames lit, especially in ‘One Crazed Anarchist’ and ‘Sin And Bones’, and are reduced to a mere flicker at times. At other times however, one can really bask in the glory of Chris’s tremendously larger-than-life melodic wrath especially notable in the slightly better mixed party of the seemingly doomed, ‘Burn Me Out’, which the band bring forth more doomed souls onto the stage (likely the support band(s) before them). Although the sound mix isn’t to my, and to my knowledge, a fair few others’ preference, the whole crowd are hooked on every wild movement from the band, and are the bands humble servants as it would seem. It’s no surprise really, the wailing spine-tingling guitar shreds at the end of the second chorus of ‘One Crazed Anarchist’ plus Chris spinning around wildly on stage like his ass is on fire to the stampeding four-horsemen drum charge at the start of ‘Sin And Bones’, is like fuel, on the already wild fire in the crowd.
The euphoric rock anthem vibe and mid-tempo beat in ‘Burn Me Out’ really got the crowd jumping and singing along, now the party’s really getting started! The party may just be getting started, but be warned, you may lose yourself along the way…
The next three songs, ‘Painless’, ‘Spider In My Mouth’, and ‘Elevator’, bring a darker, haunted feel to the music. What’s a party in hell without servants? The verse sections of ‘Painless’ oozes with a dark haunted despair like servants in hell, whereas the nicer sound mix and lighter chorus with a pleasant tonal balance of major and minor, seems to shimmer with hope, like said servants peering up at the sky in hope. But hope is not for the wicked here tonight! The beat and musical energy, transitions from a demonic roaring thrash with towers of smoke in ‘Spider In My Mouth’ after the songs intriguing yet terrifying evil lullaby sounding intro (yeah, I guess I’m a bit of a sissy), to a possessed rag doll head sway skip in the verses of ‘Elevator’, which is followed with a lively bounce in the chorus which brings to life any deceased energy in the crowd as everyone around me jumps and fist pumps.
Chris now takes hold of the hose, which apparently was what the smoke has been billowing out of, and proceeds to wave it around like a lunatic with a flamethrower. We may be nearing the close of this read, but the infernal energy ain’t slowing down!
The insane on-stage energy from all band members, as they race around without running into each other (surprisingly), wave their arms and instruments around and of course, jump off the fold back speakers on the stage, plus the engaging charisma from Chris as he talks between the brilliantly performed songs would make this one of the best rock shows I’ve seen in a very long time, IF the wild-fire bass didn’t melt the guitar and vocals in the mix in a vast number of songs. Hmmm still, my disappointment with the sound mixer is indeed weighed out, especially when the band dish out songs like their true-to-the-original cover of Abba’s ‘SOS’, which with the mellow stripped back verses make the vocals shine with all their might, plus fan favourites like the easy to sing along to, rock anthem ‘Enemy’, that lifts the spirits high.
High enough to escape the fiery depths I wonder? Well, I suppose that again depends which way you look at it. After a big speeding up all-out rock blast at the end of the AC/DC sounding ‘T….. oh wait, ‘T.N.T’ is actually an AC/DC song, no wonder it sounded like them and went down so well in the audience, the set is closed with a third-degree musical burn!
But seeing as the band were selling signed copies of tonight's setlist at the merch table before the show, we all know there’s one more song, and, well, Chris so subtly teasing us by walking onto the stage, then off, then back on, then back off and so on doesn’t give that away at all does it?
After one final thank you and revving up from Chris, the final burner for this evening is a classic off the bands’ first album, ‘Sandpaper’. This one is a big-hot smoky serving of southern-fried rock, that’s right, just good ol’ no muckin’ around rock! Hang on, I don’t believe it?! For the first time tonight, the sound mix is spot on and all sounds burn brightly and evenly as they should!...... Better late than never I guess! It’s songs like this, that when all sounds are clearly audible and even from a band like these guys, you can really appreciate and admire each sounds own defining role in the song, yet don’t outshine any of the others, and merely feed off one another to build the songs flame bigger!
With the perfect sound mix, same insane on-stage energy and rapid explosive rock-out finale to the song, I couldn’t have asked for a better finish to the set!