WORDS AND PIX: ED THOMPSON
The anticipation of seeing FOZZY lead by WWE star Chris “Y2J” Jericho was met with both anticipation and reservation. The anticipation was that I have always enjoyed Chris’ work both In and out of the ring since the 90’s. He’s truly a great performer. The reservation was that all the YouTube video’s that are out there show Chris Jericho’s voice as being a little rough and not ready for a big tour like FOZZY was starting. I do have to say, I had no doubt that Jericho would be a great performer on the mic and would keep the audience at Diesel in the palm of his hand. I just wanted to and I was proved wrong about his voice. And boy, was I.
FOZZY lead by Jericho came out strong and never dropped the tempo a bit. FOZZY and Jericho ran though over 20 plus of their hits and kept the crowd wanting more all through their encore.
FOZZY came out with their opener “Judas” which appears to be their choice in every city. Jericho came out and again, kept the crowd in the palm of his hand all night long. They ran right through “Sin and Bones”, “Tonight” and “To Kill a Stranger” before Jericho took a break and thanked the crowd for coming out to the show. The crowd at Diesel was obviously happy to be there. They kept Jericho from talking on the mic for almost 3 minutes with just constant cheering for Jericho and the band. Once the standing ovation was complete, Jericho thanked the crowd in Pittsburgh told them they were in for a great show. And he was right.
FOZZY led right into the heart of their set with “One Crazed Anarchist”, Inside My Head” and “Eat The Rich” (a Krokus cover). Jericho’s voice was perfect tonight. Is was crisp and clear and strong from start to finish. The supporting band members were all great musicians. None missed a beat. Actually, some added a beat here and there. The only thing that I notice is that Jericho was the prized diamond. He was the center if attention the entire concert. From start to finish, Jericho was in the limelight. I always like to see the limelight spread amongst the entire band. Frank Fontsere on the drums was great and deserved some of the spotlight. He was beat for beat all night long. Richie Ward on lead guitar was incredible. He definitely supported the rest of FOZZY and kept Jericho going all night long. Paul Di Leo on the bass was also great and kept the beat thumping all night long. His bass solo made some jaw drops in the crowd from what I saw. I know mine did. All in all, the combination of these guys added up to be a great lineup. The one I think that will make some noise across the music scene this summer.
The rest of the night included some strong songs which did showcase each and every member a little bit but mostly Jericho’s talents on the mic. “Sandpaper”, “With The Fire”, “God Pounds His Nails” and “Spider In The Mouth” led into the second half of the setlist and remained strong. Jericho’s voice never broke. It remained top notch all night long. ABBA’s “S.O.S” ran into the end of the set list. Accompanied by “Do You Want To Start A War”, “Lights Go Out”, “Bad Tattoo” end the night and led into the encore “Enemy” which was an incredible song to end the night. Without a doubt, it left the Pittsburgh wanting more and already wishing for a future tour date in the city.
All in all, it was a great show. No doubt it was meant to showcase Jericho and his voice to put him out on the music as a prominent “front man”. Which in my opinion he did tonight. Chris had the qualities of a David Lead Roth and great and strong vocals to go with it. Will it continue, is purely up to Chris. I personally would have loved to see each member showcased a little more during the set list. I personally am looking forward to the next FOZZY show here in Pittsburgh.
All photos © 2017 HyperExposure Photography