Words and Pictures: Adrian Hextall / MindHex Media
This was something of a special weekend. Fozzy performing live in London in what the band said was the biggest headlining show of their career followed by a performance of ‘Judas’ at Wembley Stadium… yep you read that right, in front of 81,000+ fans as part of the ‘AEW All In’ event, at which Chris Jericho also took on Will Ospreay in a rather epic encounter.
A storybook event… and one that the wrestling world does so well. Now whether or not wrestling floats your boat, there’s no denying Fozzy bring some quality tunes to the table. So, before the Wembley event (video below) , we were treated to a storming night of rock music with Fozzy, Massive Wagons and Kris Barras Band at the O2 Forum in Kentish Town.
Kris Barras Band
Kris Barras made his name in the MMA circuit and I can’t have been the only one to imagine some sort of match where Kris vs Chris was a thing… I mean…. come on! The money is printing itself at this point. Make it happen promoters !
Sadly it wasn’t to be and the Kris Barras Band, hit the stage playing hard duty rock for a mixed crowd. Half here to listen to Fozzy the band and half here to witness Y2J as the chants suggested so Kris and Co. had their work cut out and needed to make an impact an fast.
With dual guitar solos between Barras and Josiah J Manning, a grittier edge to the music nowadays than that that Kris was playing only a handful of years ago and a much rawer feel to the songs, they gave everything to win over a rather tough crowd. There were several KBB shirts in the crowd so they always had support when they needed it and on tracks like ‘Ignite (Light It Up)’ they were definitely pulling the crowd onto their side.
Bassist Frazer Kerslake and drummer Billy Hammett form a tight rhythm section and Frazer is so animated I could watch him for hours.
The band finished on the exhilarating ‘My Parade’. It’s the first single that really showcased the new direction Kris wanted to take with his music and judging by the rousing sing along provided by the crowd, I think he’s found his niche.
Next up, Massive Wa….. wait now, what’s that on the guitar pedal?
No matter how many times I see this on stage it till brings out the inner 12-year old in me and a giggle bursts forth. What’s not to like and the lads from up north bring that humour to the table each and every time they play. I’ve seen Massive Wagons more times than I can mention and whilst I may mutter “again..!!?” to myself, that pedal and the opening notes of ‘Fuck the Haters’ which also had me singing along in style, meant that the second set of the night was also filled with another high-energy performance with an already warmed up crowd responding with gusto and then some.
With KBB taking the opportunity to come off the bench once more before locking themselves away to record the remainder of their next album, Massive Wagons are here doing the perfect warm-up before embarking on an upcoming headline tour of the UK in November.
As well as their own ear worms, Wagons played a belting version of Judas Priest’s ‘Breaking The Law’ which pushes the crowd up another notch just in time for the big entrance from Fozzy.
If there’s one thing Chris Jericho knows how to do, it’s work a crowd into a frenzy. The show in London was no different and whilst the numbers in no way matched the 81,000 that would see him perform in Wembley Stadium, it made no difference. The audience raised-the-roof of the Forum and then some.
Fired up by KBB and MW, it could have easily been a walk in the park for Fozzy but in fact they gave it their all from the off. Kickstarting proceedings with ‘Sane’ then proved just why their biggest headline show meant so much to them.
Mainstay Rich Ward reminded us just why the energy of Fozzy is infectious and he was ably supported on the other side of the stage by Billy H Grey. Like KBB Grant Brooks on drums and PJ Farley on bass helped provide a stunning musical backdrop replete with fog surrounding Brook’s kit.
Unsurprisingly, especially with so many AEW members in the balcony seats, part-way through the group’s set, Jericho took a heartfelt and touching moment to pay tribute to the late Windham Rotunda, also known as Bray Wyatt, the wrestler who, at just 36 I believe, had passed away only the day before.
A visibly choked Chris got a huge supportive cheer from the crowd at the end and credit to them, silence during the moment he offered his respects to Bray.
As the show continued. Frankie’s ‘Relax’ as re-done on the Fozzy’s ‘Boombox’ album, got an airing and of course went down a storm – how could it now.
They ended on ‘Judas’, the track that would make an entrance at the Wembley event a day later and then closed the show with Ramones’ ‘Blitzkrieg Bop’.
Festival material and then some. Festival planners for 2024 please take note.. we want more!
Drinkin With Jesus
Nowhere to Run
Do You Wanna Start a War
Lights Go Out
Relax – (Frankie Goes to Hollywood cover)
I Still Burn
Burn Me Out
Spider in My Mouth
God Pounds His Nails
The Vulture Club
Blitzkrieg Bop (Ramones cover)