Fozzy and Hardcore Superstar Live in Glasgow
Date: 4 November
Venue: The Garage, Glasgow
Support: Madame Mayhem, The Last Band
Fozzy and Hardcore Superstar continued their co-headline European Tour with a sell-out show in Glasgow on Saturday night. We’ve been hoping to cover one of Fozzy’s shows for some time, so when the opportunity came along we weren’t about to pass it up. Plus, it was a chance to have another fix of Hardcore Superstar, who we last saw during the Hard Rock Hell AOR Tour last March.
It seems pretty strange to say, but I’ve never been to a bad gig involving a Scandinavian rock band. I don’t know what it is about out cousins across the North Sea, but regardless of what flavour of rock music they perform, the bands we’ve seen have always been superb. Volbeat, Amon Amarth and Bonafide are just a few that we’ve been lucky enough to cover in the last couple of years or so, and all of them knocked it clean out the park. So it didn’t come as a complete shock that Hardcore Superstar kept that winning streak going last Saturday night.
The Glasgow audience had already been well and truly pumped up by The Last Band and Madame Mayhem by the time Hardcore Superstar arrived onstage. So as Jocke Berg and the guys exploded into first song Beg For It, the place was instantly rocking.
Saturday’s set was a raucous blast through some of the band’s best material from their 10 album, 20 year career. And though they began at a furious pace, as they blew through songs like Above The Law, Moonshine and the brilliant Last Call For Alcohol, the band’s momentum just seemed to keep building and building.
If there’s a frontman anywhere in rock who puts more power into his performances than Jocke Berg puts into his, then I’ve yet to see him. The guy is a ball of pure rock energy, and he doesn’t let up until the curtain comes down at the end of the show. Berg constantly bombs around the stage working the audience and delivers power-packed vocals. He was absolutely awesome.
Probably the most impressive aspect of their performance was the fact that you didn’t have to be an out and out thrash or hardcore metal fan to enjoy it. Sure, as you’d expect, there were plenty of balls to the wall thrash moments, but that was complimented by a liberal sprinkling of melodic material also.
Highlight of their set for me was We Don’t Celebrate Sundays. It’s one of those songs that if it didn’t have you punching the air and singing along in the chorus, you’re probably lacking a pulse. After Berg announced that this was to be their last song of the evening, everyone in the venue seemed to be intent on going out with a bang. The place just rocked! A brilliant finale to a great set.
As I waited for Fozzy to take to the stage, I entertained myself by trying to name as many famous sportsmen who had gone on to become successful rockstars as I could. Needless to say my list wasn’t that long, because other than Chris Jericho himself, I could only come up with former Moto GP star Jamie Toseland. And given that Jericho has been rocking with Fozzy for seventeen years and seven albums, there ain’t no doubt he’s earned his spurs as a bona-fide rockstar.
This was rammed home emphatically as the band let rip with opening song Judas. It’s an absolute sledgehammer of a song, and they followed that with the barnstorming Drinking With Jesus. Coincidentally these are also the first two tracks of Fozzy’s latest album Judas. Both songs showed Fozzy at their hard rockin’ best and shook the venue to it’s foundations.
The audience’s attention, unsurprisingly was mainly focussed on Chris Jericho, who has the rockstar frontman thang absolutely nailed. Tons of charisma, works the crowd as good as anyone I’ve seen, and has a really strong voice. He managed to bring just enough showbiz and showboating to the party without ever going over the top. And that includes when he donned his famous flashing jacket! But Fozzy isn’t a one man band by any stretch of the imagination, because there was some serious firepower backing him up. Guitarists Rich Ward and Billy Grey traded powerchords and blistering solos all night, while down in the engine room of the band Frank Fontsere and Paul Di Leo on drums and bass respectively drove things along relentlessly.
Although this was a night of no-nonsense rock music, that didn’t mean that there wasn’t room for a little bit of fun. After all, one of the things that makes Fozzy such a likeable band is the fact that they are clearly out to enjoy themselves as much as the audience. And with that in mind I can’t tell you how much fun it was watching a room full of metalheads rock out to Fozzy’s version of Abba’s SOS. In many ways that was my highlight of the entire evening!
After their brilliant diversion into pop music, Fozzy returned to more familiar territory with the double kick drum ferocity of Bad Tattoo before blasting through Enemy and rounding the night out with Sandpaper.
I suppose there are two ways of looking at Fozzy’s performance here. From a music perspective it was aggressive, powerful and roof-bustingly good rock music. Without a doubt one of our favourite rock gigs of the year. And then you look at it from an entertainment point of view. I know it’s probably not ‘cool’ to think of a rock gig in that way, but there’s no doubt that Fozzy delivered in spades in that respect. I lost count of the number of smiling faces leaving the venue at the end of the show. At the end of the day, isn’t that what it’s all about?
Fozzy ROCKS. End of.
Judas, Drinking With Jesus, Sin and Bones, Painless, Spider in My Mouth, Do You Wanna Start a War, Lights Go Out, SOS, Bad Tattoo, Enemy, Sandpaper
Hardcore Superstar Gallery