Live Reviews : Fozzy, Dead City Ruins & Heaven The Axe @ The Espy, Melbourne 13/12/2013
How Fozzy, Dead City Ruins and Heaven the Axe broke my neck.
As I worked my way through the crowded St Kilda streets, trying to find a parking lot in a city that is still relatively unfamiliar to me, I was cranking through Fozzy‘s latest CD “Sin and Bones” in an effort to learn more about a band that mates had always shown me “Man, you NEED to check them out” but somehow Fozzy always remained on the “to do” list.
Turns out I was in for one hell of a crash course.
Heaven the Axe came out first and fired up their brand of Powerful, hook-filled awesomeness, I had never seen these guys live before. They were energetic, and very tight, especially considering their new drummer had his first jam with them the night before!
Phoebe’s voice was fantastic, as was her stage presence, changing from a coy, pigtailed, innuendo filled girly girl, to a SCARILY accurate Phil Anselmo impersonation (body language and all) in the blink of an eye for their rework of Pantera’s monstrously heavy “We’ll Grind That Axe For A Long Time” (Call Heaven the Axe For A Good Time) was fantastic and made me nearly bang my head clean off. This is one band I will definitely be seeing again.
Next up was Dead City Ruins, fresh off a European tour with Skid Row and Ugly Kid Joe. These Les Paul toting-crocodile skinned Soldano rocking-Ozzy Osbourne tattoed-madmen brought the old school heavy almost effortlessly. These guys definitely know how to pace their set really well, especially the pounding song “D.I.B”, with tasty fast paced riffage, and a creepy Black Sabbath meets Kyuss breakdown it definitely set a cool mood.
“And if you can’t come and see us, go and see another band. Keep supporting live music!” their wild eyed singer Jake Wiffen proclaims, which was awesome to see, you can really tell these guys care about Melbourne’s live music scene. He also certainly has a mad set of pipes, sounding a lot like an Ozzy Osbourne but also different enough to have his own style going on.
Fantastic musical taste, stage presence, and a never failing sense of melody gives me confidence that the future of real, live, heavy rock music is in fantastic hands.
Next, it was Fozzy. The crowd had now gathered significantly in anticipation and started cheering as “Have A Drink On Me” by AC/DC came on over the P.A as Fozzy’s intro track.
First up was “Spider In My Mouth” as Rich Ward and co-fired up the riff, Chris Jericho came charging out in his signature shiny leather jacket and aviators. An absolute ball of energy, his signature stage presence really had the crowd moving.
The set contained snippets from throughout their career with their cover of Motorhead‘s “Eat the Rich” from their self titled debut album, “Whitechapel 1888/To Kill A Stranger” from Happenstance was definitely a highlight for me. “Martyr No More” is a favorite of mine from Fozzy and it was TWICE as heavy live. Rich Wards Peavey 6505+ and Gibson Moderne combo went a long way to achieving this.
“God Pounds His Nails”, a song I hadn’t heard before, absolutely blew me away with it’s sledgehammer groove riff and catchy call and response chorus, which Jericho used to great effect with the entire crowd as far as I could see back throwing their fists in the air for the chorus responses.
Between most of the songs, the crowd was chanting “Fozzy! Fozzy! Fozzy! Oi! Oi! Oi!” I never thought I’d see Chris Jericho lost for words, but I never thought a show at the Gerschwin room could feel like an arena either. Fozzy and their rabid fans made it happen.
The stadium feel was brought to another level when Jericho tried to subtly introduce “Enemy” and before he’d even said the name of the song the crowd started chanting “Enemy”, cue one of the best crowd singalongs I’ve been involved in…EVER!
This show was amazing. Strong Aussie act after strong Aussie act and Fozzy bringing their beautifully energetic heaviness, with a wry smile. It was incredibly fun and if you’re sitting at home on your laptop reading this on a Saturday night, I wholeheartedly encourage you to take a couple of hours out of your night and go out and check out a live local show, and who knows, you may even have as much fun as I did!
Thankyou to Cory Lockwood for lending his photos of the show to us. Check out his website.