While most people in the St. Louis metropolitan area, and around the country as well, were glued to their televisions on Monday night awaiting the Daren Wilson Grand Jury decision, a few hundred braved the cold and chose to instead spend it with a former WWE champion in Chris Jericho at Pop’s Nightclub across the river in Sauget, IL.
Jericho is still wrestling, but now he focuses much of his time on is other love – fronting a hard rock band.
In Fozzy Jericho can live the life of a rock star without going through the usual injuries sustained by sustaining a wrestling circuit run that would see upwards of 300-350 dates per year.
The band (Jericho- lead vocals, Rich Ward – guitar, Frank Fontsere – drums, Billy Grey – Guitar and Jeff Rouse – bass ) is touring in support of their 6th album “Do You Wanna Start a War”.
For those who write off this band as a gimmick forget it. They are legit. The band was tight behind Jericho and the songs rocked. Jericho is a great front man and knows how to work a crowd.
From the first song (“Do You Wanna Start a War”) it was apparent that the show would be a high energy set. Pounding through one hard driving song after another Fozzy was solid, with highlights being their hit “Lights Go Out”, “Enemy” and “Sandpaper”. A heavy cover of ABBA’s “SOS” was especially intriguing and unique, to say the least.
Throughout the night Jericho (who’s father, Ted Irvine, played left wing for the NHL’s St. Louis Blues for two years in the 1970’s) was all over the stage working up quite a sweat. He has the energy onstage that is akin to Jacoby Shaddix of Papa Roach.
Jericho’s in-your-face, over the top attitudzzye is perfect for Fozzy’s sound, pure adrenaline fueled rock. What he may lack in vocal range he more than makes up for in charisma and attitude that creates a fun show that is entertaining from start to finish. Isn’t that was heavy metal is all about?
Shaman’s Harvest opened with a solid set, while Texas Hippie Coalition held the supporting slot.
THC played a solid biker rock set, that is when they actually played a song. Lead singer “Big Dad Ritch” spouted off between nearly every song with tired sophomoric anecdotes and juvenile jokes that focused primarily on sex and drugs. It would have been ok except that it seemed like that was all he talked about every single time he opened his mouth, and it grew old real fast.
Ritch even mocked the current volatile situation in St. Louis by feigning ignorance: “Is there something going on tonight? I don’t know.”(Regarding the grand jury decision that was to be announced, and would ultimately lead to a very violent night in St. Louis). He then tried to lead the crowd in a repeated chant of “F**k Ferguson! F**k Ferguson!” While some in the audience chanted with him many did not.
Meanwhile, Chris Jericho showed more class and instead wished everyone to be safe and to be good to one another while keeping the audience engaged via other means throughout the night.
It certainly appears “Big Dad Ritch” could learn a few lessons from Jericho on how to conduct yourself and still look cool.
Do You Wanna Start a War
To Kill a Stranger
One Crazed Anarchist
Sin and Bones
She’s My Addiction
God Pounds His Nails
Died With You
Spider in My Mouth
Martyr No More
SOS (ABBA cover)
Lights Go Out
Eat the Rich (Krokus cover)