Tonight’s gig at the Craufurd arms was sold out quickly after the show was announced several weeks ago. Fresh from playing Download, Fozzy was here for a small intimate gig.
Support tonight came from Walsall based Stone Broken, who, like Fozzy had played Download festival a few days ago. They’d packed out the fourth stage tent at Download, and when they took to the stage here at the Craufurd arms the place was already pretty full. That says a lot – I usually see the support acts play to a half empty room as people sit outside drinking before the headliner, and with today being a hot sunny day then I was expecting a lot of people to opt for a cool outside seating area over a hot sweaty venue, but Stone Broken have a good reputation and that was enough to convince people to come and check them out.
They certainly didn’t disappoint – they’re not just good musically but have the stage presence needed to make a show entertaining. They’re constantly moving around, coming to the front of the stage to get close to the crowd, and interact well with each other and the crowd. They come across as a far bigger band than they currently are, and with the strong songs they have and their stage skills they’re bound to be a lot bigger before too long.
By the time Fozzy started the venue was like a sauna – it really was incredibly hot in there, so when Chris Jericho came on in a leather jacket I was surprised he was still able to perform. He managed a couple of songs before the heat forced him to remove the jacket. I’ve seen Fozzy several times, but always at festivals rather than their headline gigs, so while I was expecting them to be good tonight, I was still surprised by just how good they were – being in front of a crowd of their own fans seems to give them a real energy boost.
Partway through the set I had to venture outside for a few minutes to avoid collapsing in the heat, and while outside the venue was treated to a moment of comedy gold. Chris Jericho stepped off stage to put on another jacket (this one lights up), and due to the heat decided to step through the stage door so he could cool down as he prepared to return to the stage. Unfortunately as he stepped outside, someone closed the door behind him, so after he put the jacket on and heard the intro tape for the next song start he found himself locked out and was frantically banging on the door and kicking it (and with a big guy like Chris Jericho I’m impressed the door stayed in one piece). Eventually someone inside heard him and let him in just in time to do the song. He did joke about it later in the show saying he thought he’d probably broken his toe from kicking the door.
During “Do you wanna start a war” Chris Jericho picked up a gun that fired jets of CO2 out over the crowd – something that was very welcome as it lowered the temperatures significantly for a couple of minutes.
The crowd were having a great time, and when he asked them to sing along to “Sandpaper” most of the crowd did sing along.
We got two cover versions as part of the set – Judas Priest’s “Freewheel burning”, and ABBA’s S.O.S. The Judas Priest cover was very well done, and the ABBA cover added a bit of fun to the show.
A fantastic show from two great bands playing in sauna-like conditions. The fans all left hot, sweaty and happy at the end of the night.[flickrapi user=”planet mosh” get=”photoset” id=”72157682148907222″ size=”z” count=”100″]