Words: Matt Maric
Photos: Anne-Laure Marie

Yesterday is unfortunately a day that will go down in Melbourne’s history for all the wrong reasons. Mid-afternoon there was an altercation within Bourke Street Mall that not only resulted in the shooting death of the perpetrator, but at least one innocent bystander.

Nothing will slow the Melbourne music scene down however; this was evident by the long line of Fozzy fans waiting outside Max Watt’s which happened to be half a block away from Bourke Street! Having been five years since their last visit to Fozztralia, the ‘Judas’ tour was a long overdue return for Chris Jericho and co.

Opening up the night was Torrential Thrill and after having reviewed their second album ‘Nothing As It Seems’, this reviewer was most excited to see their name on the bill. Those who had made the trek down early were treated to a very tight, professional thirty minute set consisting of six songs. Chris Malcher (Lead Vocals/Rhythm Guitar), Steve Morrell (Lead Guitar/Backing Vocals), Matt Morrell (Drums) and Steve ‘Knox’ Boyd (Bass/Gang Vocals) let their music do all the talking, which showed as those in attendance were head-banging along from the opening chord of opening track Mars!

Keeping the momentum flowing, Hail Mary flowed paved the way for third song of the set Not My President being dedicated to “the orange Cheeto in the White House”, before those in attendance were treated to Torrential Thrill’s first ever single King of the Road. Closing their set out with Waking The Neighbours and Human Zoo, Torrential Thrill showed that good old fashioned Aussie rock is still alive and kicking!

Further showcasing the local talent, Dangerous Curves filled the gap between Torrential Thrill and Fozzy; this coveted spot was well earned as Kym (Vocals), Cammy (Guitar/Backing Vocals), Will (Bass/Backing Vocals) and Luke (Drums) tore their way through another fast paced and tight thirty minute set. Kicking off with Sensational Submit, hit single Art of the Heart got the still growing crowd singing along in unison as the band bounded across the stage. High on the energy increase, See You Again was delivered with such passion that the foundations of Max Watt’s were shaking! I Like It and So Dirty Right paved the way for what Dangerous Curves thought was the last song of the night in Club Mile High, but found out after conclusion that they had time for not just one, but another two songs; this lead to attendees being treated to Crazy Bitch and Blow My Whistle before Dangerous Curves left the stage to a well-deserved round of applause.

The energy soared to another level as it got closer to Fozzy gracing the stage and before you knew it, the five year wait had finally come to an end! Gracing the stage alongside Jericho were Rich Ward (Lead Guitar/Backing Vocals), Frank Fontsere (Drums), Billy Grey (Rhythm Guitar/Backing Vocals) and Randy Drake (Bass/Backing Vocals) and once they assumed their positions, kicked off the tour with title track Judas before following up with second huge hit from the album Drinking With Jesus. Jericho was completely blown away by the response of the 400-plus crowd, before questioning “what the f*ck were we thinking taking so long to come back?!?”

Before taking fans on a small trip into the back catalogue, Jericho made mention of the events earlier today and commented how they would never prevent us from enjoying the love that music can bring into our lives, which received a earth shaking cheer from everyone in the room! One Craze Anarchist and Sin And Bones got the horns up and fans screaming at the top of their lungs, before it came to light that today was actually Jericho’s birthday; in fact during Burn Me Out, someone had supplied Jericho with a gift-bag containing Tim Tams and a KISS hat!

After passing the Tim Tams along the front row of the audience and celebrating the Official Jericho Birthday Party, Jericho was proud to introduce the third top 10 single from ‘Judas’ in Painless, before Spider In My Mouth got fans even more energized and running towards the Elevator; those who didn’t make it, ended up being drafted as Jericho questioned Do You Wanna Start A War? Paying homage to the earlier days of covering songs, Fozzy performed the first of two for the night; fans from side to side and from front to back were singing alongside Jericho as he performed ABBA’s SOS. Not showing any signs of slowing down, Fozzy have launched into Lights Go Out before Jericho was treated to yet another birthday surprise, this time from two of his long time friends; coming out in matching attire (nipple tape included!), they’ve presented Jericho with a dick and balls shaped cake. In the words of Jericho, the presented cake “resembles the province of Manitoba and Winnipeg is right here” before creating a nice little indentation at the tip.

After talking to fans about the struggles of keeping the Wolves at Bay, Jericho took fans all the way back to their third album (but first with original music) and treated us to Enemy. This was when Fozzy bought out the second cover of the night, introducing a song that “was written by a band from here that you may or may not know” – this song was T.N.T  by AC/DC! After the final chords played out, Fozzy attempted to leave the stage to the dismay of everyone in attendance; this resulted in Jericho being cheered every time he walked towards the middle of the stage and booed when walking towards backstage. Once arriving in the middle of the stage for the last time, Jericho has quipped “You and I both know that we are supposed to walk off stage, you chant our names lour enough and then we walk out and play one more; but to save time, let’s just pretend we’re not here and you do it anyway!” Once Jericho covered his face with a towel, the crowd started the Fozzy chant and got excited/disappointed as we were teased by the removal of the towel from Jericho’s face. Once it finally came off after a few minutes of teasing, the final song and “surprising” encore was Sandpaper, which resulted in a standing ovation from everyone in the venue when it came to a close.

Drinking With Jesus
One Crazed Anarchist
Sin And Bones
Burn Me Out
Spider in My Mouth
Do You Wanna Start a War
SOS (ABBA Cover)
Lights Go Out
Wolves at Bay
T.N.T (AC/DC Cover)

Torrential Thrill

Dangerous Curves