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04.15.2023: Fozzy @ The Lost Horizon

With guests: Seventh Day Slumber and The Nocturnal Affair

Chris Jericho of Fozzy, taking the stage.

It's extra interesting for me having seen this show and now writing this review immediately after experiencing the Red Hot Chili Peppers at the Dome. The two shows could not have been more different, and not just venue size and genre. While people steadily streamed into the Dome, they had lined up AROUND THE BLOCK at Lost Horizon. They bravely waited in line, past the Paradise Found strip club parking lot, and neither the dead squirrel nor used condoms nearby did anything to dampen the spirits of the crowd. And it was a fascinating crowd. All ages were present and ranged from stereotypical metalheads with tats, piercings and beards to suburban dads. During a set break at the bar, I overheard a group talking of "levelling up" and people in their sessions. At first I thought I was just old and it was Gen Z drug slang I hadn't heard before, but nope, they were talking about their DnD wizards.

The Line

The first band to take the stage was The Nocturnal Affair and they got things rolling right off the bat. They played mostly originals, but also covered Haddaway's What is Love? [baby don't hurt me]. Front man Brendan Shane sang his heart out, and did his opener duty to hype the crowd, even coming down into the photo pit to get that much closer to the fans. They closed out their set by asking the crowd to help them film a music video for their Depeche Mode cover, as a tribute to DM announcing they were heading out on their final tour. Being that I'm not a big Depeche Mode I honestly can't tell you what song it was, and none of the few people I spoke to at the show recognized it either. This is not a judgment of the performance, just my own personal shame at not recognizing the song.

The Nocturnal Affair

Next up was Seventh Day Slumber. As they took the stage, things went to the next level. As a voiceover prepared the crowd for what was to come, the video screens flanking the back of the stage flared to life. The video content ranged from the types of video clips and imagery you'd expect, to word for word lyrics which could help even the newest of fans sing along. Their songs covered a range of topics. Singer Joseph Rojas introduced a few ith what inspired them, and the stories were surprisingly personal, ranging from words that went unsaid to victims of addiction, to his attempt to express his affection and to be there for his supportive mother in law after her husband of 32 years left her.

Joseph Rojas, singing his heart out.

Here's a another point where this show was a stark juxtaposition to the night prior at the Dome. Tickets were only 25 bucks vs nearly 500 for floor seats. All the bands had merch, but it was affordable. I forget exact prices, but I recall being surprised how affordable the prices were, even for things like of like autographed set lists and drum heads. Seventh Day Slumber even was soliciting for charity, and more, if you sponsored a hungry child you could get 2 tee shirts and one of everything they had for sale on their table, including CDs. The crowd was different too. The Dome got loud, but I have a feeling the volume was augmented by the same echo that plagues the show. The crowd at The Lost Horizon was just as loud, and almost no one sat during the show. They only got louder and louder. The chants of "FOZZY FOZZY FOZZY" started during the set break and came back several times til the end of the night.

Chris Jericho works the crowd

Fozzy took the stage at 100 miles an hour and did no let up. They hit the ground running, opening with their single "Sane." Chris Jericho's background as a professional wrestler shone through. I don't watch wrestling these days, but I did grow up in the era of Macho Man Randy Savage, and Hulk Hogan and The Rock. The same level of theatrics that led to them remaining icons of pop culture today was fully present in the show Fozzy put on. Let's start with Jericho's attire: customized Air Force Ones, leather pants and elaborate leather jackets (starting with one with studs and beading reminiscent of peacock feathers, and evolving from there). While there were no turnbuckles or ropes, Mr. Jericho still had things to climb and swing on, including swinging from what I can only assume was part of the lighting rig over the front edge of the stage. Both he and the guitarists frequently straddled the photo pit to get closer to the crowd. Similarly the musicians put on a clinic in rock showmanship. Drummer Grant Brooks was shirtless behind his kit and frequently did flourishes like flipping sticks mid-riff. Lead guitarist Rich Ward bounced around the stage like a Tigger, and made lead guitarist faces that would make even Jim Carey's face sore. He and rhythm guitarist Billy Grey even traded dueling solos, and at one point, Rich covered Billy's eyes mid solo, and Billy didn't miss a note.
The overriding impression I got was that everyone was genuinely happy to be there. The smiles just seemed genuine, the energy too high that I want to believe it was truly a band having fun and feeding off the cherrs of a sold out crowd. Was it a work? The artists certainly weren't breaking metal kayfabe so we may never know. Chris described the sold out crowd as a frat party, and it certainly was a helluva party.

Gallery 1: The Nocturnal Affair

Gallery 2: Seventh Day Slumber

Gallery 3: Fozzy

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