The night is warm, fans lining the side of Aftershock in Merriam, KS. Most are there for one reason: Fozzy. But of course, this is a rock show and not everything goes as scheduled. The event was advertised for doors to open at 6:00 pm, but due to some circumstances outside of anyone’s control, the doors opened an hour late. It happens, it’s rock n’ roll. You just have to learn to buckle in and enjoy the ride. Despite the late start to the evening, the fans remained positive and excited for the evening.
As the night kicks off, we see our first act. It’s a local band from Saint Joseph, MO, Thousand Years Wide. It’s always great having a local band being part of any rock tour, and Thousand Years Wide started this evening off with a bang. They hit the stage with high energy and just jumped right into their six song set. It did seem that there was a bit of audio issue with the lead singers mic, but that didn’t slow them down. Thousand Years Wide had a good connection with the crowd and obviously have a great following, If you get the opportunity to see them live, go, you will not be disappointed.
The second band of the evening was a bit unexpected, well for me at least. Stone Broken joined us at the Aftershock in the midst of their first US tour. Hailing from the United Kingdom, Stone Broken hit us in the mouth with a 7 song set that I can only describe as “Power Rock”. Their sound had me hooked right from the beginning of their set and honestly, 30 minutes was not enough time to get to enjoy their music. Stone Broken is still a really fresh young band, and hopefully we will be seeing a lot more from them in the future and more US tour dates.
Third and fourth up for the night we had The Stir and Adelita’s Way. The Stir comes from Atlanta, GA, and has a unique sound. The vocals remind me of Brian Johnson from AC/DC, but the music has a Megadeth feel to it. The combination of the two sounds work really well, but compared to the rest of the evening, the sound didn’t feel that it fit well with the rest of the bands. Adelitas Way joins the evening as the penultimate performance of the night hailing from Las Vegas, NV. Next to Fozzy, may also be one of the more well known groups to perform this evening. They had a good set, and most of their songs flowed from one to the other which I appreciate. However, like the other groups, they only had a 6 song set, and I was really expecting a bit more. Overall I really enjoyed them and they put on a great show.
But now, for the main event, Fozzy! Now if you are as old as me, you might remember seeing Fozzy for the first time on MTV at a WWE New York concert back in the early 2000’s. If you are also like me, you may have thought that this was just a marketing gimmick to make Chris Jericho an even bigger star than he already was. Well, if it is just a gimmick, this is the longest running storyline in wrestling history, right next to Bob Orton Jr’s broken arm. Since their Debut, Fozzy has released 7 albums. But we’re not here to talk about the history of Fozzy, we’re here to talk about their performance and this performance started a little different.
As the stage was being cleared from the previous band and Fozzy’s gear being set up, and announcement came through that Chris Jericho was on a private jet coming into Kansas City from Chicago. Was this part of the show? The answer to that question is simple no. Chris Jericho was double booked. The day before, Fozzy performed in Little Rock, AR, where Chris had to leave from there to work an angle in Chicago for the All In PPV on Saturday night. The same night that he needed to be 519 miles away in Merriam, KS. After his appearance in Chicago, Chris jumped on a private jet and headed out to Kansas City. While he was in the air he posted his story to Instagram. You can check that video out here.
When Jericho finally arrived, Fozzy took to the stage. The energy was high, the crowd was pumped, despite having to wait 45 minutes for the arrival. Fozzy stole the show. With the amazing showmanship and performance, as a fan you forgot that it was midnight and was rejuvenated with the energy coming from the stage. During all of the songs, Chris was all over the stage, hanging from the rafters and jumping around. This performance proved that Chris Jericho may be one of the greatest showman of our generation. His interaction with the crowd was natural and didn’t come across as forced. Through each song, the energy levels stayed high. One of the highlights of the evening was after Fozzy performed their song “Enemy”. The crowd was cheering and chanting “Fozzy, Fozzy, Fozzy” and Chris Jericho proceeded to explain to the audience how an encore worked. He then said “Why bother even leaving the stage” the audience was asked to just “pretend” that they left and cheer. At that time Chris put a towel over his head while the crowd went wild. When the towel was removed the Fozzy chant turned into a “Holy Sh*t” chant. Fozzy ended their set with “Sandpaper”, and performed 11 songs all together.
Overall the entire show was great. Every band gave a great performance. The transition time between each act was minimal. The only thing that I would have changed, was just having a bit longer set for each of the acts. If you have the chance to see this tour, you need to get out and see it, it will be well worth your time and you will have a blast.
Words by Corey Harris
Photos by Josh Chaikin