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American heavy metal band Fozzy landed in Manchester for night three of their UK tour. The band formed in 1999 when lead vocalist Chris Jericho was just known as the wrestling superstar that he is. After their huge performance at AEW’s All In Pay Per View at Wembley stadium in August of last year the band has gone up in venue sizes and has the goal to go even higher! A show that was their biggest to date and one I happened to have attended.

The Academy lobby was filled with a mixture of Fozzy and Chris Jericho merchandise ready for a Sunday night show. Two support bands are booked before Fozzy take to the stage, with Pistols At Dawn and The Hot Damn being the ones responsible for getting this crowd ready.

Pistols At Dawn, from Atlanta, Georgia, USA, take to the stage in a rather interesting way, Lead Guitarist John William James Jr. starts a slow build up from backstage with all the lights down, before the neon light silhouette of a guitar appears from behind the stage with only his face slightly on show from the red lights coming of his guitar, we have a good solid minute of guitar riff intros before the rest of the band join him on the stage but already I can tell this is going to be interesting.

The set begins with frontman Johnathan Sookdewsing’s mic not being turned all the way up, which is a matter that’s quickly resolved. With a lot of heavy rock thrown in these guys are the perfect level of heavy metal you’d want if you’re not into the more metalcore / death metal side of things. Sticking to heavy Rock N’ Roll throughout. John SHREDS it on this guitar and I mean really shreds it, it’s a performance that I’ve seen only some of the greats in rock music do, and it’s done so effortlessly as if you’re watching and thinking “pffft i can do that” before you’re humbled very quickly.

They throw in an amazingly done cover of Bulls on Parade by Rage Against the Machine with the vocals being perfectly done by Jonathan. The bass is satisfyingly perfect throughout the set, the audio controls being bang on made it easy to hear even the bass parts of the set which sometimes can be a rarity.


Second band on for the night is The Hot Damn a British four piece all girl rock band! All sporting outfits that represent each of them perfectly, mostly in 70s style jump suits. With the splash of neon colours all over the screens and rainbows painted everywhere including the drumkit, I was left confused and intrigued waiting to see the sound they could produce.

Hot Damn have the perfect blend of modern and 70s rock thrown into their sound, making it their own. Vocals are beyond amazing and so is the connection to the crowd, throughout the performance the band connects with the audience for each and every song, encouraging the ones who might not be familiar with them to join in on the audience chants.

A series of chants were thrown around the room during this set from “Live, Laugh, Love” to “I didn’t like you, I didn’t like you, I didn’t like you anyway” with an encouragement to raise the middle finger to those who did us all wrong. You felt a connection with Hot Damn the second they took to the stage, based on lyrics and storytelling and the way they worked with the crowd

They brought in some funny numbers when making up a song to encourage folk to go to the merch stall in between bands, singing and screaming about their incredible bright neon The Hot Damn t-shirts and beanies, it did make me want to go downstairs and have a look so fair play the song worked well.

The girls smashed the performance, with their bassist in her amazing pink jumpsuit and wild platinum blonde hair, kind of reminding you of a more fashionable ‘Weird Barbie’, the front woman gave you David Bowie vibes with her denim jumpsuit covered with silver lightning bolt, the drummer stuck with the jumpsuit memo in simple white, where’s their guitarist stood out from the crowd in a bright orange suit with a very gorgeous black hat on top of her head, she captured your eyes not only with the suit itself but her amazing dancing abilities while she shreds it on guitar!


And finally the band of the night is ready to appear on stage. The last time I saw Fozzy and Chris Jericho was at AEW All In at Wembley Stadium in August 2023. The band joins the stage, with Jericho making his way to the front and centre of the stage with a red cup already in hand, before he flings it into the front crowd, basically soaking all of us photographers as we stood waiting.

You can’t miss Chris Jericho on this stage, with a sparkly leopard print leather jacket, the man is known for his crazy leathers. Kickstarting with Spotlight there is something going on, on every inch of the stage, Lead Guitarist Billy Grey is swinging that guitar around and going nuts for the crowd, I’m even convinced he was close to getting me with the guitar neck at one point.

Guitarist Rich Ward, one of the founders of the band, is another level when it comes to stage presence. He’s on his knees shredding it on a half neck guitar, which took a minute of confusion before I realised what was going on. The man is performing like he’s on an insane sugar rush but doesn’t miss a chord or a beat!

Chris Jericho is a man who has spent his entire life putting his body on the line, and he is, let’s face it, a certified expert when it comes to getting the crowd hot and heavy, and he is in full effect tonight. He had everyone jumping no matter their limits, he had everyone screaming with their fists out in the air and horns going as high as anything.

He walks around the stage with the ego of a god, a pout on his face because he knows he’s all that.

A gas canister gun is given to Jericho and he’s lighting up the room with steam, putting the trigger with every matching beat thrown at him. What a satisfying addition to the set and something that made the man look menacing.

This 15 song set felt like it went away far too quickly, it’s like it ended so fast but you could tell there was not one second of this set where the roof wasn’t blowing off and the room wasn’t amplified.

The set ended with an encore of their most popular track Judas and an amazing cover of the Ramones Blitzkrieg Bop. Judas is a staple if you know Jericho since it is one of the most crowd sung Wrestling entrance tracks. Fozzy come over to the UK fairly often so if you get a chance give them a watch.



  1. Spotlight
  2. Bad Tattoo
  3. Painless
  4. Do You Wanna Start a War
  5. Lights Go Out
  6. Relax (Frankie Goes to Hollywood cover)
  7. Sane
  8. I Still Burn
  9. Nowhere to Run
  10. Burn Me Out
  11. Spider in My Mouth
  12. Purifier
  13. Enemy
  14. Judas
  15. Blitzkrieg Bop (Ramones Cover)

Words: Lauren Allard & Jacob Robinson

Images: Lauren Allard