Grand Rapids, Michigan (March 29, 2018) – Formed in Atlanta, Georgia in 1999, American heavy metal band, Fozzy, brought their Judas Rising Tour to The Intersection; performing in Grand Rapids, MI for the first time in their music career. They were supported by other hard rock and alternative metal bands, Dark Sky Choir, Joyous Wolf, and Through Fire. Needless to say, it was a fantastic night filled with thundering music, great performances, and even families of all ages.
Dark Sky Choir took the stage first. They are a fairly new hard rock/heavy metal band from New Jersey consisting of four band members, Brian Allen (lead vocalist), Fred Gorhau (lead guitarist), John Moyer (bassist), and Mike Sakowski (drummer). Without warning, Dark Sky Choir took the stage and immediately captured the crowd’s attention with their energy and crazy eyes (props to Brian Allen with his facial expressions). The band played crowd favorites, including “Like it or Not”, and even paid
tribute to Ronnie James Dio, in which Allen stated, “it wouldn’t be metal without him”. Overall, Dark Sky Choir was a great choice to hype up the crowd and kick off tonight’s show!
One of the best entrances of the night had to have been Joyous Wolf, when lead singer, Reese, came out with charisma and sparks of energy and started flipping and jumping all around the Intersection stage. Joyous Wolf is a rock band from southern California consisting of four band members, Nick Reese (lead vocalist), Blake Allard (lead guitarist), Greg Braccio (bassist), and Robert Sodaro (drummer). They played one of their most well-known original songs, “Mountain Man” and the concert-goers absolutely loved it. Their music is wonderful, but I believe it was the band’s incredible energy that really stole the show. The way Reese was able to interact with the crowd and get everyone hyped up and engaged was mesmerizing, to say the least. Not only did the energy continue onstage, but offstage as well as Reese jumped off the stage at the end of the band’s set, and started crawling around on the floor with his fans. Another band member I want to give a shout out to has to be the lead guitarist, Blake Allard. Every time he shredded on his guitar with a short solo, he never ceased to amaze the crowd, and most definitely has talent in his fingers. Overall, not only would I see this band again simply because of their sound, but I would seek out their tour dates just so I could witness their incredible energy and charisma again.
A band that I felt had one of the best sounds of the night was Through Fire. Through Fire is a hard rock/alternative metal band from Omaha, Nebraska consisting of four band members, Grant Joshua Kendrick (lead vocalist), Justin McCain (lead guitarist, backup vocals), Kyle Leblanc (bassist, backup vocals) and Grant Brooks (drummer). Through Fire sported their album, Breath, and played well-known songs, “Stronger”, “Breath”, and even debuted a new song, “Where You Lie”, which the crowd went absolutely nuts for. Although this was the first time hearing this band, I was absolutely blown away by their sound, performance, and overall reaction from the crowd; and it’s safe to say that I found a new love for this band. The way that the crowd pumped their fists along with the music and the way the band seemed to be in sync with each other made for a great performance, which I’m glad I got to share with other concert-goers. I do have to give a shout out to the band’s drummer, Brooks because I
loved watching him play and throw his sticks effortlessly in the air as he head-banged to the songs. It was already a great performance, but watching the drummer was aesthetically-pleasing to the show.
Although it was a bit of a wait between bands, it was well worth it when Fozzy took the stage. I could tell that this was what the crowd has been waiting for just by the deafening screams that came from the crowd’s reaction. It was a great venue, so the stage was clearly visible from all around the room, but everyone still crowded around the stage just to get a closer look at the band and quite possibly the light up jacket that Jericho wore for the night (literally, it lit up in the dark). Fozzy consists of five band members, Chris Jericho (lead vocalist), Rich Ward (lead guitarist, backup vocals), Billy Grey (rhythm guitarist, backup vocals), Paul Di Leo (bassist, backup vocals), and Frank Fontsere (drummer). They debuted their latest album, Judas, and played songs like “Drinkin’ with Jesus” “Painless”, and the crowd favorite, “Judas” Fozzy knew just how to entertain the crowd with light-up jackets, fog guns, and of course jumping on and off tables creating different levels on the stage. Fozzy was even a fan of the night themselves stating that this was their “first time we’ve ever played Grand Rapids. What the f**k were we waiting for?!” and even nicknamed the city “FozzRapids”. One of the highlights on the Fozzy stage tonight had to have been Rich Ward, with his insane guitar skills, he came out and rocked a long, outrageous guitar solo that was well-received by the crowd. By the end of their set Fozzy didn’t even have to leave the stage before the crowd started chanting their name for an encore. Just to please the crowd though, the band put towels over their heads and told the fans to “pretend their gone”, as more chants filled the air and Fozzy ripped the towels off their heads and slammed down one last song for the night.
Overall, it was an incredible hard rock and heavy metal-filled-night with bass that pounded in hearts, fists pumping in the air, band members flipping and jumping on the stage, and a crowd that sang and danced to their favorite songs. My ears were ringing for hours after the show, but it wouldn’t have been a show worthwhile if they weren’t. Fozzy’s Judas Rising Tour is playing in cities such as Cleveland, Pittsburgh, New York, and Philadelphia next, where fans can catch all these bands for an amazing show and an unforgettable night!
ChrisJericho.com – The official website for Chris Jericho.
TheDukeOfMetal.com – The official website for Rich Ward.
BillyGreyGuitar.com – The official website for Fozzy guitarist Billy Grey.
PaulDiLeo.com – The official website for Fozzy bassist Paul DiLeo.
ButImChrisJericho.com – Follow Chris’ attempts to make it as an actor!
MonsterEnergy.com – Official sponsors of Fozzy.
Photographer: Cheyenne Comerford
Journalist: Spencer Russell