Nov 30, Glasgow Arches

Glasgow Arches play host to a huge night of metal as they become the latest stop on Georgia hard rock band Fozzy and Chicago metal act SOiL’s co-headliner tour.

After regrettably missing NMM’s performance, I enter just before Gibraltar band Breed 77 hit the stage. It’s probably inaccurate to say that Breed 77 act as a ‘warm-up act’; so much as they keep a huge tempo for the entirety of their set, barely giving the crowd a chance to breathe. Their unique blending of Flamenco and metal has everybody on their feet from beginning to end. Having entered The Arches having admittedly never heard of Breed 77, they certainly provide a performance that no one in attendance will soon forget.
US metalheads Fozzy enter the fray next as co-headliners for the tour, and led by on-off WWE Superstar Chris Jericho, the band command a strong following within the crowd. Unfortunately, one disappointment of the Fozzy set is the clear feeling that many in the crowd have come to see WWE star Chris Jericho, and the Wrestlemania-esque “Y2J” chants that appear sporadically throughout the set make clear that at least some in attendance are more Jerichoholics than Fozzy diehards. This is not, however, at detriment to Fozzy’s performance, with the entire band trying hard to keep the audience involved with a unique, if albeit slightly bizarre, handclap at the start of what is arguably song of the night in ‘Enemy’, which proves a massive hit with those in attendance, myself included. With hugely impressive guitar work, and Chris Jericho’s inimitable and surprisingly impressive vocals, Fozzy blow the crowd away with what is, at this point, the moment of the night.
SOiL close the evening with an excellent set of surprisingly sing-alongable songs from a heavy rock act, but slightly disappointingly rely heavily on old material, with the majority of their set being played from 2001 album Scars. Whilst this tour is in celebration of the album’s 10-year anniversary, the lack of fresh output from the band is a little disappointing. Putting this aside however, what SOiL give is a pitch-perfect set from what is clearly a band of seasoned professionals, with returning vocalist Ryan McCombs joined by former Staind drummer Jon Wysocki in what is McCombs’ first tour with the band in over 7 years. Now, whilst initially I was disappointed at the use of older material, what closes the show, although predictable, is the anticipated live performance of mega-hit ‘Halo’, which provides a memorable atmosphere and rounds off an excellent night of top quality heavy music.

[Alan Compton]

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