Fozzy with wrestler Chris Jericho at Rockstar


Fozzy’s high-energy live show (L-R) Billy Grey, Frank Fontsere, Chris Jericho,
Rich Ward, Paul Di Leo. Photo: Iron Mike Savoia

By Allyson B. Crawford

What started as a lark and a cover band has evolved into a rock and roll money-making machine. The guys in Fozzy now find themselves at the top of the rock heap, playing shows all over the world and enjoying some hard-earned success after years in the studio and on the road. The band released “Judas” last year and the song of the same name quickly became a bona fide Billboard hit.

“It’s been a lot of fun ever since ‘Judas’ came out. Our show attendance has gone through the roof with a lot of sell outs, packed houses. It’s great to see so many people getting into the band and seeing us for the first time now that we have this elusive hit single,” says Fozzy frontman, Chris Jericho.

Fozzy will play Rockstar Pro Arena in Dayton (1106 East Third Street) on Saturday, Mar. 31. While officially sold out, sometimes extra tickets do become available closer to show time.

“That was a kind of cool way to introduce the tour,” Jericho says of the Dayton show response. “Dayton is my favorite city in the world right now because it was our first sellout of this tour! To have a sellout and to know you don’t have to worry about it: the people show up and we’ll do the rest. We’ll drive the car and you can sit back and relax and have a good time.”

Sellout shows and hit singles are nice but Jericho is a businessman and he knows you have to keep your hustle game strong if you want to stay at the top. Perhaps best known for his still strong career in WWE, Jericho is a natural showman who fits right in on any metal stage. Even better, Jericho and the rest of Fozzy are keen to play along, using all the trappings of rock clichés to their advantage.

“Our guitarist and bassist have ‘kick offs’ each night. Who does kicks on stage anymore and makes it look cool? I think Fozzy is about the only candidate. We use all the rock and roll clichés in a good way and we use them at the right times and people like it. It’s okay to have fun at a rock show.”

While it might look effortless, the band puts a lot of work into their shows, night after night. From working the business side of music, to finding the correct tour routing to get the best crowds possible, to consistently writing and working on new music, Fozzy likes to keep it fresh while providing a fun and safe environment for rock fans. And they leave it all on stage too. In fact, Jericho says he and each member of the band lose up to 20 pounds while touring, thanks to the sheer intensity of their 90-minute stage show. There are no holograms or pillars of fire at a Fozzy show, just old-fashioned rock and roll at a high intensity. Jericho likes to compare his band to 1979-era Van Halen. Rare air to be sure but an apropos comparison of a band built on the back of guitar genius and high stage energy.

From the stage to the next interview to the studio to social media, Jericho is always closing. He calls himself a showman first, but he’s really selling Brand Jericho to any disciple who will listen. Case in point, Chris Jericho’s Rock ‘n’ Wrestling Rager at Sea. Rock and metal cruises are petty commonplace now, and Jericho got the idea for his sailing after doing the 2015 KISS Kruise with Fozzy. Jericho’s “Rager” will take place at the end of October.

“As soon as I got off the boat I thought, I can do my own cruise. Rock and wrestling is what I’m known for and we’ll actually have matches on the ship live and have rock n’ roll bands and comedians and podcasters and paranormal stuff. Everything you want on a cruise and everything I’m into. It took me two years but I finally got it up and running. Slowly but surely we’re going to sell it out. My goal is to sell out and make it an annual thing. It wasn’t easy to do but anytime you want to do something worthwhile
it isn’t easy.”

Back in the Miami Valley, Fozzy’s Mar. 31 show is the hardest ticket in town. Through Fire, and Dark Sky Choir will provide support.

Rockstar Pro Arena is located at 1106 E. 3rd St. The show begins at 7 p.m. For more information, visit FozzyRock.com or ChrisJerichoCruise.com  or visit RockstarProWrestling.com.

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About Allyson B. Crawford

View all posts by Allyson B. Crawford
Allyson B. Crawford lives in Kettering and writes about ’80s metal bands on her daily blog bringbackglam.com. You can usually find her at all sorts of metal shows around Ohio and across the country. Allyson can be reached at AllysonCrawford@DaytonCityPaper.com

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