Judging by the t-shirts and casting your eye over the motley throng at Nottingham Rescue Rooms tonight, the majority don’t seem to be here for the headline act. We have to admit, we can include ourselves in that category. For us TINAS operatives, the main pull for tonight is Fozzy and Revoker. Drowning Pool are, for us, an added bonus, a band we have yet to see live, a band who every one at least knows “that one song”. Their solid 2001 debut, “Sinner” resides somewhere in our CD collection, so it’s with an open mind that we’re looking forward to them closing the show.
Doors at 6:00pm, Welsh upstarts Revoker hitting the stage at 6:20pm? It’s stupidly early and tight, but for those who managed to make it here in time, it is well worth it. These boys have spent the last couple of years on the road, touring the hell out of “Revenge For The Ruthless”, and in their half an hour slot they hammer home their impressive message. These four are on fire, and are a formidable outfit, Jamie Mathias spits and snarls vocally whilst duelling fretboards with Chris Green. Shane Phillips and Jack Pritchard hold the low end and rhythm together. “Psycoville”, “The Great Pretender” and new one, “Hands Of Justice”, force the filling venue to take note. Nottingham can really appreciate they have glimpsed the future of UK metal. Revoker are an outstanding live outfit. Tonight, even in their criminally early slot… they smashed it.
Fozzy really bring the crowd in. By the time AC/DC‘s ‘Have A Drink On Me’ is finished, the place seems packed. Perhaps we’re victims of being sucked up in the atmosphere, but it’s Fozzy, and it would be rude to not pile towards the barrier… wouldn’t it?
It’s a setlist heavily leaning on “Sin And Bones“, and after an opening salvo of “Spider In My Mouth” and “Sandpaper”, it’s clear that Fozzy are picking up where Revoker left off. This is huge high octane entertainment. Every break between tracks the Fozzy chants ring out as Jericho conducts the willing orchestra in front of him. He is master entertainer and he has the room in his hands.
Fozzy are the perfect feel good band, they have fun and the crowd has fun, it’s a simple and bloody effective formula. Rich ‘The Duke’ Ward grins, leaps, bounces and fizzes without dropping a note… even when Paul Di Leo accidentally kicks out his cables. It’s all a laugh, and it won’t stop these boys enjoying themselves. Billy Grey is flamboyant and fluid, effortlessly nailing his fretboard antics, feeding off Ward‘s rhythmic chunkery. “Pray For Blood” sees the guys briefly reach into the previous album, before the Fozzy Rock team shift the atmosphere to dark and moody for “Inside My Head”.
“God Pounds His Nails” launches another foray into the back catalogue and allows Jericho to once more become chief puppetmaster. He controls the crowd fist pumps, “Hey, Hey, Hey’s” and “One, Two, Three”. The Nottingham crowd are in their element, giving back as much as Fozzy are throwing at them. This is how all metal shows should be. “To Kill A Stranger” reaches back further, and allows Frank Fontsere to really show what a quality sticksman he is, the floor is shaking. By the time we reach “Enemy”, Nottingham is drained and dripping, but there’s still an ounce or two of energy left for us to join in the pit at the front.
Fozzy came, they saw, they nailed Nottingham big style.
Honestly, with Revoker and Fozzy, tonight is awesome no matter what. Drowning Pool have one hell of an act to follow. AC/DC also provide their intro song of choice with “It’s A Long Way To The Top”, and in no time the Dallas foursome are out of the blocks. “Sinner” is the only album we’re really familiar with, fortunately it features heavily on the setlist tonight.
Frontman Jasen Moreno leads the charge, he tells us that Jericho says we are on fire, (or words to that effect), but sadly the crowd don’t seem to reach the heights Jericho told him about. It may be because we have moved from the front and now we stand in “safe observer territory” towards the back, but there’s a hollow feeling to Drowning Pool’s show. Breaks between songs are uncomfortable, big lulls in crowd volume and atmosphere pepper the Rescue Rooms. There’s nothing wrong with the music, it’s Drowning Pool, we know what to expect, its crunchy and nu metal tinged. C.J. Pierce has presence with his guitar work, uncomplicated and efficient, Stevie Benton clenches his fists alot in between chugging out some quality low notes, and Mike Luce has quite a few drum sticks thrown to him from the side of the stage… he drops quite a few too. Funny what you notice when you are struggling to get absorbed into the band on stage.
It’s not a bad set, it’s by no means a poor performance. It’s just … empty. New tracks “One Finger And A Fist”, “Die For Nothing” and “Saturday Night” sit well alongside the old material, and threaten to ignite the place, but it seems to just fizzle as momentum is lost. As we said earlier, everyone knows “that song” and it’s almost too late as the finale comes… “Let the bodies hit the floor…” It’s an instant transformation. Right back even as far as our “safe observer territory”, the place explodes. At this moment, throughout the Rescue Rooms, shit is being lost. We even turn to the others in the safe zone to scream in their faces “There’s nothing wrong with me!”… This is what we wanted, but this is the last song…
One hell of an ending, just lacking in build up.
Photos taken by Rose Kasili – Electric Rat Photography