Dark Mat EU (me, Markus/Darkguy on the board and my brother, Patrick/Sucio on the board) attended Fozzy's first concert in Vienna, Austria last night. The venue they played (Szene Wien) is one of Vienna's smaller ones, so attendance was probably around 250. Fozzy was the semi-headliner on this tour, which also included Soil (headliner) and originally Breed 77. Breed had to leave the tour early, because something came up with money and they could not afford hotel rooms, etc., so Vienna last night and Zürich tonight will feature Fozzy and Soil only.
As is the case with most Fozzy concerts, they also offered VIP packages, that included a ticket to the show, a dinner/meet and greet with the band, photo ops and access to the pre-show soundcheck. These packages cost 160 euros (around $210) a piece and since the both of us are both big, big Fozzy and Jericho/wrestling fans, we bit the bullet and got the full-out experience.
Unfortunately, Fozzy currently are burdened with the world's worst bus driver on this tour and traffic also wasn't that light, driving over from playing in Frankfurt, Germany the night before, so what should have been about a 7.5 hour drive turned into 15 hours. They were all somewhat pissed at the fact, since most had planned on checking out our beautiful city of Vienna ith it's various sights and Christas markets in the afternoon. Despite all of this, everybody in the band was totally professional and super-friendly, joked around and talked to us as if we'd all been friends for years.
There were four of us who purchased the package, the two of us, a girl who was mainly a big music and major Jericho fan and another girl who turned out to be about one of the coolest girls (and persons!) I ever met, and belongs to a species I didn't know to actually exist: big Fozzy/metal fan, big wrestling fan (with even an interest in MMA), beer-loving, down to earth and on top of that not looking like a cave troll (and if she reads this, that what supposed to come out as a compliment). Suffice to say, our merry little group had loads of fun and got along great right from the start.
VIP management also helped us bond right away, as we were just left us out in the cold (outside temperatures were around 23 F/-5°C) for about 40 minutes after the first short greeting by Todd, our VIP contact. He came out from time to time and apologized, telling us they were running on a late schedule because of the delay in transportation and things would start "soon". We made the best of it, talked, joked around and tried to figure out the access code for the tour bus and not freeze to death in the meantime. After a while, we discovered the door to the venue was actually open, so we decided to at least spend the rest of our waiting period in the heated foyer of the venue.
Then finally things started happening and we got to meet the band and enter catering. Jericho was talking to somebody as we entered but greeted us warmly in passing. The rest of Fozzy entered catering shortly after us and started chatting to us right away. We sat down and ate (Jericho joined us shortly afterwards), talked about Vienna and the tour thus far, music, wrestling (with Jericho interestingly repeating Lance Storm's argument from a while back that wrestling could actually be an Olympic sport in the way that gymnastics or figure skating are: people working together and the best worked match winning). Jericho also briefly talked about his time in Europe and how he especially loved Hamburg, since whenever he had a day off, there were some of his favorite bands playing basically across the street. I also really enjoyed talking to Paul, Fozzy's bass player whose wife actually has Austrian roots, a fact we discussed pretty in-depth.
After finishing dinner it was time to get the stuff we brought signed and take pictures. I had Jericho sign his two books (he asked which one I liked better and I told him the first one, because I just loved his world-traveling stories). Sadly, he refused to sign one of Mick Foley's books (I asked if he could put in that Foley had never beaten him in a match), arguing that if he did, he was afraid Foley might one day beat him over the head with it.
Then it was photo-op time and everybody posed like the rock superstars and Fozzy marks that we (respectively) were. Since I had beforehand decided that the Bella Twins being on the F4WOnline.com front-page for any length of time was a no-go, a Figure Four Weekly mock-up was created before the show, touting the rocking of Vienna by Fozzy, while gently implying that Lance Storm was currently doing no such thing. Jericho agreed to pose with it and the result is attached to this report.
After that, we were dismissed for the time being and decided to use the opportunity of being alone in the venue to shill out some more money and get some sweet Fozzy merch from the yet unoccupied merch table. After all, hungry mouths need to be fed, and Lady Gaga must be destroyed (plus it's winter and everybody should have a Fozzy hoodie when it's getting cold)!
So back out to the Foyer we went, chatted and rolled our eyes at some of the people already arriving, talking of the greatness of some Sheamus chairshots and other nonsense that may or may not have happened at the last, way too-long episode of RAW, that was lacking a neat Fozzy soundtrack and one Mr. Jericho coming back to save this trainwreck of a weekly episodic television show.
Todd, our VIP contact then came out once more and invited us to join the band's sound-check (which they somehow managed to still squeeze into the tight schedule of the evening), to the envy of everybody else around us who couldn't quite figure out why we were being allowed in while they weren't - ah, the magic of being a V.I. F'n P.!
Sound check also was fun and a very unique experience, especially when contrasting it (everybody casually dressed, calm, professional, goofing around with the... (Continues on next page)