Fozzy and Buckcherry destroy Altar Bar May13

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Fozzy and Buckcherry destroy Altar Bar

It is almost impossible to think of or mention the genre of melodic hard rock and not have sleazy hard rock legends Buckcherry immediately come to mind- a band who’s in your face, fuck you if you don’t like it attitude and brand of infectiously melodic hard rock is synonymous with the genre they call their own and have taken to whole new levels.

After nearly 20 years and six albums, these mainstays of the summer concert season are out on the road, as usual promoting their newest album Confessions. When the Bring Out The Gimp tour hit Pittsburgh, it was pieced together like Frankenstein’s monster out of other tours.

The event came together when the Fozzy show that was already scheduled for May was combined with the Buckcherry tour. Originally Heaven’s Basement were scheduled to open, but were replaced by Adelitas Way and newcomers Decendsion in the last weeks before the show.

No matter how it came together, much like Frankenstein’s monster the show was brought to life by the raw energy coming from the bands and the electricity flowing out of the fans, giving birth to an unholy musical spectacle unlike anything the fans of Pittsburgh had ever seen before.

By the time Descendsion hit the stage, the energy in the room was palatable and the feeling in the air electric. Frontman James Keller wasted no time cashing in on the already building momentum, revving up the crowd by just waving his arms and jumping up and down like a maniac long before the band had played a single note.

When they finally did, guitarist Brian Davies, bassist Aaron Glosser and drummer Gary Stewart unleashed hell in the form of a rock solid set of straight up rock n roll music with the confidence and cock sure swagger of seasoned vets. The music provided the perfect backbone for Keller, who’s charisma and a command of the crowd was way beyond his years. He even went out into the crowd to sing their third song “Nothing To Lose” and get up close and personal with everyone from the diehards on the floor to the mellow drinkers in the balcony bar.

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They blazed through their half hour set trying to pack as much entertainment as possible in their allotted time. As the sun shined through the stained glass windows and giant glass crosses etched into the building’s facade, it created unimaginable ambiance, as Keller dedicated their last song “All’s Gone,” “To the people who come in and out of your lives.” The fans belting out the “Fuck You” part of the chorus at the top of their lungs and getting things off on the right foot.

Descendsion may have set the bar high, but it is exactly that kind of pressure that drives Adelitas Way to give their very best. Not only did they raise the bar, they made it their bitch.

Adelitas Way too made the best of their short time and the tiny stage, kicking out more energy than a powerstation. The band played with a ferocity rarely seen these days. In fact, drummer Trevor Stafford was playing so hard he broke two sticks before the end of the first song.

Newer tracks like “Stuck” and “Show Em’ Why We Came” were received with the same overwhelming enthusiasm as classics like “The Collapse,” “Criticize” and closer “Sick.” As the sunlight coming through the glass crosses and stained glass windows slowly faded, the fans belted out the chorus to “Sick” at the top of their lungs. DeJesus left the stage a little early during the extended jam and big ending to let the rest of the band have their moment in the spotlight. As the last wails of feedback drifted into the darkness, the now rabid fans were left begging for more and foaming at the mouth.

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At this point you may be asking yourself, “Who the hell could possibly follow that?” Mother.Fucking.Fozzy, that’s who.

Judging from the chants of their name before they took the stage and the continuing chants at every pause in the music, there were as many fans here to see them as there were for Buckcherry. The little boy rocking the Fozzy shirt on his Dad’s shoulders could not have been more excited and flashed his horns all night long.

The tiny stage could barely contain them as Rich Ward and company kicked out a devastating set of melodic hard rock, more lethal than the radiation from an atomic bomb. All the while, Chris Jericho was working the crowd like he owned them because he did. His electrified LED jacket garnered its share of attention as he jumped down into the pit and onto the barricades during their third song.

Seeing what a consummate performer Jericho is, it raises the question, “Should he quit the WWE to rock out full time?” The answer is a resounding yes and with songs as strong as “Spider In My Mouth,” “She’s My Addiction,” “God Pounds His Nails,” “Sandpaper” and “Sin And Bones,” you’ll be left wondering how these guys aren’t a household name playing to sold out arenas.

“Sandpaper” saw Rich Ward on his knees during the solo and contained a back and forth sing-along of “Fuck Yeah” between Jericho and the crowd. His comment of “Give me some Pittsburgh Penguins energy out there” before closer “Enemy”won over the last few holdouts, proving that resistance was futile. The song had a massive ending that found Chris crawling on the stacks of amps and down in the pit again to tell the fans “Pittsburgh, you just got your fucking asses kicked by Fozzy.”

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I would really hate to have to follow that.

Buckcherry gleefully accepted the challenge and hit the stage with both barrels blazing to give the performance of their lives. Their monster smash “Lit Up” led the way, creating a barrage of non-stop balls to the wall rock n roll. The impassioned fans loved every minute of it as frontman Josh Todd danced and pranced around the stage, slowly removing clothes until he was bare-chested, all the while channeling his inner Axel Rose and bringing to mind Guns N Roses.

The incomparable Todd paused to ask, “How many of you out there bought the 15 album?” before bizarrely dedicating “Sorry” “To all the lovely ladies who take care of their pussies,” which triggered a landslide of beautiful women to grind and bring out their inner stripper. By this point all hands were waving in unison and the volume of the crowd could be heard from outter space.

After the somber ballad, tracks like “Lawless,” “Next 2 You” and “Gluttony” were a much needed shot of adrenaline to reinvigorate the crowd while the band kicked major ass all night.

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It was hard to take your eyes off of frontman Todd, who took time out to mention that guitarist Keith Nelson was a native of Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania before screaming out “I love the way you fuck me!” which signaled the beginning of their hit single and closer “Crazy Bitch.”

The over the top response indicated that this one was a clear fan favorite. The extended jam had a breakdown in the middle for the band to flex its muscles and to get their proper introductions. It also contained an impromptu sing along that was prefaced by Todd saying, “Are you ready to sing this fucking shit with me Pittsburgh?”

The lights briefly dimmed before the band’s triumphant return to the stage for the encores of “I Love It (Say Fuck It)” and “Too Drunk (Too Fuck),” which did not disappoint and ended the evening on an epic high note.

-Eric Hunker