Ross The Boss has roots all around the metal landscape, well known for being a founding member of the punk band The Dictators and the heavy metal band Manowar. His contributions to epic metal as part of Manowar earned him a place in the Hall of Heavy Metal. It also started him on the path to forming this band, as they met at a festival in Germany where Ross was a guest star performing with the “Men of War” tribute band, later changing their name to the “Ross The Boss” band. Ross’ repertoire stretches from punk rock and proto punk to heavy and power metal. He even originally started his musical career as a violin and piano prodigy, but quickly discovered that metal was his true calling.
Uproar are joining Ross for the whole tour, and we were lucky enough to catch the second leg of the tour. They hit the stage with a proper classic heavy metal show. They cleverly built the layers up through mixing vocals, two guitars, deep bass, and smashing drums.
The performance was enhanced with the minimal but atmospheric lighting; the dark room was set off by a single white light behind the singer, catching his long hair like a halo, although he is anything but an angel.
They mixed in a bit of humour with the crowd to warm them up. The lights and sound went down mid song, after a pause the lights hit Johnny and he shouted out ‘how are you doing London?’, then before the crowd had a chance to answer, they slammed straight back into the song.
For the final song, they put on a bit of a performance, for each of the guitarist’s solos they stood up on a step on the front of the stage. The drums crash in and Johnny sets it off with some stellar head-banging, and ended on one hell of a scream.
The Manowar T-shirts about hailing from Ross’ past and highlights his diehard fans out there tonight.
“Are you ready?” a cheer from the crowd ripples out, which wasn’t good enough for Marc, lead singer, “I said Underworld, are you fucking ready?!”, which was met by a raucous applause and shouting. To reward the crowd he started with a beautiful falsetto scream. Then Ross took the lead with a blistering guitar solo. The second song opens with the Boss taking center stage on guitar and moved up to the front for a solo and the horns went up in the crowd to meet him.
They mixed in some of their new songs with the old classics into the set, with “We are the Night” from their new album “By Blood Sworn”. Marc takes a step aside for Ross’ solo, giving the crowd what they were waiting for. Marc gets the crowd clapping along ready for the start of the next song and pumped ready for more electric fast riffs by the one and only Boss. Marc let’s out a scream to the sky and falls to his knees.
Marc shouted out to the crowd: “I expect you to sing along”, which was met by shouts and screams reigning out. “Are you ready??”, answered by a roar from the crowd. He turns to the band “I think they’re ready!”. As Ross raised his fists to the air, then slammed one to his heart, the crowd uproared. “Are you guys all warmed up now”? “Shall we continue?!”, the crowd was lost into a sea of horns, headbanging and screams!
As well as their classic hard hitting metal songs, they worked in a couple of the slower ballad pieces. Starting with a slow bass solo, next joined by ballad style vocals. Gradually building up, and launching into a heavier second half, with a crash from the drums and Ross joining finally with another of his classic blistering solos. Building into a full on heavy metal storm. Ross jumped up on the step and all the fists went up. “Are we having fun out there?”…
“We’re going to need your help on this one”, Marc shouted out, and the crowd joined the bassist on back-up vocals. With all three headbanging together. Another crushing solo by Ross set it off, and Marc held a perfect falsetto scream throughout his solo. They ended on one of my favourite songs from their new album, a reinvention of Manowar’s classic “Hail and Kill”. The crowd was so pumped and starting to mosh, people were slammed forward into the stage. Marc started filming Ross shredding on the guitar with the crowd’s chants in the background. As they finished, Ross threw out picks into the crowd and exited the stage, to the crowd chanting “Ross the Boss”.
They performed an amazing show and Ross set the guitar on fire tonight. I was lucky to catch Ross, Marc and the guys from Uproar, after the show and get some photographs with them; Ross even gave me one of his picks! They were genuinely super friendly and chill. Ross was talking about how much they enjoyed producing their new album and having the freedom to play the type of music they want. I personally can’t wait to hear what they come out with next! Ross is a true pioneer of the punk and metal genres.