Chris Jericho, known for pro wrestling and his band Fozzy, has responded to criticism over performing in South Dakota, North Dakota and Iowa this past week. Criticism included comments about an alleged lack of social distancing and masks for audience members at some of the shows, however Fozzy had been approved to play due to low numbers of COVID-19 cases.
Jericho discussed the allowance to perform in several states this week on his weekly livestream, Saturday Night Special. The Fozzy frontman participated in the live stream while preparing to go onstage for their latest show, emphasizing that audience members are encouraged to wear masks with temperature checks at the doors. The shows came as part of Fozzy’s Save The World tour, which has had several postponements since the pandemic began.
“We actually did four shows this week,” Jericho said on his Saturday Night Special live stream. “And the reason for that is, we had our tour – the save the world tour, which was originally booked for April and May. It got postponed to July and August, then October and November, but the shows remained in August. And I was like, ‘How?’ Well the shows are in South Dakota, and North Dakota, and we have one in Fort Madison, Iowa, which is right near the border of South Dakota.”
Jericho goes on to state that the states have very low cases of COVID-19, with less than a thousand in both states. The venues had been either outside or half capacity, with masks being handed out at the door and audience members taking temperature checks upon entry. North Dakota has seen a spike in COVID-19 cases this week, however the most numbers reported in a single day from the state have been 181 cases. South Dakota has remained mostly flat in their number of cases, with 106 being reported on August 8, while 149 had been reported on July 29.
“It’s been so great to be back on stage again after seven months,” Jericho said. “The last gig we played was on the Jericho cruise, which is so hard to believe – it was like on a different planet, back in the days before the ‘rona changed everything.”
Jericho also stated the band is still doing socially-distanced meet and greets throughout the tour, having fans visit while the band members sit on stage in order to stick within guidelines. However, video recorded from Fozzy playing in South Dakota shows fans packed close to the stage.
In a press statement upon the announcement of the rescheduled Save The World tour dates, Jericho emphasized his desire for people to wear masks, wishing it to be mandatory.
“Just know that we have been in intense discussions with all of the local promoters involved and we promise these shows will be following all health and safety guidelines established by each governing municipality… and we are strongly encouraging everybody to wear a mask,” Jericho said in the press statement.
Jericho is best known for his achievements in the world of pro wrestling, winning six WWE world champions and the Undisputed WWF Championship once. With Fozzy, Jericho has released eight studio albums, with their ninth album planned for a 2021 release. The band’s last single, “Nowhere To Run,” premiered in 2019. In recent months, Jericho has been working on Kuarantine, a Kiss cover band project which features Kent Slucher, Joe McGinness and PJ Farley.