Sunday, February 24, 2013

Ozzfest 2008: The Final Countdown Aug 14, 2008 7:45PM PST

I'm not sure if it's that the majority of you hate metal (which I know and I'm going to shove this blog down your throat regardless) or the fact you can't understand gigantic bold text (which kinda negates the point of this) that says "look down" but here's the rest of the Ozzfest review that was too big for 1up (re: "Please delete 11319 characters").

Hellyeahstepped up the game promptly, with a set consisting entirely of songs I didn’t know but that were a blood pumping good time and started the biggest moshpit I had seen all day; on a consistent basis. Yeah, you bring Vinnie Paul’s newest band to a one night stand in Dallas, the fans can get intense. I was mixed between the pleasantness of aggressive riffs and adrenaline inducing beats and the sheer hatred I have for those bastards who feel the need to light up a cigar in the midst of tightly packed male bodies on a scorching, hot day which made the constant force of the moshers that much more irritating. I was therefore quite happy to hear them slow things down for the lovely ballad “Beer and Asses”. Eventually, they closed with their title song which I thoroughly enjoyed and then it was onto the Dimebag Tribute, for which the two large screens on either side of the stage played old stock footage of the fallen guitarist rather than what was happening on stage. Unfortunately, this meant I couldn’t always tell which big names were covering what Pantera songs all the time but on the bright side I did know Jamy Jasta sang on “Mouth for War” and seeing Scott Ian of Anthraxand Kerry King of Slayer sharing the stage was quite badass indeed. “Fucking Hostile”, “A New Level”, and a country sounding soft number sung by a female vocalist I can’t quite name (maybe it was Dime’s longtime girlfriend Rita Haney) were among the other songs performed by the orgy of high profile metal names on stage.

 (I'm not the one who took these vids, "dun, dun, dun" guy is not my fault)



Serj Tankianwas certainly odd and like Davis, had a set very much revolving around himself and his personality, with himself in a white suit and top hat and his drummer wearing green fairy wings. However, this weirdness was accompanied by some of the most accessible and relatively softer music I had heard all day, and when you wake up at 5:30AM, haven’t eaten anything since breakfast and are struggling big time to keep yourself hydrated a little more than six hours after your arrival in the sun, there comes a point you can’t handle any more polite shoving or even standing. I was lucky enough to find the perfect spot up against the tent where cameras were filming the event where I could sit down and enjoy on-screen Serj or stand up and have a clear view of his crazy dancing from just the right distance. “Empty Walls” was the second song he played, and the rest of it was unknown to me but the perfect chill pill at the time. Thank god for crazy Turks with an ear for uneven yet relaxing melodies. He had his “praise the lord, pass the weapons” speech followed by a song with those same lyrics and his sense of humor prompted him to ask “what happens when Romeo&Juliet and Borat fuck each other?! Nothing!” Despite that conclusion, I’m pretty sure he was referring to himself.




Finally, I couldn’t take it any more and sprung for $4 water. It was much closer than the fountains and I needed something to splash on myself as well as keep me awake for


Ozzy Ozbourne, who once again was introduced by a series of movie spoofs some I recognized from last year like Wedding Crashers’ “motor boating” scene and new one’s like Step Brothers where Ozzy took John C. Reily’s place berating the female interviewee. Also funny was a Juno spoof in which instead of a kicking baby, Jennifer Garner was feeling Ozzy’s giant hard on. The set itself improved on every complaint I could think of having at the previous Ozzfest. His voice was as good as he’s going to get it now, he played his new songs (last year the main stage had a video playing “I Don’t Wanna Stop” and he never played it, this year he opened with it), and thank God he reserved space for “Iron Man” in the set this time, considering the movie out. That song’s omission was my biggest problem with his 2007 set. While the screens right and left of the stage were always playing simply the band, the screen in the middle would have patterns or looped videos for songs like “Crazy Train” (which was somehow not as fun as last year, possibly cause “Iron Man”, which received a blue pattern, replaced it as the song I wanted to sing to the most), “War Pigs” and “Fire in the Sky”. Zakk Wylde did much of the same crazy antics during his solo last year, playing behind the back then with his teeth and finishing with “Star Spangled Banner”. The closer was, I believe, “Mama I’m Coming Home” but don’t quote me on that. Thing is, I don’t know a lot of Ozzy songs but his set always delivers on a pure rock n’ roll good time. There’s none of the pretentiousness seen in some newer metal bands that are trying to find a niche and compromise melody to gain a too-specific fan base. Ozzy is just great rock musicians doing what they love, and I love watching them. Especially when the Ozzman gets his voice right.




Finally, we have the band responsible for my love for metal. The band that blew down all barriers between me and the heavy stuff, simultaneously saving my life and inspiring me to pick up a guitar with suicide ballad “Fade to Black”, the band that knows it deserves a classic introduction:




They are obviously a huge deal and they let you know it, with a stage large enough to allow all three guitarists to stand behind and above Lars’ drum kit, fireworks of all kinds, near-perfect sound mixing, and a seemingly endless supply of energy. They began in the most epic fashion possible with “Creeping Death” and waking my dehydrated body right up, then into “Ride the Lightning” (my favorite solo of theirs!) and further playing “Welcome Home (Sanitarium)”,“One” (which opened with flashing lights and gun shot noises increasing speed), “Fade to Black” (had me choking up just a bit, I confess), “No Remorse”, “… And Justice For All”,“Sad But True”, “Damage Inc./Master of Puppets" and on until “Enter Sandman”. One of the songs before that black album classic was the new tune, “Cyanide”, which had a very promising riff but felt slightly uneven when it shifted time signatures from verse to chorus. However, it succeeded at mixing some of the best elements of the Load era with thrash elements (Kirk’s solo, yes!) and secured some faith in the new album. I also noticed a lyric “your death clock rings” somewhere in there.


Needless to say, every song save for the new one was being sung word for word by everyone around, including me. Who’s the one other band I’ve seen with this effect? Just take a guess. Yeah, these two bands need to get together again. Still the mighty Metallica managed to certainly best their rival regardless of what happened next. But just for the hell of it, here’s what happened next:


James (near drum kit): Hey so uh.. we switching?

Lars: Damn straight, get on those drums, “Am I Evil?” motherfucker

James (nearer the microphone): Wait, so what’s this extra microphone for, are we going to duet?

Lars: We figured since this is a special night, and we’re in Dallas… we make it even more special by inviting a friend who lives just five minutes down the street. You may recall an album we did called Garage Inc., well one of the people we covered and one of the reasons Metallica’s here today is here tonight.




At first I thought they were talking about Vinnie Paul, little did I know King Diamond lived in the Dallas area and would sing along with James on some Mercyful Fate covers. It was yet another awesome surprise on a night chock full of them. There was a few more flares protruding in the sky and flames on either side of the stage went off as they had been, heating my face even from as far as I was. They weren’t done yet.


“You guys mind if we play one more song? Who’s… is that your sister? Do you think she minds if we play one more? WHAT DO YOU GUYS THINK?! I think it’s past your curfew! No?! You really want one more? Well ok then. But if we play one more you have to let all the neighbors know that Metallica… that Dallas…. That there are a bunch of sick bastards here! I want every house woken up, can you do that?!”


Finally, they closed with “Seek and Destroy”, a set that was supposed to last only until 11:15PM had ended at 12:30AM and it was worth the sweat, fatigue, hour long drive, and $150 it took to get there. I got to sleep at 3AM that night, waking up burned, aching and practically immobile to get over to my 11:30AM opening shift and train a new hire. Yup,



worth it.

  Part 1 feat. All Stages' Openers in Above (Now Below)Blog!

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