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Ozzfest: Featuring Ozzy Osbourne, Motley Crue and Halford

Date: 8/22/10
Venue: Susquehanna Bank Center, Camden, New Jersey
Reviewed by: Rich Catino


Ozzfest...more like Grenadefest (thanks to The Situation from the Jersey Shore TV show for that metaphor, haha). With only a handful of dates this year why would the organizers pick of all cities the toilet bowl of Jersey? Trailer park white trash as far as the eye could see and these people behaved no better than middle school kids. Everyone looked like they were either missing a chromosome or hadn’t showered in days, hahaha. Problems were happening every fifteen minutes; fights in the parking lot, objects being thrown, vehicles getting damaged, drunken disorderly, no wonder why we never get any big heavy metal festivals in North America. Because we (the majority) act like animals. I’ve attended Wacken Open Air in Germany with 50,000 plus, and Metalway in Spain with 20,000, and aside from someone passed out from too much drinking, security had no behavior issues to deal with. Hell, even on our way out of the venue my friend got starred down by some redneck who was looking for a fight. Idiots! This will be my first and last time going to the city of Camden.

I was not at Ozzfest the whole day, just to see Halford, Crue, and Ozzy, but fellow Asylum and BraveWords magazine scribe Mark Gromen was (see the report here http://www.bravewords.com/features/1000803) .

Rob Halford often revisits his solo work outside of Judas Priest, recording albums and touring, so these six Ozzfest dates scratched that itch. He is again joined by longtime mates Metal Mike Chlasciak and producer Roy Z on guitar and Bobby Jarzombek on drums, playing a couple songs from his solo albums ("Resurrection" and "Crucible"), ‘Nailed To The Gun’ from Fight, dusting off ‘Never Satisfied’ from the debut Judas Priest album "Rocka Rolla" and B-side ‘Heart Of Lion’. It was good to see Rob paying more attention to the crowd, moving around being less of a Metal God and more a beer drinking biker as he shed the coat and sunglasses. Metal Mike is the most animated and energetic totally playing to the audience, kind of the renegade in the band as Roy is more layed back. Rob is currently working on a new solo album.

Motley Crue hit the stage as always with a bang complete with lots of lights and pyro, and a crowd who was raring to go. They played a little over an hour (which I think cut into Ozzy’s set) including all the usual hits for such an event. No surprises other than maybe ‘Helter Skelter’ (‘Ten Seconds To Love’ would have been much better and has been in the set). Aside from all those classics from the 80s, ‘Saints Of Los Angeles’ and ‘Motherfucker of The Year’ are from their most recent studio album "Saints of Los Angeles". Vince, Nikki, and Tommy were on point, Mick on the other hand was sloppy, often. His best moment was for ‘Primal Scream’ playing those slide guitar leads. Tommy sat at the piano for monster ballad ‘Home Sweet Home’, later "affectionately" asking where all the titties were. Entertaining, yes, but Motley need to change up the setlist. Its old.

A hilarious video opened Ozzy’s show with clips of Osbourne playing different characters appearing alongside and making fun of pop culture, music, and movies. Jersey Shore’s Snookie got insulted like always, he shows up in the movie Iron Man in the superhero’s suit, dancing in drag with Lady Gaga, in the trunk from the scene with the crazy Asian in The Hangover, and the best was the Twilight Saga parody where he introduces himself to Isabella as the Prince Of Darkness. No one was safe. Nicely done.

It’s been about 10 years plus since I’ve seen Ozzy in concert because I got tired of the same old setlist and the overexposed Zakk Wylde...yes I know, there is a whole nation of people who think Zakk is "God" and can’t do wrong, but let’s be honest here, ever since the later 90s his playing obviously became geared towards Black Label Society’s music and not Ozzy. Also, Zakk is not the be all end all of guitar players, and I’m sure he feels the same. Unique, yes, and I do enjoy his work with Ozzy, but it’s safe to say his creative streak ended after "Ozzmosis". It was time for a change.

When it was announced that a Greek native was a contender I was giddy knowing it had to be Gus G. Unfamiliar with the name...well he has played in several European bands but more importantly his own baby Firewind, whose music is an excellent combination of the power metal sounds from Gamma Ray and Edguy, the aggressiveness of Arch Enemy, to the classic heavy metal legends like the Scorpions, Judas Priest, and Whitesnake. With such talents found in Firewind’s music I knew Gus would be a shoe-in, and so glad I was right.

Now I was excited again to hear classics like ‘Bark At The Moon’, ‘Mr. Crowley’, ‘I Don't Know’, and ‘Suicide Solution’ and damnit if Gus does not play them almost, and at times, note for note. He gets the bluesiness of Jake E. Lee, the classical side of Randy Rhoads, and occasionally (which is just enough and for the right song) he throws in Zakk’s pinch harmonics. You gotta give this guy respect and if you don’t "because he’s not Zakk" you’re just being stubborn and ignorant.

Great to hear the Sabbath gems ‘Fairies Wear Boots’ and one of my favs ‘Into The Void’, on both Gus did an excellent job beefing up the guitar tone and delivering monster riffs. Finally ‘Shot In The Dark’ from "The Ultimate Sin" is back, then again disappointing ‘Killer Of Giants’ was dropped tonight because Jake E. Lee’s contributions are often neglected. Also, ‘Fire In The Sky’ off "No Rest For The Wicked" has made an appearance on previous nights but unfortunately not today. Ozzy did pretty good singing, still hitting at least two or three sour notes per song but that’s expected, and he of course douses himself with buckets of water and hoses down the audience.

Finally it’s refreshing to see Ozzy thanks to a new addition behind the guitar. Check out Firewind’s new album "Days of Defiance", it comes out in October.


Halford setlist:
Made In Hell
Locked And Loaded
Nailed To The Gun
Made of Metal
Drop Out
Heart of a Lion
Never Satisfied


Motley Crue setlist:
Kickstart My Heart
Wild Side
Shout At The Devil
Saints Of Los Angeles
Looks That Kill
Live Wire
Don't Go Away Mad
Home Sweet Home
MotherFucker Of The Year
Helter Skelter
Primal Scream
Dr. Feelgood
Girls Girls Girls


Ozzy setlist:
Intro/Bark At The Moon
Mr. Crowley
I Don't Know
Fairies Wear Boots
Suicide Solution
Road To Nowhere
Into The Void
Shot In The Dark
Rat Salad (Jam)
Iron Man
I Don't Want To Change The World
Crazy Train (feat. Yuto Miyazawa)
Mama I’m Comin Home

*Note: I was only granted a photo pass for all the bands plus Halford, no Motley or Ozzy.
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