Click the photo for a slide show of Lordi, and here for a Static-X and Lamb of God slide show.

White River Amphitheater



Yesterday: Ozzfest at White River

Out in the sun, enjoying some darkness.

Click the photo for a slide show of Lordi, and here for a Static-X and Lamb of God slide show.

White River Amphitheater

July 12 
Better than: Getting your nose broken inside the Behemoth pit. Oh wait. That happened, just not to me.

In twelve years Ozzfest has become the premiere place to see up-and-coming metal bands, as well as old guard groups. This year's tour leaned toward the newbies more than the elder statesman. Looking at the history of Ozzfest, being on the second stage can lead to much greater things.

Traffic sucked so I missed the first two bands, Chthonic and In This Moment, but according to an e-mail from Chthonic, they are "from the dark side of the world, Taiwanese and from this unique country with superpowers from the netherworld." Would like to have seen that. In This Moment is opening for Megadeth, so I'll have another shot at them.

I could hear Daath from the parking lot, but they were just finishing as I arrived at the second stage. 0 for 3.

Next up were my favorite Canadians, 3 Inches of Blood. The Ozzfest crowd didn't get to experience the full awesomeness of 3IOB because screamer Jamie Hooper was resting his voice. They still rocked though. I ran into guitarist Shane Clark later in the day and he said he was having a great time.

Circus Diablo followed and played good old rock and roll. The highlight of their set was a cover of the Sex Pistols "Pretty Vacant." Bill Duffy of the Cult is in this band, but not at this show, unfortunately. Still it's hard not to have fun with this kind of rock.

Josh Childers of the Showdown had this to say about "Fanatics and Whores," a song criticizing the religious right: "We are five guys who love Jesus with all our hearts, but we have zero in common with the dogma and rules of most religious organizations. It absolutely bums us out to see God's name dragged in the mud by these hypocrites and we felt like we had to say something. As far as being on tour with Ozzy, music is music, it's impossible for it to be evil in and of itself. And honestly, who really thinks Ozzy is evil anymore anyway? We're just excited and proud to be going out with the father of heavy metal." During their set, they did an instrumental tribute to Metallica. Good call on not trying the vocals, but I think they could handle it.

The bands seemed to get louder as the second stage continued.  Mondo Generator, Nile, and one of the day's best surprises, Ankla, all brought the thunder, with Nile winning the volume contest. Ankla played a kind of funk-metal that was a great chance of pace. As for Mondo Generator, well, Queens of the Stone Age suck without Nick Oliveri and MG isn't much better with him.

There's just something not right about seeing Behemoth during the day. Corpse paint and black metal just shouldn't be played at 3 in the afternoon, under the scorching sun. 

Hatebreed finished off the second stage activities. These guys warrant some main stage action. While they aren't my personal favorite, they put on a hell of a show for for everyone who stuck it out long enough to see them before heading to the main stage. And that was a lot of people.

Main stage reviews after the jump!

Lordi fucking rules. After the show, I kept hearing people say how they didn't like the costumed Finns. I think their problem is that they took Lordi seriously. You can't do that. No, they aren't a joke band, but they do have a sense of humor. I mean, shit, they have a metal song called "Who's Your Daddy?" Plus, they were the only band to blow shit up. The amount of pyro alone should have appealed to all the Beavises out there.

Of course, it was funny see them drinking Dr. Pepper out of straws backstage. 

There was something in the Static-X set that I missed during their June show at the Showbox. No one can say that a band doesn't get more pumped up for a bigger crowd. With less time to play, Static-X, the self-proclaimed gods of disco metal, went high energy a lot sooner. They may not be the heaviest or hardest band playing Ozzfest, but they are one of the best.

Lamb of God are one of those former second stagers I told you about. Drummer Chris  Adler has great perspective on it, along with what it means to play right before Ozzy. "It's very cool, that's why we worked as hard as we have for the past 13 years."

Without actually calling it "The Wall of Death," the infamous Lamb of God pit phenomenon, it still happened. I watched it from the lawn. Seeing everyone on the floor split in two, then come crashing into each other is mind-boggling. I applaud those brave, crazy people who were down there. Hope you have good insurance.

And then the man, Ozzy, was ready to go. Before he took the stage, a series of TV and movie spoofs played, all of which put Ozzy in humorous situations. From The Sopranos to Wedding Crashers, Ozzy let himself be laughed at. On stage, he's like a foul-mouthed little kid, grinning and jumping around, spraying the crowd with foam and dumping buckets of water on them.

He poured the first water bucket right on top of the blond Rolling Stone writer. RS was the only press allowed to shoot his set, so seeing that put a smile on my face, as I'm sure it did the rest of the Ozzfest press corps. 

Guitarist Zakk Wylde and bassist Blasko kept up with the old man, with Wylde getting a chance to solo for a few minutes mid-set. He's becoming the Randy Rhoads scholar everyone hoped he could be. And with a large floor fan blowing in his face the whole time, he looks as cool as he sounds. Probably helped keep the heat off, too.

He mixed the set up with classic solo tunes and a couple Sabbath songs, along with a few from the new album Black Rain. Expect he didn't do the title track. 

Ozzy set list:

Bark at the Moon
Mr. Crowley
Not Going Away
War Pigs
Road to Nowhere
Suicide Solution
I Don't Know
I'm Here For You
Don't Want to Change the World
Mama, I'm Coming Home
Crazy Train
Paranoid (encore) 

Personal Bias: The first metal song I ever heard was "Bark at the Moon," so it totally kicked ass that that was the first song Ozzy sang.
Random Deatail: During every set change, both second and main stages, AC/DC played over the loud speakers. A few other songs were thrown in (like Green Day, which got booed like crazy), but it was mostly AC/DC. Is this some siren call for (in my opinion) the world's greatest heavy metal band to come out and play Ozzfest next year? If that happens, you can bet your ass it won't be free.

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