ozzytacomadome.jpg
Marcella D. Volpintesta
Ozzy Osbourne, Slash

Tacoma Dome

Saturday, Feb. 5

It was an arena rock-'n'-roll show that pulled out all the stunts: one of

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Forever an Icon, Ozzy Osbourne Packs the Tacoma Dome Full of His Faithful

ozzytacomadome.jpg
Marcella D. Volpintesta
Ozzy Osbourne, Slash

Tacoma Dome

Saturday, Feb. 5

It was an arena rock-'n'-roll show that pulled out all the stunts: one of the best guitarists in the world to open, pyrotechnics, a rising drum kit, and a lengthy introduction video for the headliner on the Jumbotron behind the stage.

Check out a slideshow with more pics from the show.

Still, for all the gimmicks, every eye in this diverse Saturday night crowd was on Ozzy Osbourne. Over the past decade, the 62 year-old has become a Hollywood character to the masses, often making it easy to forget he's sold over 100 million records as one of the greatest frontmen in the industry.

But it was obvious, from the moment he walked out to a deafening frenzy, that the stage is where Ozzy wants to be. Dressed all in black, the Prince of Darkness wore a smile that essentially said "You're really all here to see me?" His smile grew larger as his band launched into "Bark at the Moon," with practically every person in the Tacoma Dome shouting the title at the appropriate times.

Surprisingly, Ozzy's voice remains top-notch after all these years. The wide-ranging set list felt fresh even though it was full of heavy-metal classics ("I Don't Know," "Mr. Crowley," "Crazy Train") and Black Sabbath covers--an unexpected performance of "Fairies Wear Boots" fit flawlessly alongside "War Pigs," "Iron Man," and show closer "Paranoid."

The night also featured two members of Ozzy's band, who proved just as exciting. With Ozzy taking a breather, Tommy Clufetos and his drum kit were raised high above the stage as he performed a masterful solo. In addition, new guitarist Gus G.--who took over for Zakk Wylde on last year's Scream--was simply spectacular. At one point, Ozzy made mention of all the remarkable guitarists he's worked with throughout his career, including Tony Iommi, Randy Rhodes, and Wylde. Well, you can add Gus G. to the list. His showmanship and work were enthralling, making the most complex solos look like child's play.

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Marcella D. Volpintesta
Whereas Gus G. electrified an intensely faithful audience, opener Slash played to a crowd who admired his guitar work, but didn't seem to know any songs other than his Guns N' Roses and Velvet Revolver mainstays.

It didn't help that the bass was too low throughout his set. Nor did it help that Spokane native Myles Kennedy's vocals were muddled, with his Axl Rose impression coming off as poorly as Fergie's did during the Super Bowl halftime show. I realize it's no easy task to perform lead vocals on songs like "Nightrain," "Sweet Child O' Mine," and "Paradise City," but Kennedy had me wishing I was hearing instrumental versions. It was all part of an opening set that disappointed--though hardly Slash's fault--and left anticipation for Ozzy even higher.

"I'm still crazy after all these years," shouted Ozzy at one point during the show. He didn't need to say it--everyone was well aware of that fact as he sprayed photographers and fans in the front row with foam several times throughout the night. Sure, it was another gimmick in a slickly produced arena concert full of them. But while those gimmicks are always fun, the memory most people will take is the time they saw a living legend onstage, doing what he's meant to be doing. Ozzy's never-ending, giddy smile told the story.

Overheard in the crowd: "Are [Myles Kennedy] and his microphone stand in a jail cell together?"

Slash Set List

Ghost

Mean Bone

Been There Lately

Nightrain (Guns N' Roses cover)

Back From Cali

Rocket Queen (Guns N' Roses cover)

Starlight

My Michelle (Guns N' Roses cover)

Sweet Child O' Mine (Guns N' Roses cover)

Slither (Velvet Revolver cover)

Paradise City (Guns N' Roses cover)

Ozzy Osbourne Set List

Bark at the Moon

Let Me Hear You Scream

Mr. Crowley

I Don't Know

Fairies Wear Boots (Black Sabbath cover)

Suicide Solution

Road to Nowhere

War Pigs (Black Sabbath cover)

Shot in the Dark

Rat Salad (Black Sabbath cover)

Iron Man (Black Sabbath cover)

I Don't Want to Change the World

Crazy Train

Encore:

Mama, I'm Coming Home

Paranoid (Black Sabbath cover)

 
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