By Sgt Deth
Let me begin with the hassle at the front gate. They had mentioned that bottled water and backpacks could be brought in to Ozzfest on the official Website. When we were about half way done with the mile walk to the gate, the Alpine Valley security stopped me and rudely said to bring my backpack and bottled water back to my car. I returned the rogue items to my car, and then later saw all kinds of people with backpacks and other forbidden objects once inside the festival. This was typical of the previous Ozzfests, but the way I was reading it, they were trying to change those rules this year. The security people explained that the venue decided to punish us in this way, not the tour. From what I have been reading, a lot of venues did let people bring in water and food this year, but not our greedy Alpine Valley. You would think that making us all pay a $20 parking fee would have brought them in enough money, but no, they needed to rape us for $8 waters as well.
We walked in about 10 minutes after Three Inches of Blood left the stage and were all very disapointed about that. I am glad that they didn't start at 10am again this year, but Noon was still a little early. The grounds at the Valley were set up pretty much like all the years previous. There was a little more free stuff than usual though. Companies have caught on that Ozzfest goers are many in number and also make up a very diverse group of people. It is a huge marketing opportunity, and giving away free samples is a great opportunity to increase your products popularity. (As if monster energy drinks or tobacco products need an increase in popularity)
The first band we witnessed was The Showdown. They were a lot better live than from what I have heard on CD. I have nothing against them, but they just don't stand out above the crowd...even heard live. It had a good sound and overall I would give them an B+ for effort. Being that I knew the next band would be Nile, I was in a hurry to see The Showdown leave the stage.
Nile was just as good as the last time I had seen them. They never miss a beat when caught live, and the crowd just went wild. This was only at about 2pm and people were already as rowdy as they could be. There was one bloody thrasher stumbling out of the mosh pit after the other. It was so hot that they could only last so long in there. But, I am sure Nile was impressed with the mighty effort. The only disapointment for me with this band was that they were only allowed to play 20 minutes.
Then came a pleasant surprise, Ankla. They are a very aggressive band and again the crowd went nuts. They have a very dark-heavy sound that was a real treat to hear at an Ozzfest. By now I am really impressed with the diversity in the metal music and there is much more to come. Chthonic takes the stage and really freaks me out with how much Tai pride they have. The lead singer even waves the Taiwan flag during their whole last song. This set was extremely diverse, especially in the instrumental aspect. It is hard to describe the way it sounded. The guitar player broke out a Cello bow (to use on his electric guitar) and he just went at it like he was at a southern ho-down. They are definately a unique band to see live and I would love to see their whole show if they ever do a real tour in the U.S.A.
Black metal kings, Behemoth took stage and pumped out some gloom and doom for the beginning of the evening at about 4pm. These guys are great, that pretty much sums it up. You could tell some of the crowd really didn't get them, but this is what stimulates thoughts and discussions. Having such a mixture of metal music is a good way to see what you are really in to, or not in to. By now in the show, we have all been taken through most of the metal genres.
Of course Hatebreed just devastated the place. They played for a full hour, on the dot. And they played my favorite song "Destroy Everything". Which during, Jamie (the lead singer) threw his hat into the pit, only for my son Chris to pick it up and run with it. The fellow moshers were ruthless and tried to snag it from him, but he got away with it clean. He was so proud he wore it for a week without taking it off. The whole set was the most energy filled so far. They acted like they were trying to stomp down the stage. It was still hot as Hell out, but these guys just ripped us a new ass.
Now on to the main stage, with openers Black Tide. They had a 20 minute set, and just as well, because it is obvious that they are novices. Their musical ability is worthy, but their stage presence just didn't cut it. They came and went like the flash in the pan that they probably are. Following these guys up was Lordi, and in my opinion they should have been headlining this tour. They had the most stage presence and the best overall stage show. There were many pyrotechnics and their characters and the associated catchy tunes were extremely entertaining.
Then comes Static X and the associated mosh pit on the lawn. People were finally settled and ready to party. The lawn was almost full by now (about 7pm). The sun was finally showing its mercy and receding behind the huge hill behind us. Static X was really enjoying themselves up there. They proposed a toast, just like they did at our small local show here in Rockford. They really reached out to the crowd and you could tell that they love their fans. Every song they played was perfect and they really demonstrated their enormous talent.
Finally, what almost everyone was waiting for...Lamb of God. They played for a long time, and I was really impressed that the lead singer still has his voice (as I have always predicted he would lose it during a long-intense tour like this). They really kicked ass musically, but the stage show was a little lame. By now I was really missing the large displays that they have had at previous Ozzfests for the lawn seats to see the stage show. There was really not much for a light show either. I would of thought for a band to play right before Ozzy, that they would have had more of a stage show, but hey, maybe they didn't want to make Ozzy feel lame.
Which after hearing Ozzy's first song, I was feeling pretty lame for old Ozzy myself. I just cannot believe Sharon just keeps
It really made me sick to hear him struggle to sing. It sounded like a cow caught on a barbed wire fence. Me and all my friends also noticed that there was a lip synch trick going on. He would lip synch part of the song (some of the harder parts to sing) and then for the chorus, you could hear a loud click sound and then you could tell that his live (off key) voice came back on. I have never experienced such a farce. Sharon should be ashamed of herself that she has made a fool of her husband like this. I would like to know how much money she made on this "free" Ozzfest, and if she really thinks it was worth destroying the image of one of Heavy Metal's greatest frontmen.
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