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Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The Festival of Ozz

So I happened upon a couple free tickets and a VIP package for Ozzfest last weekend. It was a darn good thing that I received a couple of tickets seeing as how I have so many metal head friends here. But shunning the hordes of people chomping at the bit to hang with me I decided to got it alone. Although there are 19 bands on the tour I was really only interested in 3 of them (Dragonforce, Lacuna Coil, and Avenged Sevenfold) so I only attended for the first 3 hours of the mainstage performers.

Dragonforce was very interesting. I've been listening to their album Inhuman Rampage for several weeks now. The first song, Through the Fire and the Flame, has fused itself to my right brain and I cannot gid rid of it. It's in my dreams and on my lips every time I try to whistle. It is a very good metal song - dare I say one of the best. The only glitch with the album is it is heavily laden with overdubs and effects. Live they came across as fast yet seemed just a little thin - due to the lack of overdubs and effects. Still, both guitarists can fuckin shred. They nailed some blazingly, insanely fast solos - complete with lots of tapping, whammy bars, pick sliding, and the whole bag of tricks. They ran around the stage as though they couldn't be standing in one place longer than 10 seconds. At one point it looked like they were all lost - running back and forth, around each other, looking around to see where everyone else in the band is then running over to fill in a gap on the stage. I really appreciate their effort to put on a show instead of just stand there and play. They jump a lot to. And I mean some good old fashioned 80's hair band jumps. The kind where they climb up a little 1 foot riser, and jump just in time to land at the cymbal crash, they even have the head-tilt-back-pull-the-feet-towards-your-butt cheerleading move down pat. Their singer is perhaps one of the best frontmen I've seen in a long time. His vocals were clean and right on spot. They only played 4 songs but they were long. I think they probably averaged about 5-7 minutes each.

Lacuna Coil was next. I like this band for one reason only - the chick singer. Even my wife knows I have a huge crush on her. How could I not? She's brunette, pretty, fairly figurish, and metal. The rest of her band look like a gang of dorky rejects. Their music is tolerable although I don't really like it. Her voice is nice but that's about all the highlights. I've seen them 2 other times and by their 3rd song I was kinda bored with it. Their new single is a cover of a Depeche Mode song (apparently). Before they played it she said "How many of you out there remember a band called Depeche Mode from the eighties?" There was about 2 seconds of dead silence then the crowd kinda muttered just to keep things moving along. The song is fair, at best. I got a good look at her as my seat(s) were close. Her cuteness was slightly effected by the white shirt and tie she wore which matched the guy singer's white shirt and tie. Kinda queer.

Hatebreed: I had to sit through them after Lacuna Coil while I awaited Avenged Sevenfold. Hatebreed, on disc is boring, repetitive, and basically a new version of late 80's Sick of It All. I must give them a lot of credit live though. They got the crowd all riled up - and I don't believe there were all that many Hatebreed fans - their just one of those kind of bands that comes across very energetic, crowd involving, and they sounded decent. It helps that their average song length was around 2:00 minutes. They hammered through at least 15 songs. Not worth buying on CD but worth seeing live if you happen upon them.

Avenged Sevenfold was the band I was most eager to see. They are like a cross between Guns N Roses, Iron Maiden, and Pantera. Very "rock" yet very "metal". They had a huge set on stage - it would appear that these guys have sky rocketed in popularity in the last year - I hadn't heard of them until I looked up the Ozzfest line up to see who was coming. Their album City of Evil is one of my favorites in recent years. Live they pretty much sounded perfect and got a huge reaction from the crowd. They covered Pantera's Walk very well (although it would have been better had I not seen Trivium do it a few months ago). After Walk the guitarists did a solo - everyone else left the stage for about 3-4 minutes. It was an ok solo - but after watching the Dragonforce guys destroy their fretboards it paled in comparison. It has, however, very refreshing to see the re-emergence of the one-man-on-the-stage guitar solo. These guys look like rock n roll. Like a bunch of hardcore metal punks who couldn't decide whether to dress up like LA Guns or the Misfits. Their names are fantastic: M. Shadows, Synyster Gates, Zachy Vengeance, Johhny Christ, and The Rev. How could you go wrong with that?

The fest as a whole was pretty nutty. Ozzfest has it's "village of the dead" which is about 30 trailers selling everything from marijuana flavored lollypops to shirts and beers. The sheer magnitude of the merchandising was awe inspiring. Right on Sharon, suck every dollar you can out of those kinds. Fuck it - if some kid is willing to pay me $4.00 for a lollipop I'll take it. Same goes for the $40 tee-shirts, 5 dollar dart toss to win a prize, $10.00 for a henna tattoo, and so on. It looked like a carnival. A carnival filled with drunk, hot metalheads and metalhead wannabies. They brought their own beer stands - which I imaging was part of the contract with the venue - and they were asking - get this - $11.00 for a "large" beer and $8.00 for a "regular" beer. The "large" was a 16 ounce and the "regular" was a 10 ounce. After I finished mumbling a string of vulgar disbeliefs I cruised over to the VIP section which was run by the venue (amphitheater). There I got a comfy bar seat, a healthy Jameson on the rocks for $8.00, a VIP only restroom with no lines, and hung out with all the rest of the VIP's. It's the only way to go from now on for me.


Blogger mugwump said...

I enjoyed watching people more than I did watching some of the bands. I really liked Bad Acid Trip - but you didn't see them if you didn't see any of the second stage performances.

If the woman pictured is only "fairly figurish", then there's no hope for the rest of us. She's got the whole hour glass thing going on.

9:17 PM  
Blogger Buckminster Skeeter said...

I know of them but I'm not a fan - too weird for the sake of being weird.

Ok, maybe she's very figurish - either way she's hot.

4:46 AM  
Blogger mugwump said...

A funny memory from my Ozzfest experience inspired me to blog this a.m.

6:11 AM  
Blogger Buckminster Skeeter said...


8:49 AM  

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