Monday, July 25, 2005

Back From Ozzfest

Here it is, my review of the past 24 hours. What a day it was!

Sunday morning, Shawn, Megan, Gene, Jessi, Allen, Kat and myself packed up the cars and left for northern Virginia around 6AM. Megan drove her jeep and Kat, Jessi, and Shawn drove with her on the way down. I drove Jessi's car and had Allen and Gene in tow. Even the ride to Ozzfest was a good time. Shawn was throwing those little cheese goldfish at our car and Jessi mooned us.

We got there after constant pee breaks around 9:40. Arch Enemy was supposed to start off and I was a little bummed that we were late and were going to miss them, but just like last year, the opening band didn't make it in time. That means that Trivium started out. So we missed Trivium! I hope we can get to see them this fall when they go back on tour though. So our day started with The Black Dahlia Murder. I enjoyed their set. It wasn't anything mind blowing, but they can deliver their unique brand of in your face death metal.

Next up was The Haunted. This is the first big above ground tour for them. I liked their energy, but I felt they were definitely suited for smaller venues up close and personal. The lead singer looked more like he was from the fictional land of Fraternia than Sweden.

Bury your Dead played next. Lucky for us we were a safe distance from the dancing going on the pits that typically happens when they blast out their moshcore beats. At the end of the set, the lead singer started their chant, Bury your fucking dead". At one point I thought he gave the mic to a young kid. It wasn't a kid at all, a few seconds later, Jada Pinkett Smith emerged on stage leading the chant. I then look over and see none other than Will Smith. That's definitely not something I expected from Ozzfest.

We decided to stick around long enough to see what Wicked Wisdom would sound like. They have gotten a lot of slack for getting an easy ticket to perform, but I was still curious to see if it was worth watching. They sound like a poor imitation of Otep. We all walked away after they began playing. Nothing to see there, it was hot, we were thirsty and it was time for a break. I wish Jada well, but I hope she can come up with something that she can claim as her own. I think it's cool that they are into the metal scene and the Smiths are showing up at Ozzfest.

Like an idiot I figured I'd wait to use the ATM at the venue, but the one closest to the second stage was not working. I had to go clear around the venue which felt like it was a hundred miles to get to the other machine. By the time I got back Gizmachi was playing, and I couldn't find the others. We weren't going out to see their set, and agreed to meet up in a shady spot. Everyone decided to hide behind one of the vending trucks. Real smart guys!

I finally found Gene in time for Soilwork and neither of us regretted catching them at all. They got a huge response. Probably the biggest response of any of the Swedish metal acts that played that day. Their riffs are crushing, their beat precise, and the singer has a really good stage presence. That set seemed like it was over before it began. That's the biggest sign that it was a good set. In my opinion Soilwork was the best band that played the second stage.

We then took another long break for It Dies Today and A Dozen Furies. They have a decent sound, but it wasn't worth fighting the heat to see average bands. We all sat in the shade, finally in the wooded area, reapplied the sunblock and laid in the grass. We were way too close to the Dunk the Clown booth though. All we heard was his annoying laugh which I dreamt about in length last night. Damn that clown!

Shawn, Jessi, Gene, and I ran out to see Mastodon. They were just freaking awesome. They have this old school feel which reminded me of the music I listened to when I got turned onto metal many years ago. I hated that their set ran so short. I definitely wanted more!

We all then met up again for one more break before Killswitch Engage and Rob Zombie. As I Lay Dying has a really good sound and know how to play to a large crowd, but by then, we were all pretty tired and knew we had two long sets to endure before the second stage closed.

Killswitch Engage were nothing short of phenomenal. The crowd really responded to these guys. Kat was having a blast. I fed off her energy alone (with the help of the immense amount of pot smoke that rose around us when they began playing) and I know she had a really good time seeing them. The crowd surfing was crazy. I don't think I've ever seen that many bodies flying around. At the end of the set, bodies, shoes, shirts, and shorts were flying around everywhere. I have to admit that was one of the best performances of the whole day.

Rob Zombie finished off the second stage. Their set was insane. I don't think I've seen an entire set with naked chicks. That is definitely a Zombie tradition. They played mostly Rob's solo work, but they did throw in some White Zombie too. His set just didn't have all that much appeal to it. Zombie was very rusty and it seemed like he was out of breath. When I saw White Zombie many years ago I was overwhelmed with their intensity. I was disappointed because that intensity wasn't there this time. It was still a good set, but we decided to get a good spot in the lawn for the main stage.

In Flames lead off the man stage. I finally got to see In Flames! They have always been one of my favorite bands. I have all their work. They played mostly new material, but I loved it all. This band has it all and if they're anywhere near Virginia when they tour the states, you better believe I will be there. They have really hit it big, which is why I was totally pissed when their set closed after 20 minutes! Life is so unfair sometimes. The chants started up as soon as they stopped, "In Flames, In Flames!"

Black Label Society had 40 minutes. 40 very long minutes. Zakk's a cool guy and an amazing guitartist, but everyone was too busy chanting In Flames, to notice anything they were playing. I don't think I wanted a set to close quicker than theirs. It didn't come soon enough.

Shadows Fall followed the lackluster performance from BLS and quickly woke everyone back up. If anyone has a chance to see these thrashers, it would be a good idea to do so. I enjoyed the whole set. They sound so much better live than on their albums. Next stop for Shadows Fall, superstardom.

Next up, Mudvayne! Again, finally I got to see them play! They cancelled out of their March performance as I'm sure many of you are aware. They came out kicking ass with Determined. A mosh pit opened right next to us. Chad noticed everyone in the lawn and acknowledged us before the people that paid to have the pit seats. We even helped them from the lawn determin a song for them to play. It never calmed down. The only thing that could have distracted me would be tits. I got pretty distracted during their set! They closed with Dig. Everyone was going crazy and again the chants started up, "One more song, one more song."

It was now time for the headliners for this years Ozzfest. Out comes Iron Maiden. I never thought I'd get to see this band, ever. Like some other mainstage bands, they didn't have enough time to put on as good of a show as they would have liked. They did have an hour and they took advantage of every minute of it. Bruce had us all screaming from the get go though and had us under their spell for that entire hour. Maiden had the coolest set by far of the night with all kinds of props. The crowd was into everything. We sang along with all the lyrics and were screaming for more after every song. We even got to see some more tits to Allen's approval.

Now I know that metalheads don't cry, but I couldn't help myself. Iron Maiden was Rodney and John's favorite band. They both committed suicide and I miss them greatly. Their memory along with seeing the band, the very same band that introduced me to metal along with seeing them with the best friends anyone could have had me in a mixture of sadness and joy at the same time. I will never forget that one hour of my life, ever. I wish that moment didn't have to end.

Black Sabbath closed out the night as only they can do, by going crazy. Like Allen said, it was like watching metal history. They played the same songs I heard last year, but I still felt like I was watching them for the very first time. I could have done without the bottle of urine hitting the people in front of us and the constant bottle dodging the rest of the set. I just know we were completely exhausted once Sabbath closed things out.

Coming up I plan on posting the set lists for each act and on The Wrecking Crew myspace account, we are going to post our memories from the show.

To Kat: I am a lucky man to have you. As long as there's an Ozzfest I want you to be by my side for every show. You make me feel complete. Thank you for showing me one of the best times I've ever had!

To Shawn: Thank you, brother. I could see that same look in your eyes the whole day...you know that look, "I wonder if I can get any of these bands to play at Cattle Annies." I hope you can make that dream come true for all of us.

To Gene: My metal twin. We may not ever become the closest of friends, but I will always bond with you through our music. Together we make the best team in all things heavy, loud, and ear splitting!

To Jessi: My protege. My corruption of your soul is complete and I am very happy with the results of my dirty deeds. You made Ozzfest fun and beautiful. Thank you for the conversation on the ride back. You'll always have a special place in my life and heart.

To Megan: I know that 14 hours of metal is not on your short list of great things to do, but thank you for coming and having a good time with us. I hope you enjoyed as much as you could in one day. I was honored to share the day with you, and hopefully I can share many more.

To Allen: My newborn in metal. Thank you for showing and keeping things intense the entire day. I hope to see many more shows with you so that I can see and be reminded of the same desire I had when I first started listening to the hard stuff.


Today, I rest. I'm not as sunburned as I was last year at least. Lookie, Jessi got Trivium's autograph! She did it all on her own too. I'm so proud. That's all for now.



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