OZZFEST 2001 - Riverport Amphitheatre
St. Louis, MO - June 18, 2001
Review by Dave / Intro by EvilG
For us metalheads, the JOKE that is now Ozzfest has become a putrid
example of all that is WRONG about "metal" - or
the perception of what is metal - in North America. Real metal fans know
that the festivals in the USA to attend are ProgPower
or the NJ /
Milwaulkee Metalfest's! The only OZZFEST band, besides Black
Label Society, that is worth seeing here is the founding fathers of
heavy metal - Black Sabbath. So before you freak at us for covering this
basically NON-METAL festival, be aware that the only two bands we will
be basically giving any accolades to here is BLS and Black Sabbath!! If
you are offended by this then perhaps you don't like metal at all, but
hey, you made it this far so maybe there is hope for you. Maybe we can
open you mind to the wonderful world of heavy metal as it is known by us
fans and NOT by MTV!!!
Well here it is, another Ozzfest. Another year of sunburn, dudes with
mullets and bad jailhouse tattoos, goth kids, lots of beer and
adolescent angst served up like cheeseburgers at McDonalds. Another year
of down-tuned bands screaming about something or other and another year
that a 50 something old man comes out and puts these annoying little
bastards to bed, and shows these punks how metal is really done!!!!
This year's Ozzfest was a little different regarding side stages and
set changes. The addition of a smaller side stage and a revolving main
stage allowed for quick equipment change overs and the opportunity to
see all the bands, for no two bands played at the same time. I didn't
see every band this year because a) the show starts so damn early that
it would take a resurrected Randy Rhoads to make me get there at 10:30
am and b) standing in line for beer and going to the bathroom sometimes
is more important . Beautiful Creatures was the first act I saw all day.
These guys all look like the members of a Nikki Sixx fanclub and they
were not too bad. They displayed some energy and their music fits right
in with most of the mallcore being
offered up by most of the Ozzfest contingent but their songs have some
pretty decent hooks and a sense of melody. Melody is not something most
of these new bands are aware of and you don't have to sacrifice melody
for the sake of being heavy. Anyway, I didn't realize it but BC's lead
singer is Joe LeSte who used to front Bang Tango way back when. ( I know
someone out there remembers Bang Tango!)
Next Up - Godhead. NEXT!!
Time for the second stage. Here we have Taproot. More like Craproot.
That is all I have to say about that.
Union Underground came on next and they were definitely one of the
best bands at this year's Ozzfest. To use an old cliche, THEY ROCK. They
are a great band with a presence reminiscent of Motley Crue and tunes
like "South Texas Death Ride" and "Turn Me on Mr. Deadman"
totally got the crowd fired up. Mudvayne had to follow Union
Underground. Any of you in the States have probably seen them and their
fingerpainted faces on MTV late at night. I watched the first song but
the uncontrollable urge for toilets and beer took over. Simply put, they
sound like any other band.
Forward to the mainstage . TIME FOR SOME REAL METAL courtesy of Mr.
Zakk Wylde and his Black Label Society. Zakk is the real deal. That
young pretty boy we remember from Ozzy's "No Rest for the
Wicked" days has grown into a pissed off monster from the swamps of
New Jersey armed with a chest length beard and a Les Paul so brutal that
it could wipe out a herd of buffalo. Straight forward heavy metal the
way it was meant to be. And what did we learn from from Mr. Wylde and
BLS ? Limp Bizkit sucks, drunken frat boys tuned down to D are lame and
beer is good.
Here is Crazy Town. Here comes that urge for toilets and beer again.
Being from the south suburbs of Chicago I have a soft spot for the next
band, Disturbed. Last time I saw these guys was in a small club called
Champ's in Burbank, Illinois about four years ago. I think their album
is pretty good but it was amazing to me that here they are in 2001
getting 20,000 worked up in a frenzy. They are a great live band. They
are tight, powerful and deliver their tunes with a sense of conviction
and honesty. Their success is well deserved.
Next up is LINKINPARKPAPAROACH. Why did I put the two names together?
Because they are basically the same band to me. I think both bands
should have been arrested for loitering on the stage. Neither has any
business being associated with Ozzy Osbourne in any way whatsoever.
Where's a goddamn sniper when you need one? If I have to say anything
good about either band, I would thank them for providing ample time for
toilets and beer.
Now the moment every fucked up 14 year old was waiting for, Slipknot.
They are an entertaining live band and they are good at what they do.
The drummer has some amazing chops but I really don't get them at all.
Maybe it's for the better, if I was able to listen to one of their
albums all the way through I would consider some serious therapy. As my
buddy Pete Healey would say, "Nothing like being screamed at for an
hour !" By the way, the lead trash can player really makes the
Marilyn Manson arrived all refreshed from having a couple days off.
Apparently the officials at the last tour stop of Somerset, Wisconsin
refused to let Manson play. Marilyn is without a doubt the white trash
demigod, and his message is one of drugs, rage and he plays right into
the hands of anyone who is easily impressionable. What TV commercials
are to soft drinks, a Manson show is to drugs. Apparently he likes
drugs, and so do most people in attendance at Ozzfest. Perfect fit. As
far as the show goes, he is a true rock star. His performance is
hypnotic and will leave you in a trance. Love him or hate him, his live
act is powerful. He was decked out in the usual Marilyn Manson bondage
gear but he did emerge for a song dressed as the Pope. Maybe he missed
out on being an altar boy as a kid and needs to get in touch with his
Why would anyone put themselves through 12 hours of heat, overpriced
concessions and all the other discomforts that go along with Ozzfest?
The question was answered in the first few bars of "N.I.B.".
The mighty Black Sabbath had finally arrived and there is no way that
any of the aforementioned bands could hold a candle to this. Bill and
Geezer are one of the best rhythm sections ever in rock and Tony Iommi's
guitar tone will make you melt. As for Mr. Osbourne, he was in fine
form. He managed to complete several of his trademark leapfrog jumps and
his voice was pretty good. Ozzy and the rest of Sabbath don't take
themselves too seriously and they don't have to. These are the real men,
the blueprint that they created for Heavy Metal is the reason that this
is the most legitimate form of rock music ever made. For all of us
Sabbath fans who were maybe just born around the time that they were
recording all those classic albums, we should consider ourselves lucky
to be able to witness the originals. The power, finesse and pure genius
of this band will always be timeless. I personally thank them for the
many reunion shows they have given us in the past few years. As far as
the show goes, they played most of the expected hits, with the new
"Scary Dreams" thrown in. Not a bad tune, pretty slow but a
great showcase for Bill Ward's solid heavy attack. The best part of the
show ? "The Wizard", one of the most underrated Sabbath songs
ever. What else can I say about Black Sabbath, they are more than a
band, THEY ARE LIFE!