RUISROCK FESTIVAL – Slash, Ozzy Osbourne, Michael Monroe

August 4th, 2010
by Marko Syrjala

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RUISROCK FESTIVAL 2010

9 – 11’th of JULY, TURKU, FINLAND

 REVIEW AND PHOTOS BY MARKO SYRJÄLÄ

Ruisrock celebrated its 40th anniversary in sunny Ruissalo. Although the festival lineup included mostly domestic artists, there were lots of interesting foreign names as well such as the legendary Ozzy Osbourne, former Guns’n Roses guitarist Slash, Arch Enemy, and Amon Amarth represented the heavier side while there were also a long list of bands from pop, punk, prog and alternative worlds as well. Such names as: Billy Talent, Canned Heat, NOFX, Flogging Molly and the Sounds show clearly how versatile the festival Ruisrock is and that mix seems to work out well. Altogether there were over 70,000 visitors in Ruisrock during three days.

 

OZZY OSBOURNE

Former Black Sabbath front man Ozzy Osbourne is a colorful person who always raises lot of different opinions among the people. The man is a living metal legend but lately he’s been on the headlines for mostly thanks other than music. There has been reality series, books, TV shows, sensations, drugs, personal problems and whatever reasons but now Ozzy is here to play his first show here since 2008. Ozzy has just released his 10’th studio album titled SCREAM and this show at Ruisrock was a part of his world tour which will last for the next year and a half. It’s time to check how the aging “Prince of Darkness” and his renewed band succeed in front twenty thousand of screaming fans in Turku…

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The Ozzy band hit the stage ahead of time by about ten minutes. They started the set with the classic ‘Bark at the Moon’. It was nice to notice that Ozzy did seem quite energetic and at the same time looking as possessed as always. Next, the band rolled into the new single "Let Me Hear You Scream" and it worked out great. It seems that finally Ozzy has created another song which might stay in the set list more than one tour. All the classic Ozzy raps like: "I can’t fuckin’ hear you", "Louder!", "Let’s get crazy" etc … became familiar among newer fans as well during the show. It must be granted that Ozzy’s new band worked out really well. The rhythm section of Tommy Clufetos (drums) and bassist Blasko played really well together and they seemed to be a true dynamic duo between each other. New axe man Gus G. of Firewind proved that he’s a prefect addition for the band as well. Of course there are lot of fans, who’ll stay loyal for Zakk and his Black Label Society, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but Gus did excellent work here. His playing style is quite different to Zakk’s but Ozzy  consciously looked for someone with their own style and that’s what he has now got with Gus. If you compare his style to any former Ozzy guitarists, only one name which comes in mind is Jake E. Lee and that’s not a bad thing for the fans of melodic guitar playing.

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The set list tonight was actually quite a pleasant surprise and it’s really refreshing to see Ozzy giving more time to his mid 80’s material. As well as "Shot In The Dark", the crowd also got the rarely played ‘Killer of Giants’ which hasn’t been on the set list since THE ULTIMATE SIN -tour back in 1986!!! Of course there was some classic Sabbath tunes included as well like "Fairies Wear Boots" and "Iron Man" plus the usual encore of ‘Paranoid’. What was also interesting was the inevitable band solo part, which included some Sabbath material as well: the partly instrumental of ‘Rat Salad’. It’s always great to hear those tunes but in a way it was good that Ozzy now only did three and a half Sabbath songs and featured more of his own material. What was really strange was that there was only one song ("I Don’t Wanna Change The World") played tonight from the Zakk Wylde era? As everybody knows there are load’s of great material there like: "No More Tears", "Dreamer", "Perry Mason" etc but maybe this was just logical choice to get some distance from what Ozzy has been doing past twenty three years with Zakk? On the other hand, why on earth there was only one song played from the new album?

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Of course some early Ozzy favorites like "Over The Mountain" and "Flying High Again" were sorely missed, but doing more mid 80’s stuff was really a good thing and it may be that new guitarist Gus G. is behind the decision to play these gems again? At least he must have recommended some songs there!? But in brief, this was a good show from "Madman" and his boys. Like mentioned before, Ozzy was surprisingly energetic and his voice was working well. Of course some teleprompters and backing tapes were used but not too disturbingly. It’s strange how things can change in two years. After releasing his two weakest releases in his whole career Ozzy has now returned with his best work (SCREAM) since 1991’s NO MORE TEARS and there’s a same thing with Ozzy’s live performances. People haven’t seen this energetic and good of a sounding Ozzy show since early 90’s and that’s not bad from the man who’s now living his 60’s.

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FOR MORE INFO GO TO:

 WWW.OZZY.NET

THE SET LIST

Bark at the Moon

Let Me Hear You Scream

Mr. Crowley

I Don’t Know

Fairies Wear Boots

Suicide Solution

Shot In The Dark

Guitar Solo

Drum Solo

Iron Man

I Don’t Want to Change the World

Killer Of Giants

Crazy Train

Paranoid

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MICHAEL MONROE

Michael Monroe and his new "all star" band: guitarists Ginger (the Wildhearts) and Steve Conte (New York Dolls) , bassist Sam Yaffa (New York Dolls, Demolition 23, Hanoi Rocks) and drummer Karl Rockfist (Danzig) performed another hyper energetic rock’n roll show with no unnecessary tricks or gimmicks there.  The set was kicked off with old Demolition 23 classic "Nothing’s Alright" followed by Hanoi Rocks’s "Motorvatin" and Demolition track "Hammersmith Palais". Michael has always been one of the best front men in the business and that’s what he still definitely is. He has so much energy on stage that it’s hard to believe that man is soon turning into his 50’s. Michael clearly enjoys playing with this new band and it especially appears how happy he’s being on stage with his former Hanoi Rocks/Demolition 23 colleague Sam Yaffa again. The list was a good combination of old Hanoi Rocks, Demolition 23 and Michael’s solo material spiced up with a couple of new songs which sounded really promising. Especially "Another Night In The Sun" was awesome.  Only time will tell how this line-up will carry on from now, they all other bands/projects going on, but hopefully this will last and we’ll someday hear that another Michael Monroe album?

FOR MORE INFO GO TO:

WWW.MICHAELMONROE.COM

THE SET LIST


Nothin’s Alright

Motorvatin’

Hammersmith Palais

You’re Next

Not Fakin’ It

Dysfunctional

Another Night In The Sun

I Wanna Be Loved

The Boulevard Of Broken Dreams

Love Song

Machine Gun Etiquette

Motorheaded For A Fall

Back To Mystery City

Malibu Beach Nightmare

Dead, Jail or Rock ‘n’ Roll

Ain’t Nothin’ To Do

1970/Radar Love

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SLASH

It’s been several years since former Guns’n Roses guitarist Slash last performed here in Finland. It was back in 2007 when Slash played in Provinssirock with Velvet Revolver but it wasn’t long after when the band announced their split with vocalist Scott Weiland. Since then the band has been on "hiatus"? Earlier this year, after three years of new Velvet Revolver lead singer searching, Slash decided to break the silence and release his first ever solo album titled SLASH. The album is a kind of all-stars album and it includes guest performances a group of well known musicians like: Ozzy Osbourne, Fergie, Lemmy Kilmister, Ian Astbury, Andrew Stockdale and Dave Grohl among many others.

Now Slash and his recently announced touring band: guitarist Bobby Schneck, bassist Todd Kerns (Sin City Sinners), drummer Brent Fitz (Union, Alice Cooper, Ecoline Crush) and Myles Kennedy (Alter Bridge) who also sings on the album, arrived in Turku to headline Sunday on sunny Ruisrock -festival.

The Slash band kicked off with new album opening track "Ghost" and it seemed to be a perfect opener for the show. Slash’s recognizable guitar sound was crystal clear and man was running across the stage like a young foal. Ian Astbury (The Cult) is doing excellent job with that track on the album but it must be stated that Slash’s current touring vocalist Myles Kennedy didn’t lose an inch here for Ian. Slash’s Snakepit classic "Meanbone" followed before band headed into string of Guns’ n Roses tracks. As expected, people went completely crazy during "Nightrain" and "Rocket Queen". Velvet Revolver classic "Sucker Train Blues" worked out great as well and at this point it must be stated that Myles truly is an excellent choice to handle lead vocals on this tour. Not only he has a great voice but he can also handle all kinds of material, no matter if its originally been sung by Axl, Scott Weiland, Rod Jackson or just anybody else.

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The "top hat" himself seemed to have really good time on stage. He was in really good shape and he’s clearly happy to be back on the road again with this new line up and why shouldn’t he because band sounded astounding! There’s nothing wrong with his new album material either. "Back From Cali", "Starlight", and the radio hit "By The Sword" got a good response from the crowd and proved that Slash still has plenty to say with his never material. Nowadays rarely played Gun’s Roses standard "Civil War" was a good addition for the set list but "Sweet Child O’ Mine" was the one which literally blew up the consciousness and people went completely nuts. Things calmed down a little when band next headed in Alter Bridge track "Rise Today" but that’s likely because majority of the people haven’t heard that band’s material until now. Perhaps things will be different next time because "Rise Today" did fit like a glove with the rest of the set list. The main set was then closed with another Velvet Revolver track "Slither" which again seemed to sink well with the audience.

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The band took a little break before hitting back with Finnish guest vocalist Michael Monroe. Michael and Slash are old friends already from the late 80’s so it was good to see them now together on stage. They first did new album track "We’re All Gonna Die", originally sung on album by Iggy Pop, before hitting CCR/Hanoi Rocks standard "Up Around The Bend". Michael was performing like a super energetic madman. He was constantly running across the stage and over the monitors, climbing on stage structures and did all the old rock’n roll clichés you can ever imagine. This was an excellent performance from Michael and it seemed that everyone on stage, including Slash, were more than excited there. Turku is Michael’s current hometown so everyone can just imagine what kind of feedback band got after finishing final chords of "Up Around The Bend"… There wasn’t too much time left but there was time enough to play one more classic. Myles switched back to vocals and then Slash’s guitar kicked into one of Guns N’ Roses’ finest moment,s and we’re talking about "Paradise City” here. As expected, once again, people went again nuts during the song. In the end, the band lined up in the front of audience and thanked the audience. The show was over and there’s time of little summary here.

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All in all this was really entertaining show. The whole band was on fire. Slash’s playing was excellent and like said before, he really enjoyed being on stage. Myles has already been praised enough but let’s not forget the rest here.  Bassist Todd Kerns and guitarist Bobby Schneck played great and they both did some really good backing vocals there while drummer Brent Fitz kept the rhythm going and was the main motor behind this extremely tight band. The set list was built up really carefully and it included songs from Slash’s entire career but excluding the first Snakepit album IT’S FIVE O CLOCK SOMEWHERE which was for reason or another ignored completely. But… you can’t ever please everyone here. Welcome again anytime!

 

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FOR MORE INFO GO TO

http://slash.ultimate-guitar.com/

THE SET LIST

Ghost

Mean Bone

Nightrain

Rocket Queen

Sucker Train Blues

Back From Cali

Starlight

By The Sword

Civil War

Sweet Child O’ Mine

Rise Today

Slither

We’re All Gonna Die

Up Around The Bend

Paradise City

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