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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: California
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Thumbs up Two Ozzfests And A Solo Priest/Slayer Gig In 3 Days -- California -- July 29-31, 2004

TOUR: Ozzfest 2004 and offdate Judas Priest w/Slayer
DATE: Thursday, July 29th, 2004 through Saturday, July 31st, 2004
ATTENDED W/: Motorhead Jeff

This one is important because it represents my first ever metal multi-day cross-state metal adventure. I also happened to rate a band higher than Iron Maiden.... - HTE]

Originall posted -> on August 2nd, 2004

Please forgive my need for a editor of this long review

SHIRTS WORNS: Long Sleeve Piece of Mind w/DoD & TAATG backups while driving; Eddie belt buckle.

MERCH: Nothing purchased at venues. Bought LC & BLS off eBay today.

EDDIES AWARDED (Bands to earn Eddies this time)
Lacuna Coil: 8 Eddies
Hatebreed: 8 Eddies
Slipknot: 8.5 Eddies
Judas Priest: 8 Eddies Ozzfest MV / 9.5 Eddies Solo MV
Black Sabbath: 11 Eddies


Motorhead Jeff and I limped into a Walmart on Saturday and culture shock smacked us upside the head. No one was yelling “SHOW ME YOUR TITS FOR A BEER!” Nobody was decked out in black shirts declaring their love for Satan or proclivities for sex with barnyard animals. The extraordinarily lame in-store music was completely unmoshable. This is what happens when you spend three days driving 1200 miles up and down the state of California going from Ozzfest in Mountain View (Silicon Valley) to an offdate Slayer / Judas Priest concert in Marysville in the upper Northern California immediately to Ozzfest in San Bernandino (outside of Los Angeles). We damn near went to Las Vegas for a final Hatebreed gig at the House of Blues on Sunday, but decided that would just plain be silly.

Our descent into Hell started on Thursday at 8 AM in Mountain View, CA. We had the Party Like A Rock (PLARS) package and intended to take full advantage. For us, PLARS meant third row center tickets, a special riser for 2nd stage, back stage tour, autographed program (Tony Iommi signed mine), vip bar and restrooms (read nice ones with no lines), etc. Access is granted by a special laminate PLARS pass; it happens to the exact same pass at all Ozzfests <hint hint hint>.

Second stage works like this: 20 minute sets with approximately 5 minutes transition sets. All the drum sets are on wheeled platforms. The roadies roll one out, roll one in, change the banner backdrop, and the next band roars on stage. Ozzfest has these logistics down to a science, even on the main stage.

Devil Driver didn't show and as one of the first bands scheduled, this threw the entire schedule off and forward. We didn't catch most of the acts between schedule problems, general goofing off, and the backstage tour.

Most of the second stage bands have a similar sound, so we felt like if you heard one, you've heard them all. I actually ripped a cd for Jeff prior to Ozzfest with a couple tracks each from Atreyu, Devil Driver, God Forbid, and Lamb of God and asked him to tell me how many bands were on the cd. Jeff answered one or two -- my thoughts exactly.

Lacuna Coil created my own personal heaven, playing my favorite songs. (Swamped and Daylight Dancer). Cristina’s voice is as gorgeous as her Italian face. However, her stage skills need a little work: "How many headbangers are out there? Are you ready to rock? Are you read to fucking rock?" Andrea Ferro (the male lead) kicked it up a notch with his growling bit to help move the crowd. I’ll be at the head of the line when they return for a solo gig in the US.

Otep is a nasty left wing commie bitch. That said, I may still lose my membership in the vast right wing conspiracy because I thought Otep did a damn good job, much to my surprise. I wrote very damning remarks recently suggesting whether they could pull Warhead off live. It was a lot better than I could even imagine. Their politics stink but as art alone, Otep gets a pass from me. Credit where credit is due: Otep made a statement supporting the troops before bashing President Bush.

We went to an offstage vip bar at 1:30 to meet up for our backstage tour; our group had about ten people in it. Two roadies led the tour, Rigger Dan and Eddie Webb. They took us up to the main soundboards: one for Priest and another for Sabbath (plus everyone else). Rigger Dan explained how this $500,000 soundboard (for Sabbath) can correct imperfections in Ozzy’s voice and the performance as a whole. He also told us to look at the stacks of Marshall amps (about 24 into total) that Slayer uses in their set…. only three work and that the rest are for just for looks. Some more tidbits we learned at the soundboard… main stage requires nine trucks to move around… the video screen weighs 11,000 pounds… the Ozzfest crew can clear out of any venue in little more than an hour… we also went over lighting and the video system as well.

Next, we went down to the front of the stage to meet a bunch of the roadies and the techs that make Ozzfest happen. Bill Ward (very nice guy) happens to working with his personal drum tech. We then went backstage and looked over gear and equipment. It was fun peering the boxes and boxes of guitars. Rigger Dan teased us about Halford and his motorcyle… how Halford hand-synced the reving of the engine with audio engine noises… that the smoke doesn’t come from the bike… the motorcyle doesn’t even work… that a roadie pushes Halford out on stage and to watch for it. Then we went into the heart of the stage where all the drum kits are… Rigger Dan explained how the logistics of the main stage work and how they can transition so damn fast. We poked around a bit backstage and that was that.

Back to the second stage now: I pushed my way into the pit for Hatebreed, Their music is hard and heavy; their positive message, what kids need to hear. I gave much better than I received, even knocking a bigger Slayer fan on his ass and out of the pit. This is opposed to the team effort it required to dump me on my can. Hatebreed played my favorite songs from Rise of Brutality. SUPPORT HATEBREED!

Don’t call me a Maggot, but Slipknot was the most creative act on second stage and deserved their place as headliners. Their albums are filled with the oddest noises chaotically ordered, fused into music. Slipknot is interesting and different -- something I can't say for the most of the bands at Ozzfest. They have awesome stage presence and are fun to watch; I've never seen a percussion guy jump on and rock his equipment…or use a baseball bat as a drumstick... or a keg-like thing as a drum. It’s completely debatable what kind of skidmark (probably more like a really shitty racing stripe) on music they will leave but I enjoyed them in the here and now, so fuck you. People equal.. SHIT! People equal.. SHIT!

Black Label Society was damn good on the main stage. Zakk tossed me a can of Miller Lite, which I kept as a free souvenir. Zakk spoke up for the troops and America to boot. I would have liked to hear a longer set, specifically at the expense of Phil Anselmo.

Fuck Superjoint Ritual. Fuck Phil Anselmo. Fuck Pantera. Mid-set, Phil lifts his straight right arm Sieg Heil style, yells “you know what I can’t say’, and then mouths “White Power.” Superjoint finished their set with my ass in my seat and my middle finger raised in the air. If you any tolerate this skinhead nonsense, fuck you too.

Dimmu Borgir was my first black metal gig ever. My expectations based on their image and the sound of their last album were the highest of any act at Ozzfest. I needed the gates of hell to open and a guest appearance by Satan himself. Instead, five dudes in poor costumes and bad makeup showed up. I didn’t even get a token goat sacrifice. What a rip off! Dimmu isn’t evil… they’re comical. Despite all this, I still hold them in high musically. I don’t blame Dimmu but they sounded god awful. The mix was the problem; everything was jumbled into an audio mushy soup. Slayer had the same problem and I walked out for an extended pee break and dinner

Judas Priest was outright frigid almost to the end of their set. No member in Priest looked into it or like they were even having the slightest fun… that is, until Painkiller and the encore. These four songs were played as if the band was once a rival to the greatest metal band on Earth, our beloved Iron Fucking Maiden.

Black Sabbath played the greatest set I've will likely ever see and hear in my entire life and this includes my Maiden gigs. I am convinced that the greatest heavy metal song in history is now Black Sabbath. Watching Geezer play his bass was no different than marveling at the hands of a concert pianist in action at the symphony. The closing confetti cannons at the end of Paranoid shot several stories of the red,white,and blue into the air above our heads. I simply stood stunned at what I just experienced. Sabbath forever changed the way I look at the metal I listen now and the metal I will forge on my own. I’ve seen the top of the mountain and it was good.

Ozzfest is really a 12+ hour opening act for one hour of Sabbath. I enjoyed seeing so many bands, but I wanted a few longer sets and fewer bands. It just moved too quickly for my tastes.


After getting a few hours of sleep Friday morning, we started the trek up to Maryville in the upper part of Northern California about 1:30 PM. You’ll find Marysville on the map a few miles on the other side of Butt Fucking Egypt. We just made it into the venue as Slayer was coming on stage.

Many of you know that I have a love / extreme-hate relationship with Slayer. I love their music and respect their talent but am utterly appalled by their lyrics. Slayer is so damn good at what they do that theatrics are unnecessary; they easily put ANY black metal out of Norway to shame.

The setlist:

Darkness of Christ
War Ensemble
Mandatory Suicide
Hollowed Point
Stain of Mind
Dead Skin Mask
Seasons into the Abyss
Post Mortem
Raining Blood
South of Heaven
Angel of Death.

And yes, I walked out on Angel of Death. You should have seen the little skinhead bastards go orgasmic for it. Fuck them all straight to hell.

SexyDevilGirl once told me Slayer pits are filled with skinheads and wife beaters. Jeff and I were shocked that a black guy jumped into the pit and start beating the skinheads. We were even more shocked they didn’t kill him. That is either a picture of courage or stupidity.

I tolerated the presence of these lame, ignorant skinhead fucks (and Slayer) to see JUDAS FUCKING PRIEST play a full set. Priest came out like they just finished in Mountain View, full of energy and excitement. Despite the same stage theatrics from the night before and 13 songs in common with their Ozzfest setlist, Friday night was a different show and made a fan of Judas Priest.

The Maryville’s setlist was:

Hellion (intro)
Electric Eye
Metal Gods
Heading Out To The Highway
The Ripper
Touch of Evil
The Sentinel
Turbo Lover
Victim Of Changes
Diamonds And Rust
Beyond The Realms of Death
The Green Manalishi
Pain Killer
Hellbent For Leather
Living After Midnight
You’ve Got Another Thing Coming

For those keeping score at home, it’s the Ozzfest setlist plus The Ripper, Turbo Lover, and Diamonds And Rust.

Jeff and I were center stage in the pit/GA about two people off the rail. Think Maiden sardine can, which lasted until drunk skinheads opened up a mosh pit behind us during the Ripper. Then the drunk/stoned non-skinheads started crashing into those of us up front. I started throwing some very serious elbows to defend my turf and keep these assholes off us. It was the closest I’ve been to starting a fight in years.

One stoner really caused a lot of trouble. Remember Shaggy from Scooby-Doo? Make him blond and wearing a blue shirt. He kept knocking into people and causing problems. It wasn’t long before some guy started beating him. Shaggy didn’t learn a god damn thing… fifteen minutes later, he slammed into a skinhead bull. Shaggy ended up with a broken nose and a two inch wide deep cut beneath his left eye. I saw the blow that did it. Shaggy’s blood was all over our section of the pit/ga, even got a bit on me (which I washed off carefully). Some people have no god damned sense.

Maiden still owns Priest, but I’ll be picking up the Priest catalog in short order. I’m looking forward to their new release in December and another tour next year.


Upon checking into certain areas in Mountain View, we noticed security had only black and white copies of our passes for verification against our real ones. We bought $38 lawn tickets for the Ozzfest in Devore and try to use our passes again. Jeff lives about 30 miles from Devore, so the worst case would be watching a few bands like everyone else. We planned to miss main stage and escape before all hell broke loose or traffic problems developed. We could prove our metalness just by showing up.

We left Marysville around midnight for Southern California, driving all night (with two breaks) to reach the outskirts of the Los Angeles metro-region around dawn. The SoCal folks told me it took two hours to get into the venue and we were parked in like five minutes. I was thrilled, so we chilled at the car until 9. After walking through several huge parking lots, we found the entrance and a line stretching over a mile to get in. Opps. To make matters worse, security wasn’t allowing backpacks, so we had to hoof it to the car and back again. The line was about 3/4 as long on our return.

I am 100% on getting at least one camera in ANY venue. This time, I had three on me. I offered one as a sacrificial lamb. I always wear a Maiden hoodie around my waist and usually guards don’t check the pocket. This guy checked and found camera #2. My shirt was not tucked it and he felt the knot of the tied hoodie underneath masking the final camera. I lifted my shirt a bit, showed him the knot and a Maiden belt buckle and he bought it. One camera got in without shoving it up my ass. The streak is unbroken. I rule. Please hold your applause.

Devore is a literally giant – a giant shit hole. After hiking for 15 minutes INSIDE the venue, we made it to the PLARS riser for second stage and got turned away – “it’s only for handicapped people”. Security just didn’t know what to do with the PLARS people. They sent us over the Playstation riser, and these guys sent backstage. For about 30 minutes, we watched the show from backstage and goofed off. Eventually, security unfucked itself and opened up the original riser to us. I should have told them I was at Ozzfest two days ago… I know how this package works!

It was 11ish before we got settled in. I was so tired, so I reclined in a chair like I would at home, just trancing out to really really loud metal.

Devil Driver was again but was allowed to play a 15 minute makeup. Both Devil Driver and God Forbid were fun but sounded similar. Lacuna Coil was great again. I stand my earlier second stage comments.

Throwndown came next. These guys were trying way too hard to rile up the crowd. For their finale, the lead singer encouraged the two pits in front of the stage to flip off the “lazy standing fucks” in the back who were just not into them or the mosh scene. Then Throwndown told the moshers to charge the back of the audience and push them out. So two mobs charged, attacked, and knocked people down who didn’t want to be part of the mosh. That’s fucked up. Below our riser, people were crushed into the railing and stomped. Yeah, that’s what metal is about.

The pits were horrible: a lot of blindsiding and cheapshot. I’d rather just duke it out and then on with the moshing. Moshing is about rough housing, not hurting people for the fuck of it. I just avoided the pits, since I was exhausted and working on 20 minutes since Friday morning. Once the pits started on the second stage, giant dust clouds would form and you couldn’t see shit, even if you were close.

Between the heat and the dust, Jeff and I went for water and food at the main plaza -- another ten minute hike out of second stage. I expected extortion after Thursday (ex: $5 for a large bottle of water). I did not expect to get $5 for warm tap water out of the soda fountain machine. Buzzkilll after buzzkill was just too much. We headed out midafternoon for home before second stage ended.
Jaco died for our sins so that modern bass players could be free to play more and be heard.
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