When I first heard that Ozzfest was gonna be free this year, I was still pretty skeptical even though it of course sounded like a nice idea. Then when they announced the lineup, I bit the bullet and decided I would go. Unfortunately my show sold out when they did the online ticket sale, but thanks to my man Pavo (HAIL PAVO) he let me know that Shoreline was giving out free tickets at the box office yesterday, so I drove down and grabbed a few for me and some friends. Thanks again Ed
Deciding to park a couple blocks from the venue on the street so as to not get raped by $20 parking cost me the beginning of Nile's set (which started too early anyways, bastards), but I got in no problem. I must say that despite the chaos that could have occurred with the whole free ticket deal, there was no difference whatsoever, everything was business as usual. I got in pretty quickly, found my friends and watched what we could of Nile. As I walked in they were doing "Papyrus Containing The Spell to Protect its Possessor Against Attacks from He Who Is In The Water", then they finished up with "Sarcophagus" (different from first show, so they might be changing things up) and "Black Seeds Of Vengeance." The crowd was surprisingly very responsive for them and were really into it, the band clearly fed off the energy and had only nice things to say (unlike the first show apparently where they were talking shit about Ozzfest). They played well, very technical and precise as on the records, but the sound was too quiet. Unfortunately, as I would later experience as well, it was too quiet for all the bands. Definitely fire the soundguy and get some better PA's.
Following their set was the most agonizing wait of my life for 3 Inches of Blood. I had to deal with the utter shit from Ankla, Cthonic, Daath, and In This Moment, all of which were downright terrible. Ankla were probably the most bearable of any, since I thought the 2 drummers thing was cool and during their last song the instrumental passage sounded really good, but still aren't a band I hope to ever have to see again. Cthonic were pretty bad, the sound was atrocious and of course the music sucked too. Daath was boring and uninspired, and In This Moment was entertaining for about 5 seconds cuz of the lead singer. I've seen pictures of her online and she's pretty ugly but from where I was standing (far enough away I guess) she didn't look terrible. The music, though, was the worst from all the bands. Yikes.
Walking around I noticed the atmosphere of Ozzfest is definitely that of a carnival or festival, they do a good job of that for sure. As my first Ozzfest experience I can say they had a good setup overall, and even though tickets were free I'm sure they made a killing off all the merch they sold. Interestingly, I'm pretty sure I saw more Behemoth shirts there than anybody else, beating out even the ever-popular Lamb of God. They had this carnival tent deal set up with this annoying guy talking all the damn time about the world's only two-legged dog, dammit that shit got annoying. Also the MC or whatever introducing between each band was annoying as hell too. The free Monster giveaway was nice though, even after I ended up down $10 between a Coca Cola and a Lemonade
I was surprised that there seemed to be a lot more true metalheads there than I imagined. Also, plenty of metal skanks present, but wtf no titties!? This is Ozzfest man what the hell
Mercifully, 3 Inches of Blood finally got to play and made their despicably short set count 100%. Starting off with "Through the Horned Gate" into "Night Marauders" was a totally kickass opening (and no, they do not do the whole 2 minutes worth of "Through the Horned Gate" for those wondering). The pit was pretty damn violent however, so I moshed only during "Night Marauders". When a bunch of assholes are out there only to purposefully inflict pain its no fun, and a few people got big gashes and got beat up pretty good. It was pretty cool though that a second pit adjacent to the big one broke out later during "Goatrider's Horde", so obviously as you can imagine the crowd was really digging it. They did "Forest King" after that (complete with the "Heaven & Hell" bassline ripoff part
) and then ended with "Deadly Sinners", which was majorly killer. Cam was sporting a cool Onslaught shirt and the bassist had Manowar on, and the lack of Jamie Hooper was fantastic I thought. Having the guitarist doing the screaming vocals is so much better, doesn't look so gimmicky on stage either having the two lead vocalists. Good set, but WAY TOO FUCKING SHORT. It went by in a matter of seconds it felt like, especially after enduring the bands before them.
Circus Diablo and Mondo Generator didn't do much for me, but at least they were easier on the ears than the shitty metalcore. Mondo got the weakest crowd reaction probably, felt kinda bad but Nick thats what you get man
Anyways, it was finally time for the mighty Behemoth to go on, the most hyped band of the festival for sure. I'm glad they're now finally making it too, they deserve their success (even if the new album is pretty bad). The pit for them was even crazier than for 3 Inches Of Blood so I didn't even go in, just watched the show in relative peace
They come out in armor and facepaint and spikes, the whole deal, and their schtick definitely works I think. Even in broad daylight it didn't seem that awkward to me, which I thought it would be. They all have good stage presence too, especially Nergal. Again the sound suffered due to lack of volume, but at least they sounded clean. Not 100% on the order of the set unfortunately, though the songs they did I pretty much know; "Conquer All", "Demigod", "Slaves Shall Serve", "Prometherion", "Christians To The Lions", and "Chant For Eschaton 2000". The best of those were "Demigod" and "Chant For Eschaton 2000" I think. I left after they finished, nobody else I wanted see so thats why I'm home now even though the show is still going on.
First Ozzfest experience, not bad, not outstanding, just alright. Glad it was free at least