Ozzfest 2005 -- Detroit, MI -- August 4th, 2005
TOUR: Ozzfest 2005
VENUE: DTE Energy Music Theater -- Clarkston, MI
DATE: Thursday, August 4, 2005
REVIEWED: Sunday, August 7, 2005
Finally, my full review of the only Ozzfest 2005 date I attended. I was on vacation this whole week down at the lake, which worked out in a way, since I already had time off. Because I drove to Queensryche/Judas Priest at the DTE in June, it was my buddy’s turn to drive to Ozzfest. We left around 9:30 AM to go pick up another one of our friends. After hitting up the bank we departed towards I-75. Aside from a mix-up that got us in downtown Detroit (not sure how that happened) our journey north went fine. We downed some McFatty’s before entering the venue. While we feasted, it poured down rain.
We arrived at the DTE a little before 2 PM. It was extremely hot and humid. I had an actual seat ticket (Right side, Aisle Y), but my buddies only had lawn tickets. We found them a spot on the lawn (front and center, which had a railing they could hold on to) and then I went off to second stage. I didn’t watch any second stage last year, because I had to hold down my lawn seat.
I caught the end of As I Lay Dying and all of Killswitch Engage’s set. Didn’t hear enough As I Lay Dying to form an opinion, but heard enough of Killswitch (all of it) to safely say I won’t be buying their albums. Performance wise, they weren’t terrible, but their songs are all very similar. Also, I just can’t support a band that advocates crowd surfing. Especially from Ozzfest crowds… you know, smelly, fat, sweaty, etc. That’s really what I want climbing over me. Thanks, Killswitch.
I was really only there for Rob Zombie though, so once Killswitch departed, I moved forward considerably. This would turn out to be a mistake. During the 20-25 minute set change, there were a lot of good tunes played on the PA including some Alice Cooper, and, ironically, Black Sabbath’s “Neon Knights”. Nothing like Dio Sabbath at Ozzfest. Rob Zombie hit the stage and sounded great. Midway through his first song however, the crowd really started surging forward. Normally, this isn’t a problem. However, it was EXTREMELY hot, humid, and sunny. People were passing out and getting trampled. By his second song, it was just plain hard to breathe. I decided I just couldn’t enjoy his set under these conditions, so I pulled out, which wasn’t an easy process. I was just going to re-locate to the back, but I decided to pull out of second stage entirely. I heard Zombie tell people to stop pushing forward, or they’d stop playing while I was leaving. I doubt that helped any. I did go listen to the end of their set later though, and caught the tail end of “Thunder Kiss ‘65” and “Sweet Home Alabama”. I’m sorry I missed his set, but I just didn’t want to put up with those conditions.
In Flames was the first band on the main stage. I feel more or less “meh” about them. They weren’t bad, but not really my type of music, and hearing them live didn’t really make me want to run out and by an album. Black Label Society was next, and I had a good idea of what to expect from them since they were on Ozzfest 2004. Zakk is a decent guitar player, but I’m just not a fan of BLS live. The only song I really liked was “Suicide Messiah”, the rest was just… I don’t know. Zakk is better when he’s in a control environment (say, working for Ozzy), I think on his own he just does the same thing over and over…
I have never heard Shadow’s Fall before, but have heard good things about them, so I was looking forward to their set. Until about 10 minutes into it, then I was looking forward to it ending. They played about two songs I liked. Most just sounded the same. “Here’s a song off our first album”, “here’s a song off our last album”, all the same. Nice use of backing tracks too, boys. Oh yes, and the suggested people on the lawn break out into circle pits. Now, I’m not a huge mosh pit fan, that’s why I stay out of them, but how do you get the notion that the lawn is a mosh pit? It’s fine when people that want to mosh, mosh, but I don’t think most people on the lawn really want to. I turned around and saw one pit break out one row of people away from buddies. You could them occasionally getting hit by it. Thanks Shadows Fall. Pointless violence always makes a crappy set crappier.
Mudvayne were up next. I actually like a few songs by these guys, so again, I was looking forward to them. All I can really say is that they sucked. Gorilla suit? What the hell. Whatever. All that vocalist did was everything three seconds, “YAEAREARGGH!!” - wow, you can scream, please, keep demonstrating this ability every three seconds for an hour. Thanks. Really.
After enduring an all too long wait, Iron Maiden hit the stage. With “Murders in the Rue Morgue”! I was expecting “Wrathchild”, and I can’t tell you how happy I was to hear Murders! This kicked the show off great, and from Murders they went into “The Trooper”. Aahhh… my life is complete now that I’ve heard “The Trooper” live. Bruce took a face-first fall on the right riser (my side) during the song, but he recovered quickly. It was with “The Trooper” that he really started giving the crowd a hard time. They then played “Phantom of the Opera” and “Revelations”, both which sounded great, and I’m quite glad I’ve now heard those songs live. You could tell it would be a short set since “Run to the Hills” was next. All the songs were great, especially “Hallowed”, although Bruce didn’t go for the long note at the end.
I put out a lot of energy during Maiden’s set. At least some of us are more then happy to go crazy for Maiden. However, Bruce was never satisfied. He constantly scolded, and unlike most of the big names in metal fronting, he never thanked the crowd, or even seemed pleased with our level of energy. Sorry Bruce, but you know, you’re not on an Iron Maiden tour, you’re on Ozzfest, so big surprise the majority of the people don’t really care about you. Why can’t you at least be grateful you have people like me out there, rocking their asses off? If you don’t show us respect, why should we respect you? Bruce also mentioned that this wasn’t a real tour, their tours are louder, the band has 14 studio albums (wrong), they will be touring this fall (news to me) and they will have a new album out in 2006. He did not seem to like playing here. After his attitude, I can’t say I’ll really miss him if he doesn’t come back. The rest of the band, however, I will. They were all grins and energy through the whole set. They looked like they were enjoying themselves. Why do they let Bruce act like such an arrogant asshole?
One of the first things Bruce did was tell people he’s tired of inhaling all their smoke. I liked that. After having to inhale it all day myself, I was happy to hear at least one band encourage people to put them out, instead of bands like Shadows Fall encouraging people to light them up. Thanks again, Shadows Fall.
Iron Maiden finished and I have mixed feelings. Good set? Yes. But it was too short, and that’s not entirely forgivable. Performances? Yes, they were good. Bruce misses stuff here and there, but his voice is in fine form. Attitude? Just terrible. It’s hard to give high marks to a guy who doesn’t seem to want to be at his own concert. Frankly, out of all the more legendary metal acts I’ve seen (Sabbath, Dio, etc.) Iron Maiden ranks pretty low, because most of the other bands not only can perform well, they can be happy to do so. So, sorry Iron Maiden, but you were definitely not the best band I’ve seen live. Go back to Britain, and keep pretending you’re the center of the universe.
Finally it was time for Black Sabbath. This is why I paid $111.65. Black Sabbath, baby. They kicked it off with “N.I.B”. I’ve never felt luckier to hear Sabbath. They cancelled several nights before, and the night after our show. Talk about some luck. Ozzy and the boys were in fine form. They did drop “Into the Void” and “The Wizard”, but that’s forgivable, especially because Ozzy truly did sound better then last year. He did warn us his voice might crack, because he was still sick, although it never really did. Tony is still the highlight for me. That man is just amazing. My friends and I agreed that Tony in “Dirty Women” alone basically smoked Iron Maiden. The IMBB has you believing Sabbath gets upstaged by Maiden, but that’s just not true. It’s not true of the performances, the songs, and especially the audience reaction.
Black Sabbath is just a friggin’ force of nature. After hearing them again, it has only solidified my opinion that they are one of my all time favorite bands. The best part is, not only were they playing well, but they were up their grinning. Ozzy tossing out “I Love You’s”, Tony tossing out some metal signs, and thumbs up… aaaah. It’s just great to see a band tear through its song, and look like they’re having the times of their lives. The band played fine, although I noticed Bill Ward had to scale back a few fills compared to last year, but otherwise, they were all fine. They closed up with “Children of the Grave”, which I watched from the lawn since I had to meet my buddies.
After the show, we headed back to the grassy area of parking we were at. Half an hour later, we had barely moved. As we scooted forward a little bit, a Chevy Suburban informed us they were going in front of us. They were still parked, we were in the row heading out. My buddy said, “No, I have the right away, you’re still parked, we’re going.” Well, the Suburban went anyways. Right into the driver side of my buddy’s car. Because I knew they were going to hit us, I immediately jumped out, ran to the back of their Suburban, and took down their plates, since Michigan doesn’t believe in front plates like Ohio does. After I did that, I checked back with my buddy, who was being threatened by the people that hit him. My two friends stayed back with the car, and I took off for security. I told security the situation and that we wanted the cops. They agreed that was a smart move considering the extent of the damage (pretty massive) and the fact the other folks weren’t cooperating.
Security waited with us for about 25 minutes before the county sheriff arrived. The 9 people in the Suburban seemed a “little” drunk, and even once the cop was there, continued to threaten us all. The cop sent them on their way pretty quick, because one, Michigan is a no-fault state (retarded), and two you can’t write tickets on private property. The cop did file an accident report. Now my friend will have to sue the people that hit him. The cop shook our hands, talked to us about the show (he got his picture with Ozzy), and said he hoped this incident didn’t tarnish our opinion of Michigan.
After that adventure, we hit the road, returning home around 4AM. What a night.
12/7 - Jon Oliva