System of a Down
Review and Photos by Terry MayerOzzfest once more brought its carnival of carnage to the hills of Alpine Valley for it's seventh year. Where one-week prior The Terrapin Station relived the days of peace, love and mellowness, this weekend now gave way to selfishness, chaos and disorder. The multi-colored landscape of Deadheads was washed away and the darkness of black and the coldness of silver spiked dog collars and tattoos spewed forth in it's place.
With a matinee of metal, Otep jump started the festivities at 9:25am for a full day of carnage that would keep the security guards on their toes all day, by pulling the bodies of fans over the barricades and out the side gate only to grab the same body again and repeat the process over and over again. The second stage is classically a haven for newer bands to get noticed by the fans and the record labels. From the Cleveland band Switched, to New York's Glassjaw or South Africa's Sleether, fans got a taste of bands that may some day headline their own tour or more likely fall off into oblivion. As the second stage started to wrap up it's metal madness, the band that was creating all the buzz was Down. Comprising Phil Anselmo and Rex Brown of Pantera, Pepper Keenan and Jimmy Bower from Corrosion of Conformity and Kirk Windstein from Crowbar. "Lysergik" and "The Seed" busted the dam down and flooded the audience with so much jackhammer sound that it's pure noise took your breath away and found your heart ready to jump out of your mouth. Clearly the favorites and proving that everything was coming up Down.
The main stage, which fronted 35,000 fans from the reserved seats to the lawn seats jammed into the natural amphitheater to see the star of last years number one cable show "The Osbournes" Right away Pulse Ultra kicked off the festivities at the main stage. With a twenty minute set time Zo Vizza gave everything he had for the few minutes he could so as not to be vanquished to the uncertainties of the second stage. Getting his start at nineteen, life long guitarist for Ozzy and now fronting his own band Black Label Society Zakk Wylde blew everyone away with creative guitar playing matched only by a few gifted individuals today. Why they stuck Zakk Wylde's Black Label Society between Pulse Ultra and Adema is beyond me, being one of the sure-fire breakaways from Ozzfest Black Label Society was a definite stand out from the rest.
Adema followed with lead singer Mark Chavez, half-brother of Korn's Jonathan Davis, screaming out undecipherable lyrics and uninspired music. Adema was an act better suited for the second stage. Replacing Adema for Down or Otep would have been nice, but when your half-brother is from Korn, I guess you get privileges other bands don't ever realize. Once more we were escorted back stage to wait for our next shoot. Rob Zombie was walking around and Jack Osbourne was grabbing something to eat and clowning around at the lavishly catered buffet next to the media tent. Kelly Osbourne was spotted walking around, as MTV started to film Jack getting on a golf cart and going for a spin. I suppose a normally everyday occurrence backstage at Ozzfest 2002 in the day of reality TV shows.
After touring with bands such as Sevendust and Kittie, Drowning Pool hit national recognition and were destined to become a must see band. Picking up the lag that Adema left, Drowning Pool brought back the life that Zakk Wylde's Black Label Society started. With "Bodies" the crowd were back into a frenzy of non-stop mayhem that would only stop after Ozzy walked off the stage. Payable on Death, or as you might know them better as P.O.D. had to leave after just three songs. The fans didn't care that the show was running behind. With a jazzy newer hip hop sound, P.O.D. can only grow bigger and better.
Who better to be an opening act for Ozzy then Rob Zombie. With a unique sound, style and dance, Rob Zombie is always a favorite, even in a stripped down version of his normally elaborate set. One of the more talented metal artists in his field, Zombie manages to bring in fans that normally don't listen to metal. Performing "Superbeast" and "Living Dead Girl" live at Ozzfest sounds just as good if not better, than the CD. Rob puts everything he has into his music and the fans realize it and appreciate it. From his days with White Zombie "More Human then Human" gave everyone a little old school fun. Ending with "Dragula" his short set was a powerful and direct prepping for the Prince of Darkness. But System of a Down, followed Zombie next instead. "Chop Suey" was done with a blast furnace intensity. "Sugar" was fast, hot and fun. Zombie would have been a better opening for Ozzy. System of a Down were in the right place at the right time with a couple of catchy songs. Nothing new and they surely will be forgotten by next year's Ozzfest.
Sorry, no Ozzy pic's, he doesn't allow photographs by the press. But, Ozzy was in great spirits - lively, full of energy and giving the crowd what they wanted most. Just be there in the flesh. Overall Ozzfest 2002 was better then in past years. In the past, Marilyn Manson stole the show and the prior year, Rob Zombie did his part. The last couple of years left Ozzy kind of dwindling, but with a new surge of popularity and with the help of his hit show The Osbournes, Ozzy has found a new audience and new fame once again.
Black Label Society
Return to Reviews
Return to Menu