7/12/04 Greatwoods - Mansfield, MA

Live review

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Why Ozzfest is on a weekday is beyond me because the show starts at some ridiculous hour of the AM. It really should be only on weekends, but such is life, eh? We get to the show as Slipknot was wrapping up their headlining set on the second stage. Black Label Society opened the main stage around 5 PM. From what I could hear, the band rocked the house. I donít know how packed the house was at that point because it was so early in the day. Superjoint Ritual was up next. Phil and friends threw out one hell of a sonic blast to the crowd. A great warm up for what was to come next: the mighty Slayer. They took all of the previous acts to school on how to pummel the crowd. They played new favorites such as "Disciple" and mixed them in with old favorites cuts from Haunting the Chapel and Hell Awaits albums. With Dave Lombardo back on drums, Slayer was as deadly as ever. Not to knock Paul, but the chemistry between the original line up just canít be touched. Judas Priest is back with Rob Halford and a hardy amen to that one. Love them or hate them, Judas Priest sound like no other band in metal. Their set was short, so the set stuck mostly to their hits. Of course, the highlight was when Rob rode out on his Harley, under a catwalk, to screech out "Hellbent for Leather". Totally classic and over the top and I love it. The headliners, Black Sabbath totally kill. There is no other way to describe it. They are not a musical entity. They are beyond that. Somehow, Black Sabbath can channel energy directly to their instruments and out of the speakers. Ozzy cracked himself up while introducing the banned song, "Snowblind". (note: the song was deemed indecent and banned in Boston back in the day). Ozzfest was, all in all, quite good. It wasnít as strong as years past when Fear Factory, Machine Head, Type O Negative, Pantera, Slo Burn and Neurosis shared a bill in 1997 or the next year with Tool, Snot, Soulfly and the Deftones. The nu-metal, metalcore or other flavors-of-the-day music that is triumphed so much these days seems suspect. I like and enjoy a lot of the newer bands coming out, but what does it say that the headliners of a metal festival are all bands that have been grinding it out for over 20 years a piece? Ask yourself which bands, in twenty years, youíll still be going to see. If Ozzy is still kicking it, I bet it would be Sabbath.

Reviewed by: lux_interior13