Saturday, July 30, 2005

Two first row (cheap seats section) tickets to Judas Priest procured...including vouchers for commemorative concert poster!!!
Rumors are spreading that the support act *might* be the Scorpions. Imagine...seeing all three of my top 3 metal vocalists in the space of 3 months! I don't know that I can handle it.
Better start getting heart smart.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Thank you, Alice Cooper!

Today after a lovely lunch at La Fillipina, we went to Jerry's in search of Tesla. Finding not one, but 7 copies in the NEW metal bin. Which means somebody just unloaded a bunch of promos, or the guys at the shop realized that a lot of people were suddenly buying Tesla and brought out all the copies they had. Of course, the concert was several weeks ago so sales have slowed considerably, but I had a very different reason for my purchase.

Also got Dio's Holy Diver, again thanks to Alice Cooper. It's funny how he always says he is trying to influence his listener's musical taste and now here I am buying records because Alice played them. Could not find the UFO album with "Doctor Doctor" on it, despite the fact that they had about 10 different UFO alubms. (they did have the live one with it on but I'm no fan of live albums)

Becky got Hell Bent For Leather. Woooooohooooo.

Sunday, July 24, 2005


Just announced at Ozzfest...Sept 24th.

Will Rob Halford reclaim the title of my second favorite metal vocalist (after Klaus) from Bruce Dickinson? Time will tell. I have a feeling the answer will be a resounding yes.

Tickets go on sale July 30th, which is two days before Alice tickets and three days before Dirty Diamonds.

Lord grant me the serenity to spend boatloads of cash on rock and roll.....
Arrived at the Pavillion about 9:30am. Had to go back to the truck THREE TIMES because items such as blankets, sunscreen, key holders, and buttons were not permitted. Luckily we parked close.Got in and wandered around the "Village of the Damned" a bit...not a whole lot I wanted to buy (fortunately) None of the general music memorabillia vendors had any Alice stuff for which I gave them a stern talking to (and a flyer for Dirty Diamonds) One guy selling tapestries commented on my Danno shirt and seemed genuinely excited when I gave him the flyer. I bought a very nice Rob Zombie inspired black straw cowboy hat with a red skull and crossbones on it, and put Dirty Diamonds flyers all around the brim so people could pick them off while I was sitting in the crowds. A few people grabbed some here and there. At one point I helped out a group of goths with some rolling papers and we made friends...they gave me the card for their band and I handed them a flyer. The woman in the band came over to me very excitedly to say that she was so glad Alice was "still working" because she knew that he was what started it all. I thanked her.
I'll just dispense with most of what happened on the second stage with this comment..."nu-metal" has a disturbing trend going on, which my friend and I coined "good cop/bad cop" vocals. Most of the "singing" is just cookie monster growling, and then almost every band had at least one song where they would suddenly drop in a chorus or refrain with beautiful SUNG vocals...then back to the screaming. What is that about? I can't believe these kids are touring around with Iron Maiden and still feel like they can get on the stage and make this racket. However, THE KIDS LOVE IT. I guess that's what matters.I very much enjoyed Wicked Wisdom....not everyone's cup of tea, of course, but it was great to see a woman and several people of color on stage at Ozzfest. Also, a good friend of mine who used to be a hippie folk guy now plays shredding metal guitar for this band! That was funny. Met up with him and a few other friends after their set and we dubbed the second stage "Shades of Rage." Walked around the second stage booths a bit...there was a booth for Devil's Rejects with some scenes from the film and promo stickers and postcards. If I had been thinking clearly, I would have left a stack of Dirty Diamonds promo cards there, but I wasn't. If anyone else does the Ozzfest promo thing I think this would be a good idea.The Rob Zombie t shirts were okay..but once I realized they were being hawked by Fanfire I decided to save my money. Ha! Take that! We handed out a few more flyers (mostly to blank faced kids who probably threw them on the ground right away) and went to find a shady spot for the rest of the second stage.Mastadon was pretty good, especially musically...Kill Switch Engage made me very angry with their between song banter and unappealing music. All in all, I think I was called a "MF-er" more times in that single day than I have been in my whole life up to this point.Then...the main event...."Hell's Bells" playing over the loudspeaker as Tommy's drum set is rolled in....big backdrops of beautiful naked ladies..then, just before he hit the stage...."Under My Wheels" !!!! Good ole Rob, giving props. The show was VERY stripped down, Rob was wearing a powder blue tank top and jeans, sunglasses of course, and started out with a nice hat but lost it after the first song so he could headbang. Even without dreads, this was impressive! They played ALL the hits, and had so much fun with the audience. Rob is really a showman even in the stripped down setting, and so very funny. At one point he threw a bunch of black beachballs into the crowd, and the band started to play "Funk 49" for "beachball music"..then into "Thunderkiss 65" Later they threatened to cover both Duran Duran, and "Sweet Home Alabama." His guitarist J5 was great, as was the bassist who's name I forget(but he has been touring with Rob for a long time...) Tommy really shined. I think he is much better suited to playing with Zombie than Alice....I think his arm went up over his head EVERY TIME he hit the snare drum....he was hitting that hard. Rob made some joke about him being 18 with glued on chest hair...hee hee! The set was over much too soon.
We made our way back to the village of the damned to find something to eat. Only had to wait about 20 minutes for Pittsburgh's favorite Primanti Brother's sandwiches. Oh! I almost forgot! While baking in the heat at the second stage, we got a few beers from the nearest vendor...which just happened to be the Catholic High School Cheerleaders Booster Club! Something about buying Budweiser from Catholic Cheerleaders at Ozzfest just made it taste more delicious.
Crawled back over the hill to find a lawn spot for the main stage and eat lunch. Caught just the end of In Flames, which sounded pretty good. Next up was Black Label Society, which is Zakk Wylde's band. I had no idea. They were pretty amazing, and Zakk of course is a guitar god complete with flying V guitar. At this point we started to get heatstroke and my friend made several trips over the hill to fill our saved papercups with water from the waterfountain (all told, we spent about $20 on $3.25 bottles of water with ice...and then we started to hit the waterfountain) I soaked my scarf and wrapped it around my head which helped for a little while. Shadow's Fall did not help, however....they were pretty awful. I also hated Mudvayne, but have to admit that they were better than the second stage acts following in their wake. Occasionally had melody and singing, although they did the "good cop bad cop" routine as well.
Next up...Iron Maiden. Absolutely amazing. Bruce sounded fantastic, and was jumping around the stage and inciting the crowd to madness. Musicians were incredible. I wish I could remember everything they played, but "Phantom of the Opera" and "666" were definitely hilights. Eddie walked out and messed with the guitarist. Their stage set otherwise was rather limited but they did have some nice backdrops of album covers and such. It's hard to convey just how fantastic their set was. Ended with "Running Free" as an encore, and people were going absolutely mad on the lawn. I hope all those second stage bands were slinking back to their tour busses in shame.
Set up for Black Sabbath took about 20 minutes...they rolled a big curtain across the stage with the logo from Masters of Reality and people went nuts. Ozzy would occasionally say things from behind it, getting the crowd riled up. Finally as it got dark the screens started to show a montage of albums and pictures and the loudspeaker played the sound of a thunderstorm. Curtain rolled back and there was Ozzy, looking very fit and happy. Bill Ward, looking a million years old but still pounding on the skins like a champ. Geezer looking a little worse for wear, but playing SO FAST my head spun every time they showed him on the screen. AND, my new hero...Tony Iommi. This man is absolultely the essence of cool. Wearing his blue shades and black leather coat and Sabbath cross, absolutely timeless. There were a few times when the screen would show him from about the shoulders up, and he was so cool he could have been sitting at a desk typing or something...but no, he was absolutely shredding on guitar. I have always been a fan of wild rock star posing, but I have to admit that Tony just STANDING THERE making those sounds seemingly effortlessly just blew me away. Ozzy got on his knees and kow towed to him at one point...and I felt like I was down there with him. Just incredible.
Ozzy didn't sound great...not bad, but not great. He did, however, look like he was having a great time, as did the rest of the guys. The crowd was absolutely insane. When they played "War Pigs", Ozzy asked to see lighters, and the sea of little lights in the darkness was a really beautiful sight. Then, they played "Fairies Wear Boots"!!!!!!! I actually fell to the ground laughing, having never heard the song before Alice played it on his radio show a few weeks ago. It was fantastic. The audience were putty in Ozzy's hands. I screamed for Tony Iommi so much I can barely talk today. We started to make our exit during "Iron Man", hoping to avoid having to drive with a bunch of drunk people. By the time we were begining to exit the parking lot, we could hear "Paranoid" which was apparently the last song.
I've got a little bit of sunburn and some sore muscles I didn't even know I had (headbanging muscles, they must be) and a great new hat and some fantastic memories. I feel like I did a decent job promoting Alice and I definitely gained a whole new respect for Tony Iommi. My main regrets are not buying Iommi's CD and getting it autographed (I would have had to have missed the end of Zombie's set to do it, which I just couldn't bring myself to do) and not drowning the damn clown. The Damn Clown in the drown the clown booth could be heard from just about everywhere we ended up sitting and by the end of the night had filled me with violent clown rage. And I'm no fan of clowns to begin with. I also regret not selling the drunk guy a handful of rolling tobacco for $10 least three people over the course of the day saw me smoking rollies and assumed they were pot, and one very drunken fellow kept waving a tenner in my face after I tried to tell him several times it was just a cigarette. The guys behind me said I should have just sold it to him, he wouldn't have known the difference. Ha! Drunk people are funny. I felt really bad for the insane Maiden fan who by the end of their set had ripped his $40 t shirt and $30 tapestry to shreds....he's not going to be very happy when he wakes up this morning!