The Fourth of July weekend, New Jersey, and Ozzy Osbourne... those volatile ingredients helped the annual metal caravan known as the Ozzfest tour kick off not with a whimper but an amped-up bang on Friday.
Ozzy and this year's band of misfits (which includes Tool, Megadeth, Limp Bizkit, Motorhead, SoulFly, Coal Chamber, Sevendust, and others) took to the P.N.C. Bank Arts Center for the tour's maiden outing of the summer, and minor fan skirmishes aside, seemed to pull things off without a hitch.
That's not to say that the day was without its surprises. Seattle fuzz-masters the Melvins were the first to reach into the oddball covers bag when they kicked off their second stage set with Fleetwood Mac's "The Green Manalishi" (which was once covered by Judas Priest whose frontman, Rob Halford, was scheduled to play Ozzfest's second stage, but backed out in April).
Limp Bizkit also pulled out an unlikely cover, cranking out a version of Ice Cube's "Wicked" during their
main stage set. The group's set may have offered the highest volume of surprises of any of the bands on the bill as Limp Bizkit premiered their giant prop toilet, which the band entered the stage through while the P.A. system pounded the theme from "Rocky." The band later brought out images of the Spice Girls and Hanson, and... well, you can probably figure out where things went from there.
The band's frontman, Fred Durst, seemed to turn things up a notch by literally getting in the crowd's face when he leapt from the stage and roamed the arena. He eventually paused at the soundboard, prompting a rush of fans that almost sent a table full of sound gear toppling.
Almost as surprising was Durst's absence on the main stage when SoulFly launched into "Bleed," a song that the band's frontman Max Cavalera penned and recorded with Durst. Instead, Cavalera enlisted the help of a 12-year-old relative to sing the song.
Of course, many of the evening's big surprises were
left for Ozzy, and if we were to go into great detail about them here, they'd hardly remain surprises. We will note that Ozzy's set was preceded by the Stateside debut of his latest version of "OzzTV" which features Ozzy's unique take on "Titanic," Hanson, the Spice Girls, and other pop culture movements. Fans can also expect a set light on Sabbath and rich on Ozzy's hits. We will have much more on the Ozzfest kick off throughout the week, including our feature of the week, which will turn up on Friday. In the meantime, here's what Ozzy's opening night setlist looked like:"Believer" "I Don't Know" "Bark at the Moon" "War Pigs" "Desire" "Goodbye To Romance" "No More Tears" "Suicide Solution" instrumental medley including "Over The Mountain," "Symptom of the Universe," and "Diary of a Madman" "I Don't Want To Change The World" "Mr. Crowley" "Flying High Again" "Just Want You" "Crazy Train" "Mama I'm Coming Home" "Paranoid"