On this date in history, 7/31/2003, Ozzfest hit Deer Creek with a less than stellar overall lineup, but redeemed by a few above average performances. This version of the Oz man’s yearly metal roadshow included Ozzy Osbourne, Korn, Marilyn Manson, Disturbed, Chevelle, Cradle Of Filth, Voivod, Nothingface, Shadows Fall, Killswitch Engage, Twisted Method, Hotwire, Memento, Motograter, Chimaira, Depswa, Grade 8, Sworn Enemy, Endo, and Unloco. Most of the second stage bands were average to below average with a few exceptions. Sworn Enemy stood out from the pack early on. Chimaira were making their debut on the tour that day and played with some fire that was much appreciated. Motograter were pretty good, all painted up and angry. Their singer would reappear a few years later fronting Five Finger Death Punch, so it kind of pains me to give him props, but I actually enjoyed Motograter’s set. 3 crappy bands in a row followed them and then things got much better. Killswitch Engage, Shadows Fall and Nothingface all played killer sets, energizing a crowd starved for quality mosh inducing madness. Voivod were much anticipated due to Jason Newsted’s status as the former Metallica bass player. Unfortunately, Jason didn’t really help their music, which was just not Ozzfest prime grade. Not to say they were bad, just not what the crowd was in the mood for. Cradle Of Filth headlined the second stage with a magnificent display of style and substance. Dani Filth alternately shrieked and let forth unearthly growls, leading his demonic accomplices in sonic terror through an hour’s worth of spooky fun. As the show moved to the big stage I rested through Chevelle and Disturbed, just not a fan of either of those bands. Marilyn Manson took charge when he hit the stage and delivered one of the best sets of the entire concert. Korn followed and held serve, delivering the thunderous bass and quirky guitar riffs that that got the crowd jumping. Ozzy closed things out with help from Zakk Wylde, Jason Newsted (much more suited to Ozzy’s songs) and Mike Bordin (Faith No More). It was always a joy to watch bands from beginning level up through the high tech spectacle of the Korns and Mansons of the world, and then top the whole thing off with the immortal Ozzy, bridging the years of his Black Sabbath and solo careers and entertaining us with his ever enthusiastic stage antics.
Written By Braddon S Williams aka The Concert Critic