On this date in history, 8/14/2007, Ozzfest made its final stop at Deer Creek. This was the free show that had generated tickets with an online code.  I scored seats on the back row of the center section of the pavilion and they were awesome for both audio and visual enjoyment of the main stage bands. Speaking of bands, this Ozzfest featured Ozzy Osbourne, Lamb Of God, Static-X, Lordi, Black Tide, Hatebreed, Behemoth, DevilDriver, Ankla, Nile, The Showdown, 3 Inches Of Blood, Daath, In This Moment, and Chthonic.

The first band, Chthonic, are from Taipei, Taiwan. They were quite interesting visually and didn’t sound like anything Ive ever heard before. Next up was In This Moment, touring in support of their debut album. Maria Brink was obviously a star in the making, and her vocals have since elevated her band to great success. They played a rock solid set that day.

The next band that I really liked was The Showdown, a more traditional hard rock styled band, but full of attitude and energy just the same. Great vocals and rockin’ tunes gained them some new fans, no doubt about it.

Nile followed with a set of supreme brutality, as the Egyptian themed death metal juggernaut played with crushing precision and confidence, absolutely astonishing technical ability from top to bottom.

I don’t recall much about Ankla, either good or bad, so I’m guessing I must have been distracted or just missed them entirely.

DevilDriver kept the intensity going with their manic metal meltdown providing mosh ready material for their entire set.

The second stage area was a dust bowl that day, and all the really heavy bands had to contend with a continuous white haze of stirred up earth creating a perpetual fog in the air.

I didn’t think it would be possible to be more powerful or heavier than Nile, but somehow Behemoth pulled it off. I can’t even describe how insanely, monstrously METAL their sound was…literally like a seismic, F5 tornado velocity propelling their blackened death metal onslaught.

Hatebreed followed that and suffered somewhat for it. They are always solid, and Jamey Jasta certainly knows how to whip a crowd into a frenzy, but as heavy as Hatebreed is, they couldn’t compete with that performance that proceeded them, in my humble opinion.

All in all, a lot of diversity coupled with some of the heaviest bands ever on the second stage made this final Ozzfest one of the most memorable second stage lineups.

The first band on the main stage was Black Tide, an extremely young band that showed great potential. Nothing exceptional musically, but everyone has to start somewhere, and Ozzfest is a pretty cool place to call a beginning. Lordi were up next, and they were pretty horrible, to be blunt. Borrowing (okay, stealing!) liberally from GWAR, Slipknot, Mushroomhead, and any other band that has ever worn masks, and not bringing anything of musical merit, quickly earned them a hostile reaction from the discerning metal masses.

Static-X set things right with a sizzling performance. Wayne Static led his “evil disco” band through a high energy holocaust of a performance that set the stage for my favorite band of the entire show, the mighty Lamb Of God. LOG crushed all in their path, earning the coveted headliner status and playing directly before Ozzy himself came out and finished the show, and his namesake tour, in grand fashion.

I attended Ozzfest in 10 consecutive years and I have countless memories of those shows. I salute Ozzy for bringing so many great bands on tour and for nurturing so much talent in the heavy metal universe.  Lots of bands that passed through this system became major stars following their association with Ozzfest. That in itself is a pretty amazing legacy.

Written By Braddon S. Williams aka The Concert Critic

On This Date in History

On this date in history, 8/13/2002, Ozzfest made the annual tour stop at Deer Creek. This time around the metal smorgasbord featured Ozzy Osbourne, System Of A Down, Rob Zombie, P.O.D., Drowning Pool, Adema, Black Label Society, Ill Nino, Down, Hatebreed, Meshuggah, Lost Prophets, Chevelle, The Apex Theory, Neurotica, The Used, Mushroomhead, Seether, Glassjaw, Switched, Otep, and Pulse Ultra.

This show ended up being sort of bizarre for me. First of all, I went alone, because my son went with a bunch of his friends, so I was on my own. No problem there.

A few days prior to the show I had accidentally washed one of my contact lenses down the sink, so I wore my glasses. Again, no problem. I just determined to stay out of the mosh pits and everything would be just fine!

I enjoyed some killer sets by Otep, Meshuggah (unbelievably brutal and fantastic!) and Hatebreed, along with okay sets by Neurotica (who did a pretty cool cover of “I Am The Walrus” by The Beatles, The Apex Theory (who actually benefited from a brief rain storm that united the crowd in an act of drenched solidarity) and Mushroomhead (who suffered from technical issues that were probably out of their control).

Phil Anselmo and the mighty Down were the headliners of the second stage and I had managed to maneuver my way to the very front of the stage. The first two songs were crazy good, and then the unthinkable happened!  A crowd surfer’s foot made contact with my head, and my glasses fell to the ground, instantly trampled and destroyed! I blindly pushed back through the crowd and found a payphone and called my roommate who was coming to the show later to see Ozzy and System Of A Down.

I luckily got her to bring my one remaining contact to me. While I waited, blind as a bat, I at least got to listen to Black Label Society and Drowning Pool (coincidentally, their lead singer’s last performance before he was found dead on his tour bus the next day) and finally my contact was delivered just in time for me to see Rob Zombie’s final song!

System and Ozzy finished in stellar form and that is my report for Ozzfest 2002. Moral of the story…be careful when rinsing contact lenses!

Written By Braddon S. Williams aka The Concert Critic

 

On This Date in History

On this date in history, 8/7/2011, the Mayhem Festival arrived at Deer Creek in Noblesville just in time to make all of us metal fanatics happy…or at least argumentative concerning the lineup, which included Disturbed, Godsmack, Megadeth, Machine Head, Hatebreed, The Athiarchists, Unearth, Suicide Silence, Kingdom Of Sorrow, All Shall Perish, Red Fang, Straight Line Stitch, and The Surface. Every year I attended one of these all day metal festivals I would always try to discover a band I hadn’t previously heard before, and Red Fang was that band on this date.
They were phenomenal, kind of a mixture of Clutch and Mastodon, but very individual and original sounding at the same time. Highly recommended, in other words…check ’em out. Straight Line Stitch were great, too. I have a soft spot for bands with female vocalists, and the woman who sings for Straight Line Stitch can truly sing in addition to sounding like a wounded animal being tortured by hot pokers.
All Shall Perish brought the brutality, as did Suicide Silence. This was the last time I saw Mitch Lucker perform before his untimely death, and the next time that Suicide Silence returned, their new singer came from All Shall Perish, so this show was the beginning of a circle.
Kingdom Of Sorrow combined Jamey Jasta of Hatebreed with Kirk Windstein of Crowbar and Down (at that time) for a monstrous side project.
Bad weather temporarily halted their set, but it passed quickly enough that they were able to return and finish what they started.
We (being crazy metalheads) didn’t even seek shelter! Unearth played a blazing set that paved the way for Machine Head over on the main stage. Machine Head were my favorite band of the entire day. Rob Flynn and his army were simply magnificent, playing with a precision and rage that the iconic Megadeth had trouble following.
Dave Mustaine has always run a tight ship with Megadeth, and they rose to the challenge, showing why they are firmly in the Big 4 of thrash metal.
Godsmack shifted gears somewhat, ushering in the more “radio friendly” format of metal that would continue through their set and into the headliners, Disturbed. My friend and I stuck around long enough to watch the film that lead into Disturbed’s performance and then we left.
Mutually agreed that we don’t like that band. I acknowledge their success and understand they have legions of fans. I hope those fans enjoyed the show, but it isn’t my band and never will be. Overall, I had a fantastic time as always. I discovered a band, rocked to some longtime favorites, and truly had a great day with a really cool person.
Written By Braddon S. Williams aka The Concert Critic

On This Date in History