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, 7/16/1998, I began my 18 year streak of all day metal festivals with my very first Ozzfest, at the fun and fabulous Deer Creek. I would be at every Ozzfest for the next 10 years until that festival stopped traveling, followed by all 8 of the Mayhem tours.

Ozzfest ’98 featured Ozzy Osbourne, Tool, Megadeth, Limp Bizkit, Soulfly, Sevendust, Coal Chamber, Incubus, Motörhead, Snot, Melvins, Monster Voodoo Machine, Life Of Agony, Ultraspank, Kilgore, and System Of A Down.

I was a rookie and I made a huge rookie mistake. I neglected to watch any of the second stage bands on this day, foolishly squandering my first shot at System Of A Down, Melvins, and the legendary Motörhead! I did, however, witness all the bands on the main stage and most of those performances ranged from pretty good to absolutely earth shaking (during Tool’s set, quite literally!).

Incubus started the festivities with a solid set. Brandon Boyd’s vocals were quite excellent and I enjoyed their time on stage.

Coal Chamber were next, kind of Marilyn Manson-light, but Dez Fafara hadn’t gained the power he would later weild so effectively with DevilDriver. Still, a formidable performance by an underrated band.

Sevendust were next, and I thought they were fantastic. Lajon Witherspoon’s vocals were particularly amazing and the band’s sound and energy stood out in a lineup of very solid bands.

Soulfly, the band that Max Cavalera put together following his departure from Sepultura, were probably the heaviest band of the day, and also brought their distinctive blend of Brazilian percussion to mix with their brutal grooves.

Limp Bizkit began their show by emerging from an enormous toilet bowl. Considering that their career eventually was flushed down that proverbial toilet, this was quite poetic and prophetic. The haters can say what they want to say, but back then Fred Durst and Wes Borland had concocted a sound and a stage show that got the crowds bouncing and producing an insane amount of energy. Megadeth brought their meticulous, surgically deadly riffing and Dave Mustaine’s patented sneering vocals along with about an hour of classic Mega-Dave songs in a fierce set that brought the crowd to the brink of the sonic devastation that awaited us.

I had heard the stories about how the crowd had started a “sod war” during Pantera’s headlining set the year before, and had witnessed a similar act of lawn massacre during a Ministry performance in 1992, but nothing prepared me for what was about to happen during Tool’s show stealing set.

As soon as Maynard James Keenan took the stage clad in an evangelist’s suit, accompanied by the hypnotic maelstrom of Tool’s sound, the carnage was instantaneous.

The lawn never had a chance, and the air was literally thick with flying chunks of earth, sod, grass, drink cups and various other items of debris. It was glorious, terrifying, hilarious, and unstoppable. Tool was so intense, it was as if they were so in the zone that they were oblivious to the World War III scenario unfolding up on the lawn.

As all good things must eventually end, Tool finally concluded their portion of the show and the spell was broken.

Ozzy proceeded with a killer set played by a stellar band (Ozzy always has the cream of the crop in his band, though) featuring Joe Holmes on lead guitar. Ozzy’s set was preceded by a wickedly funny filmed segment that put the exhausted crowd in a jolly mood (by metal crowd standards) and the Prince Of Darkness delivered a powerful concert closer that guaranteed I would continue this activity for 18 years running. Still ready to begin a new streak. The time is right for a brand new accomplishment!

Written By Braddon S. Williams AKA The Concert Critic

On this date in history

imagesOn this date in history, 6/29/1999, I witnessed my second Ozzfest in the friendly confines of Deer Creek in Noblesville, IN. This one was one of the best lineups they ever had, in my humble opinion, featuring Black Sabbath, Rob Zombie, Deftones, Slayer, Primus, Godsmack, System Of A Down, Apartment 26, all on the main stage, with Fear Factory, Static-X, Puya, Slipknot, Hed (Pe), Flashpoint, Pushmonkey, and Drain S.T.H. on the second stage. 88a04e3ef23045e4c5f262e8039b09df

For some unknown reason even to myself, I didn’t see any of the second stage bands that year, but I have heard from many sources that the first Indiana appearance of Slipknot was legendary. I know that Static-X and Fear Factory likely delivered crushing sets as well.

This was a concert of firsts for me. I saw System Of A Down, Godsmack, Slayer, and the mighty Black Sabbath for the first time at this show. I had seen Rob Zombie with White Zombie, but this was also the first time I saw him solo.

System Of A Down were up there doing what they do, and I was having a hard time wrapping my ears around it, having never properly heard them yet, but I started watching this guy who knew every word to every song and through his enthusiasm I caught their passion and became a fan instantly.

I went out and bought their debut cd the following day. Primus provided another first as they brought out Buckethead for an utterly mind blowing guitar solo segment during their performance. They also delighted the crowd by performing their self-penned theme song from the South Park tv show, creating a frenzied mosh pit that would have made Eric Cartman proud.

Speaking of frenzied mosh pits, Slayer came next and incinerated the playing field with their Slaytanic assault, melting faces and unleashing their legendary fury. I felt a little sorry for Deftones, who had to follow the blitzkrieg, but they are an amazing band in their own right, and they played great, as usual.

Rob Zombie put on a stunning visual overload type of show that he has made his career on, and proving beyond a doubt that he is one of the best metal headliners around. During “Thunder Kiss ’65”, Kerry King from Slayer joined Zombie on stage to deliver a ghoulish masterpiece.

imagesWhen Black Sabbath finally took the stage they opened with “War Pigs” and all the hair on my neck and arms literally stood up. I can’t begin to describe the glorious totality of that SOUND…Sabbath is like the slow moving lava cruising down the side of Mt. Doom, crushing all in its path in this infinitely compelling darkness. Without them, metal would have still been born one way or the other, but thankfully it WAS born with them, and this Ozzfest will always hold a special place in my heart. Sabbath and Slayer for the first time at the same concert? Yeah, that pretty much ruled!

Written By Braddon S. Williams aka The Concert Critic

 

On This Date in History

Poodle headbangs to System of a Down Song ‘Bounce’ in Secret Life of Pets

System of a Down’s  song ‘Bounce’ is in the new trailer for the animated kids movie  The Secret  Life of Pets . The adorable 3-minute clip starts off innocently enough, using Basement Jaxx’s swinging, upbeat song “Do Your Thing” as the soundtrack for the funny and adorable clips of pets doing things when their owners’ leave them at home. But wait it out, around the 2:15 mark a snooty owner leaves his poodle at home. As soon as the owner is out of sight, the dog changes the classical music to System of a Down and rocks out.

 

The Secret Life of Pets was created by the people behind Despicable Me and features the voices of The Office’s Ellie Kemper, comedians Kevin Hart and Louis C.K. and more. It’s set to come out July 6, 2016.

It’s recently been announced that System of a Down’s music is also included in the new Guitar Hero reboot, Guitar Hero Live. Players of the game will be able to jam along with the group’s tune “Chop Suey,” which is included in the ever-growing list of tracks available for the game.

System of a Down are currently in Canada. They play in Toronto, Ontario, tonight (June 19) and head to the Amnesia Rockfest in Montebello, Quebec, on Saturday (June 20.) After those dates, they don’t have anything on deck until they perform at Rock In Rio in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, on Sept. 24.