Archive for the 'Concert Review' Category

14
Nov
07

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24
Aug
07

Ozzfest 2007: Hartford, CT

The Lineup: (watched by the author)

Main Stage-

Lamb of God

Static-X

Lordi

Second Stage-

Behemoth

Devildriver

The Showdown 

3 Inches of Blood

In This Moment

Introduction: 

Tis that time of year again folks: Summer tour time. And for us metal fanatics there are a few different ones to choose from every year however the big name is Ozzfest. I’ve taken the foray into the world of Ozzfest twice and was not impressed either time. It seems like every year the lineup has a couple of major acts, Hatebreed, and a few interesting names on it surrounded by lesser quality bands. This year was different. While it wasn’t a fantastic show overall, it did have some interesting performances, some bands one wouldn’t expect to see there and an extremely heated crowd. So without further a due, lets get this train rolling…

The Crowd

The Ozzfest crowd is, needless to say, always an interesting one. Its not your standard metal show crowd, in that there are a lot of couples there. Your more focused, smaller sized metal show usually attracts fans of the bands there and not just “metal.” Ozzfest has a large population of casual “metal” fans ranging from age 14 to 55. From the old guys in the Harley shirts who are there to see Ozzy to teens who are there with there parents to see the latest metal/pop/hardcore crossover bands (In This Moment), these casual metal fans an be a nuisance to the more educated, focused metal fan. With that said, some of those more “focused” metal fans can be the worst. This year there was a happy medium of over-zealous DevilDriver/Lamb of God fans and teen couples. Now before I go on I have to address something: What is with the teen couples standing 4 feet outside of a mosh pit making out? We all know the type: Some gangly 16 year old dude sporting peroxide bleached hair with Kool-Aid highlights adorning his spiked locks kissing the forehead of his 15 year old girlfriend who stands no taller than your average working breed canine with the bands of her Hello Kitty thong clinging to her waist. They’ll stand there getting shoved around outside of a rough pit just staring into each other’s eyes. Why does this happen? Can someone explain this to me. Its the most anti-metal site I have ever seen. I have headbanged harder to a Care Bear Stare. What would prone you to bring your “My First Girlfriend” by Hasbro to Ozzfest? Stupid MySpace generation. Nothing says romance like 95 degree weather and 4 fat dudes sharing their wealth of sweat with you during “Christians To The Lions” by Behemoth. Maybe he’ll treat her to a nice dinner of Chinese toothpaste and rufies afterwards. But I digress. Anyway, so this year’s crowd was pretty intense. With DevilDriver just added to the lineup as a replacement for Mondo Generator, and the heavy contigent of hard moshers/fans of Lamb of God and Hatebreed, the 50 yard area in leading up to the second stage got pretty hectic. In my year’s going to shows, it had to be the most physically uncomfortable concert experience I have had. The crowd surfers were plentiful and not very considerate, the moshers were intoxicated and overly rowdy and that created a uncomfortable and unnecessary tight squeeze. Two of my friends got in a fist fight with one of the mosh pit hooligans that was absurdly innebriated. During the DevilDriver and Behemoth sets I was faced towards the pit and the concessions stands because I physically could not turn around to see the stage because of the massive amounts of people and pushing. This made the experience pretty unpleasant.

On the other side of the spectrum: The lawn crowd was far more relaxed. While the lawn was packed, there was enough room for people to stretch out and dance (conservatively) if they wanted to.

Grade: D+

 The Setup:

God awful. Because of the free tickets, it was absolutely mobbed. It would take 15 minutes to walk 50 feet because of the masses and masses of people trying to get from one place to the next. The merch tables were all but inaccessible. The people who do the setup for Ozzfest should all be fired. If someone had put down some cones or even security personel directing people traffic, it would have made it far better.

Grade: F

Attractions/Other: There was a sideshow and a Hustler bus where all but naked girls would come out and kiss eachother and pass out lingerie and DVDs. Lousy. The other non-band merch tents weren’t anything to write home about either. If they wanted to do something useful, they should’ve had a Proactiv Tent there. The place looked like a burn ward. 

Grade: D

The Bands: (starting from the first band I saw)

In this Moment: At every Ozzfest there has to be “NOW” band. A group that will curl up and die after the tour. In This Moment is that band. From afar, their sound was clean and the singer was screaming pretty clearly and somewhat well. However, the poor girl is tone deaf when it comes to clean vocals. They’re too fashionable, they seem like they were put together like a boyband. Lousy songs. The singer got kinda fired up when the crowd requested that she remove an article of clothing. She had no business being mad; anytime you dress like Courtney Love, the people around you are going to expect to see your breasts. If you want a good band with a female lead singer see: Arch Enemy or Light This City.

Grade: C-

3 Inches of Blood: Best band of show, best set of show, no questions asked. Despite the temporary (hopefully) loss of screamer Jamie Hooper, Cam Pipes and 3 Inches of Blood turned in another fantastic performance. Justin Hagberg, the guitarist and now harsh vocalist did a fine job in Hooper’s absence. Cam Pipes as always sounded clear as a bell and generated a lot of crowd energy. The song set was solid starting with the first 3 songs of their new album, Fire Up the Blades, followed by “Forest King” (also off FUtB) and finally their well known single, “Deadly Sinners.” Crowd energy was fantastic. Traditional metal crowd reactions: horns, headbanging, some moshing, crowd surfing. A pleasing performance from the band and the crowd. But come on guys, no “Revenge Is A Vulture?”

Grade: A-

The Showdown: I’d never heard of this band before seeing them. Hell, I didn’t even know they were playing at Ozzfest. I got a great vibe from them early on as the lead singer came out of the back and on to the stage screaming like Phil Anselmo in his prime. They proceeded to do a set of very southern rock influenced metal songs with harsh vocals. They wrapped up with a medly (bizarre) of various Pantera and Metallica. When I heard the opening chords of “Walk” by Pantera thunder in, I thought someone was going to be killed. With the loss of Dimebag, anytime Pantera gets covered at a show like this, you can expect bedlam. Overall, they got a great reaction and did a great job for a rookie band.

On a side note, they sound very different on their album. Not good at all.

Grade: B

DevilDriver: Sheer chaos. Huge pit, at some points too big. Great performance by Dez and his boys. Despite the fact that I got hit in the head/neck by a crowd surfer that was dropped on me, they put on a great show and have made me a fan. I think the biggest hump I had to get over was the fact that this is not Coal Chamber. My favorite moment of all of Ozzfest 07 was when Dez confessed that he was part of a sellout culture (nu-metal) and that he had found his way and who he really was and DevilDriver was born.

Grade: A-

Behemoth: Another thunderous performance from the blackened death metal gods from Poland. Unfortunately, I was smashed between the mosh pit and a very tall guy so I couldn’t see the stage that well. The sound quality was good, Inferno was incredible on the drums, as usual and Nergal got the crowd going. I didn’t expect to see them there. Behemoth doesn’t seem like the type of band that would get invited to Ozzfest because they aren’t popular enough in the mainstream metal scene like Hatebreed or Lamb of God. However, the crowd did seem to like them.

*Note: This performance was ruined for me because some asshole picked a fight with my friends so not only could I not see the stage or move but my friends were getting attacked by some jerk-off and I couldn’t even go help them.

Grade (despite the fight): B+

Lordi: Sucked. I mean, this is the Ozzfest mainstage. The same stage that has shown off bands like Slayer, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, Pantera and countless other great bands and LORDI is the best you can do? If Sesame Street decided to make a metal band this is what you’d get. I think Oscar the Grouch was on the keyboards. As I’ve told people, this band is like Kiss and Gwar mixed together. The attitude and shitty songs of Kiss and the look and swagger of Gwar without the blood and obscene lyrics.

Grade: Q-

Static-X: I wasn’t aware that these guys still made music. I thought they were done after the release of “Machine” in 2001. The performance was solid. If you like Static-X, which I used to, I think you’d be pleased. Its good to see that Koichi Fukuda is back in the band on guitar. I think they really lost something when he left. The only problem with the performance is that every song sounded the same and it sounded like the album. No surprises, variation. Not a bad thing but if you’re on the mainstage at Ozzfest, you gotta make it interesting.

Grade: B-

Lamb of God: Not a great performance. Sound setup was off and they didn’t play very tight either. Randy Blythe and friends played a very good set list including many hits. Crowd interaction was good. The only problem is that they should’ve been the headliner on the second stage because of the fact that there are no pits on the mainstage. There was a pit on the lower lawn but it was too far away. Black Label needs to be played to a mosh pit about 5 feet away from the stage. Despite the seated attendance, it was a serviceable performance.

Grade: B

Conclusion: This Ozzfest was probably the best I’ve been too. While that sounds good, its not saying much. My first year I had to see Il Nino, Adema and Flaw. That said, it was an entertaining show and it was good to see Lamb of God, DevilDriver, Behemoth and especially 3 Inches of Blood. The weather was great and it was a fun day overall. However, it needed more. Lordi and Static-X on the mainstage left me feeling somewhat empty. I guess you get what you don’t pay for.

Overall Grade (not an average): B-




WarGlory’s Top 10 of 2007 (so far)

BEST

1. Circus Maximus - Isolate

2. Abigor - Fractal Possession

3. 3 Inches of Blood - Fire Up the Blades

4. Municipal Waste - The Art of Partying

5. Dream Theater - Systematic Chaos

6. Threshold - Dead Reckoning

7. As I Lay Dying - An Ocean Between Us

8. Behemoth - The Apostasy

9. Megadeth - United Abominations

10. Agent Steel - Alienigma

WORST

1. Iced Earth - Framing Armageddon

2. Aria - Armageddon

3. Kruger - Redemption Through Loooseness

4. Machine Head - The Blackening

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

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