February 1, 2011
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Ozzy Osbourne has been labeled many things throughout his storied career. Some of the tags include legend, icon, the prince of darkness, and the godfather of metal. One characteristic that is overlooked would be Osbourne's ability as a born entertainer. The packed Gibson Amphitheater was a converted madhouse as the thousands screamed and went crazy at Osbourne's direction.
”Bark at the Moon” had the rabid fans howling early, and the sheer volume of the band emanating from the stage was deafening. Backed by a group of razor-sharp musicians, Osbourne was his usuall jovial self, clapping and enticing the crowd to go crazy. New lead guitarist Gus G. was absolutely lethal, wielding his ESP guitar like an axe and peeling off the intro to “Mr. Crowley”.
Osbourne is touring in support of his tenth studio album Scream, but he knows how to please the faithful, mixing in a number of Black Sabbath songs like “Fairies Wear Boots.” Introducing “Suicide Solution” as a song that got him into legal trouble back in the '80s, Osbourne defiantly stated he didn't care and proceeded to hose down the audience with his foam gun.
Screeching sirens soon blared signaling the introduction of “War Pigs” that sounded like death due to the pummeling drums of Tommy Clufetos. After a sinister version of “Shot In The Dark,” Gus G. took center stage for a blistering guitar solo interlude that had him pulling all the guitar tricks out of his bag: two-handed tapping, pick scrapes, and tremolo picking.
Arguably the best metal riff in the world, “Iron Man” sounded extra chunky with rhythm guitarist Adam Wakeman rounding out the sound. Osbourne the ringleader continued to rile up the audience, telling them the crazier they got the longer he would play. “Crazy Train” had Gus G. go wild with a mind-melting guitar lead full of flash and flair. An encore of “Mama, I'm Coming Home” and the classic “Paranoid” confirmed that Osbourne still can thrill audiences.
Opening for Ozzy Osbourne can be a daunting task. If your happen to be a guitarist named Slash, then it isn't much of a problem. Alongside vocalist Myles Kennedy, Slash ripped through a quick ten-song setlist with the highlights being “Rocket Queen”, “Sweet Child O'Mine” and “Paradise City”.
Personal Bias: I was devastated when my brother wouldn't take me to see Ozzy in 1985 with upcoming band called Metallica opening for him.
Crowd: It was a time warp of fans stuck in various decades ranging, from the seventies to the nineties.
Overheard in the Crowd: “When do they stop serving beer?” was slurred by a heavily intoxicated fan.
Random Notebook Dump: Osbourne's “last” show was at the Pacific Amphitheater in Costa Mesa in 1992!
“Bark At The Moon”
“Let Me Hear You Scream”
“I Don't Know”
“Fairies Wear Boots”
“Road To Nowhere”
“Fire In The Sky”
“Into The Void”
“Shot In the Dark”
“I Don't Wanna Change The World”
“Mama, I'm Coming Home”