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Ozzfest @ First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre Tinley Park, IL (US)

OZZY, MOTLEY CRUE, HALFORD, DEVILDRIVER
in Tuesday, 17 August 2010 at First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre
by Maria Voutiriadou, Dimitris Kontogeorgakos

DimK: It was a working day and the ‘OzzFest’ festivities had a real early start so, the METAL TEMPLE crew had sadly to ‘sacrifice’ the entire second stage billing. Indeed, we were pretty disappointed for missing Zakk Wylde, but on the other hand, we will get a second chance to watch BLACK LABEL SOCIETY in a couple of months or so.

So, after parking at ease in the real big parking area we made our way to the pit of the Main Stage seconds after NONPOINT had finished their 30 minutes set. Looking around, one could really ‘absorb’ the festival air watching the merch stands and all the convenient places where greasy food and –of course– beer were available. It would be a joke if I tried to criticize the amenities of First Midway Amphitheatre since they are exactly the way they should be. After getting the proper wrist bands we made our way to the pit (located a few feet from the stage) that was 1/3 full; it seemed that the ‘OzzFest’ fans would start filling this place up on time for MOTLEY CRUE and Ozzy.

DimK:I had watched DEVILDRIVER before and I was pretty aware of their intense on stage performance that was even more pumped up by the very good “Pray For Villains” release. Following precisely the time schedule, the act from California took over the stage with an obvious high mood to play modern up-tempo thrash. “End Of The Line” from the band’s second album was the opening track that I manage to recognize during the characteristic chorus lines. To my surprise the sound quality was not top notch; the vocals were low on the mix while the guitars were muffled by the drums. This was such a turn off for me but strangely this did not affect the young members of the gathered audience who did get themselves into a mosh pit pushing and pulling all around. Without pausing the US band hit us with “Pray For Villains” and it seemed that the sound was getting better; but not that good since Dez was even trying to get a decent sound to his monitors. Despite this problem Dez was on fire! He was walking up and down the stage singing the lyrics with such an intense way that I thought his head would explode. And the rest of the band was more than willing to follow the frontman’s lead; Mike Spreitzer was hitting hard on his guitar laying down the distinct riffs despite the fact he was not treated in the best way by the sound man.

After the modern sounding “I Could Care Less” Dez introduced the next track saying that since DEVILDRIVER hailed from California they should do “Clouds Over California”. And thankfully they did with even better sound. Maybe this was a problem for the pit since I had the impression that the rest of the audience sitting in the back (along with the sound man) was getting everything ok. There was not time to chat and hence, the US band took fully advantage of the given time and filled the setlist with all the must-play songs, from the killer “Not All Who Wander Are Lost” till the riff driven “Hold Back the Day”. By this song the sound was ok and everything looked and sounded they way it should. So, after 45 minutes DEVILDRIVER hit us with“Meet The Wretched” leaving all of us sweaty and definitely warmed up for the Metal God who was about to follow. Without any doubt I want to watch this band in a headlining performance and fully enjoy their energetic setlist like I did two years ago.

DEVILDRIVER setlist:

  1. "End Of The Line"
  2. "Pray For Villains"
  3. "I Could Care Less"
  4. "Clouds Over California"
  5. "Fate Stepped In"
  6. "Not All Who Wander Are Lost"
  7. "Hold Back the Day
  8. "Before The Hangman's Noose"
  9. "Meet The Wretched"
MariaV:Ten minutes after 6:30, the absolute ‘Metal God’ and his band stepped on stage, ready ‘n’ willin’ of giving us a setlist based mainly to the HALFORD era, living aside the PRIEST all-time classics; to tell you the truth that was pretty enjoyable, especially for the older fans of Mr. Halford who had already watched him in so many shows, listening the same all hits so many times. So, for 50 minutes or something, we had the opportunity to enjoy HALFORD of 2010, one breath just before the fourth most anticipated studio album, and count their stage abilities, in front of more than 10.000 presents who were in that time inside the area of the ‘OzzFest’, from the back of the grass area till the front lines of the pit.

The first tunes of “Resurrection” deluged our ears and the volume of the sound was just too much to handle, just as it should be. Cool! Rob Halford appeared in front of us dressed in leather (as always) with his shiny sunglasses, no matter the heat of the evening and gave the crowd his best shot. Mike Chlasciak and Roy Z have taken over the guitar parts in great shape indeed and Rob shook up the whole ‘Chicago universe’ with his clarion and clear voice. Entering the “Locked And Loaded” track, some sound problems popped up and took away some of the moment’s magic but the sound engineers did their job quickly and the problem solved during the next FIGHT’s “Nailed To The Gun”. “Golgotha” and “Made Of Metal” were coming up right after and the first lines of the pit stared at Halford dazzled by his eternal Metallic glamor – a thing abided, no matter the years’ passing.

Highlights of the HALFORD show were the two JUDAS PRIEST songs as you can easily imagine, “Never Satisfied” and “Heart Of A Lion”, taken from the “Rocka Rolla” album and the “Metalology” compilation, respectively. Especially the latter was a great surprise for all the Halford fans. The epilogue was written down with the introduction of the band and “Saviour” that opened our appetite for the rest of the ‘OzzFest’ with MOTLEY CRUE and Ozzy, of course. Being so close on stage during Rob Halford performance and feeling his sweat and his tension all over your face when he sings is a fact that could be described as the highest Metal experience, or otherwise, as the absolute Metallic baptism. That was exactly for me that HALFORD performance and had it all; passion, power, emotion and METAL.

HALFORD setlist:
  1. "Resurrection"
  2. "Made In Hell"
  3. "Locked And Loaded"
  4. "Nailed To The Gun"
  5. "Golgotha"
  6. "Made Of Metal"
  7. "Drop Out"
  8. "Crystal"
  9. "Never Satisfied"
  10. "Heart Of A Lion"
  11. "Cyberworld"
  12. "Saviour"
DimK: After ‘Metal God’ had stepped down, the pit was looking almost packed underlying the love of Chicago to the LA Hard Rock act named MOTLEY CRUE. “Saints Of Los Angeles” has marked the beginning of a new ear for this infamous band leaving all the troubles in the past. I do not know and really don’t care if they are faking it but there is friendly atmosphere among the CRUE boys that has such a positive affect to the attending audience. The band members show a great respect for each other and give the proper space and time for everyone to draw the spotlight during the set.

The large CRUE banner in the back prepared everyone in the venue for the upcoming US Hard Rock (I don’t like using Glam or Hair Metal for this band) ‘attack’ that commenced with the hair raising riff of “Kickstart My Heart” that brought the band members on stage receiving an enthusiastic welcome enhanced by the ‘loud’ pyro show. Chicago really loves MOTLEY CRUE and it is not surprise that two years ago the LA based band chose this place to shoot the video for “Mutherfucker Of The Year”. Every one was singing, some of the girls were screaming and the party feeling filled the entire theater reaching the metalheads way back in the law (where you just had to pay 10$ to enter). The sound and the light show were amazing while the pyro show was the icing on the cake. I do not know the exact the reason but MOTLEY CRUE fits the pyro show like a glove creating an intense atmosphere that was so missing in the last year’s headlining performance at Belgium’s ‘Graspop Metal Meeting’. And please underline the fact that in Belgium it was a headlining performance that to my disappointment failed to move the gathered audience. But that’s ancient history and that performance had absolutely nothing to do with the ‘OzzFest’ one.

Vince stormed once again all the sayings about his performance and vocals, singing the way he did a couple of decades before. I can live with the fact that due to his fitness state (no he has gained weight) he cannot keep up singing and dancing all the time by his voice pitch is fine and –what matters the most– looks extremely happy on stage. Hell, you can ask the girls in the front rows if he looks fine since their screams according to Vince moves is a powerful proof to my saying. Additional credit should everyone give to Mick Mars; despite his health condition he performed flawlessly during the entire set without showing any signs of complaint or discomfort. His guitar playing was literally perfect with a solid sound that filled the arena giving an extra push to the band’s set. Tommy and Nikki did perform in the same spirit and especially the latter who was in constant motion during the band’s performance communicating with the crowd through his captivating aura.

“Home Sweet Home” brought the piano stage and the entire band close enough for everyone to witness how well they feel playing as MOTLEY CRUE in front of such an enthusiastic crowd. After the intense “Motherfucker Of The Year” Vince took us back to the early 80s with “Ten Seconds To Love” during which everyone was singing despite the fact this was an old song and kind of rare in CRUE setlists. From that point the heat was up again (after the “Home Sweet Home” break) featuring more loud explosions and pyros that were sending waves of heat in the already sweating crowd. “Primal Scream”, “Dr. Feelgood” and “Girls, Girls, Girls” was the obvious selection for MOTLEY CRUE, to close their most impressive supporting performance. I had to underling the word ‘supporting’ for two reasons: a) MOTLEY CRUE did their best to take advance of the given 70 minutes performing in excellence the setlist and b) Ozzy did not add restrictions for their show giving them everything they needed to look as if they were the headliners. And watching the all the explosions as “Girls, Girls, Girls” was coming to an end, I started think what Ozzy could do to top this performance off and boy, was I wrong… but let MariaV do the talking here, expose my ignorance for the ultimate ‘Prince Of Darkness’.

MOTLEY CRUE setlist:
  1. "Kickstart My Heart"
  2. "Wild Side"
  3. "Shout At The Devil"
  4. "Saints Of Los Angeles"
  5. "Looks That Kill"
  6. "Live Wire"
  7. "Don't Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)"
  8. "Same Ol' Situation (S.O.S.)"
  9. "Home Sweet Home"
  10. "Motherfucker Of The Year"
  11. "Ten Seconds To Love"
  12. "Primal Scream"
  13. "Dr. Feelgood"
  14. "Girls, Girls, Girls"
MariaV: I was pretty curious to see whether the ‘MadMan’ could still drive us crazy one more time, with his on stage moves and his crazy attitude. MOTLEY CRUE have left the stage under the crowd’s big applause and I couldn’t imagine that Ozzy could outdo that, at least before his show get started. A brave shot of foam in our faces during the stage’s tests from one of his roadies though, managed to change my mind instantly and step aside all my doubts about Ozzy’s set. That night would be absolutely crazy!

My watch clocked fifteen minutes past nine when the lights were out and everybody started to scream, welcoming in that way the ‘Prince Of Darkness’. A satiric video clip began to play in the big video wall behind the stage, showing Ozzy as the main protagonist of a couple of movies like “Avatar”, “The Hangover”, “Iron Man 2” (as ‘Iron Man’ of course!) and “Twilight” reading some of the funniest lines ever. But the very highlight in that video was the appearance of Ozzy like Beyonce in the “Telephone” official video with Lady Gaga, making everyone exploded into big laughs. Then, the familiar introduction of “Bark At The Moon” reached our ears and Ozzy’s dream-team would spread in the big stage. All the glances were on Zakk Wylde’s replacement, Gus G who did an excellent appearance during the entire show confirming Ozzy’s choice to have him in his band. The first single of Osbourne’s last album followed and our first foam bath was a fact! After the last refrain of “Let Me Hear You Scream”, Ozzy grabbed the hose and gave all of us that were standing in the pit a generous foam bath, signaled the beginning of the craziest live show ever!

“Mr. Crowley” that followed was the one of my favorite songs in ‘OzzFest’; the stage’s background became like the inside black satin material of a coffin, the neon sign with Ozzy’s name placed in the middle of it and the hair-rising keyboard intro started, making all of us staring like fools. Ozzy placed in the center of the Main stage like the ‘Prince Of Darkness’ himself, opening his arms like a bat ready to hold us and the moon in the sky was almost full. I don’t know if I could manage to describe you perfectly the whole scene, but that one was thus far the best Ozzy’s performance I’ve ever seen. The sound was amazing, his voice was tremendous and in great shape and seemed to have the right mood to make us have fun, smiling all the time and spreading kisses with his hands to all of us. “Fairies Wear Boots” and “Shot In The Dark” were the other two highlights of this amazing night in my opinion, giving some past memories for the older fans of Ozzy’s career in ‘Sabs’ and for the rest of the crowd, the perfect chance to enjoy Gus’ guitar abilities in the hymn called “Shot In The Dark”.

“Rat Salad” and “Iron Man” were the two more SABBATH songs, before “Paranoid” gave the baton to the encore with “Crazy Train” and the last surprise of the evening: the 10 year old Yuto Miyazawa from Tokyo was there playing the guitar and challenging Gus G for who’s the best guitar player. Who was the winner? Well, both were pretty awesome!

OZZY setlist:
  1. "Bark At The Moon"
  2. "Let Me Hear You Scream"
  3. "Mr. Crowley"
  4. "I Don’t Know"
  5. "Fairies Wear Boots"
  6. "Suicide Solution"
  7. "Road To Nowhere"
  8. "Shot In The Dark"
  9. "Rat Salad"
  10. "Iron Man"
  11. "Fire In The Sky"
  12. "I Don’t Want To Change The World"
  13. "Paranoid"
  14. "Crazy Train"
MariaV: ‘OzzFest’ isn’t just a festival that gives you the opportunity to see so many bands in one day with an average price ticket (it depends of where you’d prefer to sit) or another one festival with lots of music and fun and stuff like that; ‘OzzFest’ is the ultimate experience for every metalhead adores music (and Ozzy of course) and you must live the experience to understand exactly what I am saying. I don’t know if the entire Europe is prepared to welcome a so well organized fest like this, but US is doing it for so many years and has the precedence in that part over the rest of the world for sure. I just wish Ozzy to have another 50 years of life to catch him on stage even his youngest fans and the children of them, too because He is the definition of how a showman must be. ‘OzzFest’, see you next year!

(photos by Mr. Crowley)


DEVILDRIVER







HALFORD








MOTLEY CRUE












OZZY













Promoter: Ozzfest
Ticket Price: 120€ (pit) - 8€ (lawn)


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Edited 04 July 2020
 

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