CONCERT REVIEW: Ozzy Osbourne, Rob Zombie, In This Moment 1/21/08

Review written January 22, 2008.  Dedicated to Peter M. Cavan!

OZZY OSBOURNE/ROB ZOMBIE/IN THIS MOMENT live at the ACC, Toronto Ontario, 01/21/08, on the Black Rain tour

OZZYWhen you pay $100 a ticket you’d better get a hell of a show, no pun intended. While Rob Zombie rose to the occasion and put on the show of a lifetime, Ozzy Osbourne stumbled, carried only by his seasoned band and the love of a metal craving audience.

First up were newcomers In This Moment, who played a short 4 song set to a half filled house. Singer Maria Brink managed to get the crowd going even though most of them didn’t know there was a third band on the bill. Coming out in her trademark blue dress, and screaming her lungs out, I could not believe the power in this woman’s voice. The whole band was hampered by horrible sound which unfortunately rendered her screaming and singing unintelligible. However, at one point she let loose and screamed for a good 30 seconds straight…how she does this is beyond me, I sure can’t! In This Moment played their hit “Beautiful Tragedy” second-to-last and then revved up the audience to see Rob Zombie.

This was Zombie’s last night of the tour, and his crew played pranks on In This Moment through most of their set, however it was dead serious once Zombie hit the stage. Hidden by curtains, the audience could not see Zombie’s amazing stage set until the lights came up. And that was not to happen before we were treated to a surprise: Rob Zombie’s Grindhouse trailer “Werewolf Women Of The S.S.” starring Nicholas Cage as…FU MANCHU! (Zombie is considering making a full movie based on this trailer.)

Then the lights came up, dancing girls on either side of a giant devil head, and band roaring. The head cracked open and an adrenalized Rob Zombie emerged to “American Witch”! What an entrance.

John 5 was at the top of his game on guitar, playing with his teeth, behind his back, throwing his instrument all over the stage. For his guitar solo he even played a snippet of “Oh Canada”, but more on that shortly.

Zombie played all the hits with tons of syncopated pyro behind him, so much that you could feel it from the nosebleeds. “Dragula”, “Living Dead Girl”, “Thunderkiss ’65” and of course “More Human Than Human” were all played expertly, Zombie himself all over the stage at all times. He had ample video footage behind him, showing original film footage from House Of 1000 Corpes, The Devil’s Rejects, his own animation, and classic horror films such as Nosferatu.

Zombie’s crowning moment was during John 5’s guitar solo, at which point he grabbed two flashlights and headed into the crowd, all backed by John 5’s incredible shredding. I mean, come on folks…this is the guitar player that David Lee Roth chose to stand where Eddie Van Halen, Steve Vai, Steve Hunter and Jason Becker have stood.

The only thing wrong the whole Rob Zombie show is that there was so much going on at once, with the video screens, dancing girls, drumming robots, props, lights, and pyro, that you can’t see it all at once. I would like to see Rob Zombie twice or three times…difficult now that his tour is over!

A short break ensued, and then we were treated to some video footage courtesy of the Ozzman. It was a humourous medley of popular film and TV footage from the last year, all recut to star Ozzy himself! Imagine Ozzy in: The Queen. Or Ozzy under Azamat’s ass in Borat! It was good stuff, but unfortunately it underlined that the once and future singer of Black Sabbath has now become something of a joke himself.

Ozzy and his band (Zakk Wylde on guitar, Mike Bordin on drums, Blasko on bass, and Adam Wakeman on keys) then blasted through his first single from the new Black Rain CD, “I Don’t Wanna Stop”. A great opener, unfortunately hard to appreciate with Zakk Wylde’s guitar sounding so harsh in the ACC. Ozzy played most of the classics with very few surprises: “Bark At The Moon”, “Suicide Solution”, “Crazy Train”, “I Don’t Know”, “Mr. Crowley”, “Road To Nowhere” and “Not Going Away” from the new CD.

Ozzy’s problem, both as a solo artist and with Black Sabbath, is his unwillingness to change his setlists. While I’m sure everybody there would have died and gone to heaven if Ozzy played a song like “You Can’t Kill Rock And Roll” or “Diary Of A Madman”, his setlist was based almost entirely around his Blizzard of Ozz and No More Tears CDs. Too predictable, Ozzman. His other problem is his lack of range. His voice cracked many times, and the band lowered the key for him the old songs.

A few disappointing choices: Ozzy did not play “No More Tears”, but instead treated us to the overrated “I Don’t Wanna Change The World”. And for an encore, yes, of course…”Mama I’m Coming Home”. Shame about that, as there are so many better songs to play. “Mama” sure did get the cigarette lighters out [see picture below].

Zakk Wylde did a ridiculous 10 minute guitar solo, which sounded mostly like razorblades coming at your ears. He too played with his teeth, but it was only when he quoted Randy Rhoads’ classic “Suicide Solution” live solo that sparks flew.

As a last song, of course, Ozzy played “Paranoid”. He had to. He couldn’t show up and not play any Sabbath material, although “Iron Man” and “War Pigs” didn’t make his short set. Shame, considering that he reminded the audience that Toronto is where he recorded Never Say Die.

In the end, we all got tired of Ozzy’s endless “I can’t fucking hear you” and “Go extra extra extra crazy!” When Ozzy shouted “I still can’t fucking hear you” for the 100th time, people started responding, “Because you’re fucking deaf”!

There was no question that Ozzy came, saw, and conquered because of his excellent band and the love that the crowd had for him, but it was also obvious that this was Rob Zombie’s show, and there was nothing Ozzy could have done to change that, aside from bringing Randy Rhoads back from the dead.

In This Moment – 3/5 stars
Rob Zombie – 5/5 stars
Ozzy Osbourne – 3.5/5 stars

ozzy

 

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50 comments

    1. That is a shame. My wife is into one band from South Africa, Kongos, they are starting to hit it big up here. I bought her their recent CD.

      Do you ever get really major bands? Surely somebody like Maiden must have played there!

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      1. The promoters suck to be honest. They are interested in getting pop crap like Lady Gaga so that they can fills the seats with teeny boppers that want to spend spend spend! Only real metal act within the last few years…guess it would be Rammstein and that was a fiasco! The promoters messed up and I suspect the other ones are afraid that they might make a mess too!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. That’s too bad. With the add cost of travel distance (in comparison to Europe or North America) I’m sure that playing there makes the accountants tremble.

          Lady Gaga had The Darkness opening for her on one tour…I think I would be willing to go see that bill. I don’t hate Lady Gaga like I used to.

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        2. Yup we’re pretty much stuck with what we can get…there is always hope and every now and then there’s a promise. Lady Gaga and The Darkness – sounds interesting

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      2. Ah yes I remember them…sort off. A South African band I adore is Mr. Cat & the Jackal – def worth checking out. Some other SA bands trying their luck in The US: Just Jinger, Ashton Nyte and The Awakening.

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  1. I hate when Zack plays such long solos that make you miss two songs in the mean time. His songs are so good and he plays solos instead. It’d be amazing to hear Demon Alcohol, S.I.N, Tattooed Dancer or Party With The Animals instead of just massive solos. Also, they could lose the Sabbath covers and play Ozzy songs. Where is Rock N Roll Rebel and Secret Loser… theyre in every greatest hits CD but never played live anymore.

    It sometimes seems like Ozzy is afraid people don’t like his own songs apart from a very select few.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah man, I agree! If you listen to Ozzy talk, he sounds very insecure about himself. A lot of second guessing. A lot of, “It’s not good enough.” It’s too bad because as you said, fans would shit lobster balls if they heard Rock N Roll Rebel.

      It would be great if Ozzy would be willing to do it, but Alice Cooper remains fearless in concert!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Bwahaha “Because you’re fucking deaf!!” Haha, good one audience! Sounds like Ozzy needed to dust off his performance a little…sounds a little stale.

    K has seen Ozzy a few times in the 2000s…not sure if he went to this concert, but he was definitely at the Sabbath one a couple of years ago. 2013?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep 2013. Find out if he attended this one! I’m curious if he felt the same way.

      I went into it not expecting much out of Ozzy, we all know his schtick and I didn’t expect deviation. Zombie was the unexpected surprise for me! I entered not really knowing his stuff and left as a fan.

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  3. Only saw Ozzy once, Melbourne in 98 or thereabouts? Must have been supporting his Hits album The Ozzman Cometh because hits are what we got and it was a cracking show, No More Tears, some Ozzmossis too I mean by then the catalog hadn’t been polluted too much nor had he become ‘that’ celebrity…

    Nothing but love for that show \m/

    Funny story, I flew in for the show and met an old friend before the gig who, not being an Ozzy fan made a last minute decision to comebalong to the gig, straight from his work office and in his work attire. So once we got to the right suburb, not knowing our way around too well we simply followed this crowd of black shirts ya know? I was probably sporting a recent metal shirt of my own but which band I can’t remember…

    Anyway, this crowd of black shirts just got thicker and thicker so by the time we got to the venue it was about all you could see, when suddenly without warning my mate leaves me and makes a mad dash for the outside merch booth and quickly buys himself an Ozzy shirt! Which shirt? ANY shirt, I recall him saying “I don’t care which one just give me a f&%$ing large!” In view of everyone there, pulled off his work shirt, scrunched what he could of it into his back pocket and threw on said ‘metal’ shirt.

    Basically during the walk to the venue he had honestly thought he was going to get himself a beating LOL. What made it funny was I remember thinking he seemed a bit nervous but otherwise had no idea what was going through his mind :) And hey after the gig I scored myself a second hand Ozzy shirt, only worn the once \m/

    Brilliant LOL, those were the days…

    And yeah, fantastic gig never regret the big bucks it cost me to get to that one!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha that’s a great story! Ozzman Cometh would have been a good period to have seen Ozzy. I think the Ozzmosis album and period are quite underrated. That’s a review for the future though.

      Lately I find I have to be in the mood for Ozzy. A specific mood.

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  4. Totally agree with you on Zakk’s solos (although I’ve only seen him with BLS but I thought they were a massive bore) and the Ozzy setlists. Totally agree with KCP I think Ozzy is too insecure about his songs. The only times I’ve seen Ozzy solo have been with Joe Holmes on guitar.

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    1. That’s cool though man. That was a short short short lived lineup.

      My buddy Peter (with whom I attended this show) has a bootleg of the Joe Holmes tour, with Geezer Butler on bass. At one point Ozzy shouts, “Do you people wanna hear some Sabbath?” Somebody responded, “No!” Ozzy didn’t expect that. He says, “No? Well we’re gonna play some Black Sabbath for you!”

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      1. Haha there’s always one wanker in the audience isn’t there? Yeah, it’s pretty cool to have seen Holmes (and it was Butler on bass too with – I think – Randy Castillo on drums). I just wish he had played on an album at least. I always prefer seeing a new lineup if they’ve at least released some music of their own. Great show though! It was in quite a small venue for Ozzy, it got pretty intense.

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        1. I think you had Deen Castronovo on drums but I can’t be certain because I think he may have been first to leave/be fired. I know Peter’s tape was with Deen.

          I recall a) Joe’s big huge cross hanging over his sculpted chest (lol) and b) that I didn’t like his take on the solos as much as Zakk. His sound was thinner.

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        2. I think you might be right, It was quite late in 1995 if that helps… But I really can’t remember that well so it might have been Deen after all. I saw them at Donington in 1996 too so it was probably Randy at that show?

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        3. I do remember this. Ozzy put out a bitchy statement when Deen left. I’m paraphrasing, “Deen is a very talented session drummer for many artists, and that is what he should go back to doing.”

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        4. Yeah I don’t think Joe ever wore a shirt! I’ve never heard him since. I remember thinking he was ok. Definitely a thinner sound but I thought that was better for the Rhoads and Sabbath stuff. For his solo did a cool medley of old riffs and solos. I quite liked that. I wouldn’t mind hearing some bootlegs of him live as my memory of it is a bit vague now.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Oof, well, I suppose expecting Ozzy to be as awesome as he was when he was young isn’t relly fair. Especially with what he’s done to himself over the years, he’s lucky to be able to be standing there at all!

    I hadn’t heard about sound issues in the ACC before. I know Skydome had its issues, big-time.

    I’m unsurprised Zombie stomped it, and the opening act sounds like fun too.

    All in all, I’d say COOL SHOW! Thanks for telling us about it!

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  6. I’ve always wanted to like Rob Zombie’s music more than I do. Don’t get me wrong, I do like La Sexorcisto and, to a lesser extent, Astro Creep, but I just can’t get the solo stuff. Still, it sounds like he knows how to put on a show (and John 5 is a pretty ace guitarist).

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        1. From what I recall it was a bunch of the Zombie videos (White and Rob). But yeah, if that’s the compilation I reckon it’s a good one to have – there’s a good selection of stuff on there.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. A DVD collection of his would have its own value.

          Incidentally and on a totally different tangent, Weird Al should release a comprehensively complete videography.

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  7. I think the last time I saw Ozzy was in 2008 and he was really showing his age. It’s a shame because the 4 times I saw him before that he was the highlight of Ozzfest, which was no small feat. But yeah, the guy’s getting up there in years.

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