Ozz-Fest, Raleigh, NC, August 31, 2004


 
4:01 p.m.   Waiting for left turn on Poole Road off Beltline. Normal traffic. No metal heads sighted, yet. Raining.
4:06 p.m. Have entered parking lot. Portable sign advises against drinking in parking lot. Vin Diesel look-alike on right, shirtless.
4:09 p.m. VIP parking slot # 0083. Second stage booming with Slipknot. Look at all those tour buses!
4:15 p.m. Caps of bottled water confiscated on entry. "Some idiots refilled their bottles and threw them on stage." Receive VIP bracelet. Blonde chick in black laughs as I quip "hey, I'm important! Or at least impotent!"
4:20 p.m. Pass topless painting booth, where women get their bare chests decorated. Price presumably includes the two small squares of "nipple tape."
4:25 p.m. Slipknot finishes last song as we reach second stage.  Crowd quickly clears.  Spot sign by sound board:  "Attention!  Moshing may take place.  Be aware of your surroundings.  Moshing & entering a moshing area may be dangerous & is at your own risk."
4:27 p.m. First "hey man" heard.
4:30 p.m. Girl in wet t-shirt exclaims "where's my f_____ beer?" First butt-crack spotted (male). Vendors in second stage area: Fye, Trojan, Tama, Jeigermiester, etc. Also shaved ice and snow cones.
4:33 p.m. Now immobilized in slow-moving throng. Attire includes black lace, red Mohawks, neck tattoos, dirty blonde pony tails, string bikinis, and wrap-around sunglasses.
4:40 p.m. Ascend lower-level of main stage lawn. Black Label Society is playing, loudly. Ear plugs in.
4:45 p.m. Have picture taken with woman from work wearing black leather halter, short-shorts, and platform shoes.
4:48 p.m. Find box seats. Zakk Wylde's band is playing a Guns 'n' Roses riff.
5:00 p.m. Zakk introduces the band. I understand about every eighth word, notably the profanities.
5:01 p.m. Black Label Society launches into what sounds like a Sabbath cover. Zakk finishes song with guitar behind head.
5:15 p.m. Superjoint Ritual takes stage, fronted by former Pantera singer.
5:20 p.m. See work friend again. "I really like your top" ogles a shirtless stoner.
5:26 p.m. Happen upon Alltel "free local calls" phone cart. Call girlfriend. "Hey, guess where I'm calling from?!?"
5:32 p.m. Superjoint stage patter is heavy on the word motherf_____.
5:45 p.m. Return to box seats to discover unidentified young male sitting with us.
5:52 p.m. Dimmu Borgir opens with a taped introduction so heavy on the bass that I fear imminent structural collapse.
5:55 p.m. Band members appear, each looking like a grungier version of Marilyn Manson.
6:06 p.m. Norwegian metal, played very, very loud. I realize that I can read my companion lips.
6:10 p.m. Topless woman with painted chest (plus nipple tape) handed ear plugs by member of event staff. Gratis?
6:15 p.m. Realize that the, uh, extra bumps under all those wet t-shirts are pierced nipples.
6:28 p.m. Sound checks being conducted for Slayer. Steady, light rain falling outside.
6:30 p.m. Mysterious male box mate orders another pizza.
6:35 p.m. Slayer opens, also with a taped introduction. "God Hates Us All," I think.
6:40 p.m. Number of Marshall amps on stage: 24.
6:43 p.m. Juxtaposition: madly thrashing Slayer members with unfazed technician walking behind them.
6:54 p.m. Each song is a little faster than the previous one. Precious aggression. Electric ejaculate.
6:58 p.m. Order pizza for self ($8) and glass of water ($4).
7:10 p.m. Best t-shirt of night: Spear Britney.
7:12 p.m. First handcuffing of night, a shirtless male patron with bloodied nose.
7:15 p.m. South of Heaven, favorite Slayer song, and they're done. "Enjoy yourself! We'll see you!"
7:25 p.m. Cold headache! Eating my $3 cherry Caribbean ice too quickly.
7:30 p.m. Stainless steel bleachers being installed for Judas Priest. Banner behind drum riser appears to be an "electric eye." Insert own Spinal Tap reference.
7:35 p.m. Another stranger joins the box, rabid Priest fan and hairdresser to my concert  companion. She's wearing the second best t-shirt of the night: "The only bush I support is my own."
7:40 p.m. Tabletop schedule says Priest starts at 7:45.
7:45 p.m. On the dot, and the crowd chanting "Priest! Priest! Priest!"
7:53 p.m. Rob Halford doing a "robot walk" during Metal Gods.
8:00 p.m. Halford singing Touch of Evil in what appears to be Hugh Hefner's red and  black evening coat.
8:05 p.m. Give up trying to chart the octaves he's hopping.
8:15 p.m. Glenn Tipton takes short, squealing solo in the middle of Victim of Changes. Well, why not.
8:35 p.m. Vocal mix too high for final verse of Beyond the Realms of Death. Push ear plugs in a little more.
8:37 p.m. Would you believe an inflated condom floating about the front rows? Unknown if lubricated.
8:45 p.m. Varoom goes Halford's Harley as he emerges from a cloud of fog.
8:55 p.m. Rob leads the crowd in repeated roaring. Why can't everyone have this enthusiasm at the start of a show?
9:02 p.m. "We'll see you next year!"
9:16 p.m. Skim "New York Times Book Review" while sipping $5 strawberry smoothie.
9:20 p.m. "Let me hear you!" The voice of Ozzy, followed by a video history of the band and psychedelic light patterns on a giant curtain.
9:38 p.m. Ozzy dunks his head into a bucket and throws the rest of the contents into the crowd.
9:48 p.m. Tony Iommi on the big screen, his fingers dancing on the fret board.
9:49 p.m. Bill Ward on the big screen, pounding the hell of his kit.
9:50 p.m. Push ear plug in a little more during Into the Void.
9:56 p.m. Ozzy introduces the band.
10:05 p.m. Stomp. Stomp. Stomp. Stomp. Iron Man.
10:06 p.m. Ozzy wants to see some f_____ action, man.
10:16 p.m. Footage of gravestones during Children of the Grave.
10:19 p.m. Band takes a bow. Roadie wipes the teleprompter.
10:21 p.m. "You have my permission to go over the top, man." Encore begins with riff from Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, segues into "Paranoid."
10:25 p.m. Confetti blasts from beneath the stage. Ozzy asks for drug- and drink-free driving. Good night everybody.
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