Well, Ozzfest has come and gone again. This year I scored tix and passes to the stop at Randall's Island, New York, NY on July 29th, 2006.
This was the first year Ozzfest stopped at this venue. Usually they play the PNC Arts Center in New Jersey which is about 90 minutes away from my house. In my opinion, PNC is a much nicer venue. Randall's Island reminded me sort of a junk yard or an outdoor flea market. Everything was dirt, grass and rocks. Nothing was paved. It took me nearly 3 hours to get to this place... an hour down 4 highways to Hoboken, then the path train to Manhattan, a cab ride to the ferry, and then the ferry to the event! I was tired out by the time I got there!
Upon arrival, my brother-in-law Glenn and I picked up our tickets and passes at the will call window (which was a dilapidated trailer no less) and headed over to Never Never Land for some pretzels and drinks. We stopped and gazed at the "Kick me in the fucking head" booth for a few minutes (which was very entertaining). Object of the game is to kick a soccer ball as hard as you can into the head of some poor shmuck sitting in a chair about 8 feet away. I should add that he wasn't wearing any protective gear what-so-ever... just simply holding his nose so it wouldn't get broken I assume. Clearly a few cards short of a deck.
So after scarfing down my $10 pretzel and drink... we headed over to the 2nd stage where Atreyu was performing. We walked right back stage and watched the band perform from back there. Well, from where we were standing we could really only see the drummer. Security was pretty laxed at this event. This year I got VIP passes which normally only get you back stage if you are with someone who has a laminate... but Glenn and I strolled right through. Maybe the high school kids working security didn't know any better. Anyway, back to Atreyu... they sounded ok. I've never really heard any of their stuff. Glenn and I were more interested in these 2 stage hands wrestling with an out of control Black Label Society balloon floating over the stage. The wind was blowing it into the trees and getting tangled up all over the place. These guys would lower the balloon, fill it up with helium, rise it back up... and just keep repeating this process. It was a good time passer while waiting for BLS to hit the stage.
Finally, BLS takes the stage. Glenn and I walk right up the ramp onstage during the set. We were standing there for a little while until some little security guard made us get down... but we were still able to maintain our position at stage left. So now, the sun is bearing down, and I can feel the sweat just pouring down my legs... but I want to maintain my position for the Ozzy set so I'm not going anywhere. Glenn decides to walk up front by the gate for a second, and then is stopped by the head security guy. He can't make it back to me at this point. So I see this all going down, so I just turn around to try and stay unnoticed. It worked for a few songs, and at one point Blasko (Ozzy's bassist) was right next to me, but I didn't want to bother him and risk getting kicked out. It happened eventually anyway. The old security dude got me. Bummer.
So at this point, I figured it would be a good time to call up a friend of mine (in Osbourne management) that I have acquired through my site, whom I had never met in person. So, I call him up and he tells me he's in the pavilion tent thing outside of the 2nd stage (right behind the soundboard)... and to come join him. NICE! So we head over there to meet up, and I have no clue what this guy looks like. I must have been standing there for 5 minutes when I decided to give him another call. Glenn says "just look for the next dude who picks up their phone". Well, the guy standing directly next to me picks up his phone... he turns around, we look at each other and just start laughing. He filled me in on some cool new stuff going on with Ozzy (which I hope to share with you all sometime in the future), we chatted a bit and went our separate ways. I watched the entire Ozzy set from this location... which at first was a little disappointing because we were pretty far from the stage, but in the end it was best because it was HOT HOT HOT that day and we were in some nice shade.
Ozzy was in top form. He was full of energy and just looked awesome. Ozzy was scheduled to play the main stage, but had switched to the 2nd stage just 2 days earlier. My buddy told me that Ozzy prefers the 2nd stage over the main because he's so much closer to the crowd and can "feel" the audience. Well, it sure showed.
I Dont Know
Into the Void
Guitar Solo, Star Spangled Banner
I Dont Want To Change the World
Road to Nowhere
Mama I'm Coming Home
Zakk's guitar went out on "I Don't Know" for probably a good minute or longer. The band continued on and Ozzy continued singing.
Jack Osbourne made an appearance and played the outro on drums at the end of Zakk's Star Spangled Banner solo.
...and the funniest thing I saw at Ozzfest this year was... during Paranoid, some fat guy in the mosh pit got his black wife beater t-shirt torn off and his big C-cup bitch tits were exposed to the world. He starts hiding them like a woman! I was laughing my ass off. He left the mosh pit, head hung low. HA!
The one picture I took (click to enlarge):
...and some awful movies I shot with my cell phone (use quicktime to view)
That's all folks!