Black Sabbath Concert Reviews
July 16, 2004
PNC Bank Arts Center
Holmdel, NJ

THE BAND

  • Ozzy Osbourne - Vocals
  • Tony Iommi - Guitar
  • Geezer Butler - Bass
  • Bill Ward - Drums
  • Adam Wakeman - Keyboards

SET LIST (Sweet Leaf was dropped)

  • War Pigs
  • N.I.B.
  • Fairies Wear Boots
  • Into the Void
  • Black Sabbath
  • Snowblind
  • Iron Man
  • Children of the Grave
  • Paranoid (w/ Sabbath Bloody Sabbath intro)

CONCERT PHOTO GALLERY

You can view the photo gallery for this concert here.

FAN SUBMITTED TOUR REVIEWS & REMARKS

From: Steven Burg
Subject: 7/16 PNC REVIEW for site
Date: Sat, 17 Jul 2004 10:46:04 EDT

I have photos and ticket stub and i will send them later. Feel free to use this review on your site

BLACK SABBATH 7/16 REVIEW
I am not a middle aged Black Sabbath fan. I do not simply enjoy Sabbath shows because it reminds me of the way the band was in their ‚??prime.‚??

I am 17 years old and I go to concerts to see great shows. I have seen virtually every recent band live, some horrible, some great. Last night Black Sabbath surpassed them all.

The band was simply excellent. Ozzy is back and better than ever. He looked so happy and into the music. The charisma is there. The jumping, head banging and chants of ‚??I can‚??t fucking hear you‚?? so familiar to Ozzy fans were prevalent throughout the show. Ozzy sounded great too. He hit all the difficult notes with seeming ease such as the breakdown in nib and the War Pigs intro. As far as flubbing lyrics not once did I notice any mistakes. And if Ozzy was reading from the teleprompter at all it was not noticeable (I was 8th row center so I think I would notice).

The rest of the band sounded great as well. I am not a drummer but to me Bill Ward sounded right on the money. Geezer was maniacally thumping away at his bass just as he always has through the years. Guitar god Tony Iommi was incredible. He has added some variations to the songs to make them sound heavy and fresh while still remaining true to their classic sound. He played extended leads for many of the songs last night which was great to hear. The man is simply awesome.

I make a plea to Sharon Osbourne to never again schedule a tour with constant back to back dates but rather to book tours like this one with at least a day in between each performance. Last year Ozzy was too sick to play my Ozzfest date (the third day of back to back shows) and cancelled his performance. Other times I have seen him on stage looking absolutely miserable and exhausted and I never want to see him like that again, especially knowing that if certain people would be reasonable with his tour schedule Ozzy can still give unbelievable performances.

So that was Sabbath. I have read other reviews of this tour that say Ozzy was off key, or the band didn‚??t sound right. Maybe the band was slightly off at other shows or perhaps these people are simply out of their fucking minds. All I know is that last night Sabbath was on. After all these years the sabs are still worthy of their reign as the undisputed gods of heavy metal.

ALL RIGHT NOW!

By Steven Burg


From: Robert Murin
Subject: ozzfest 7-16-04 holmdel nj
Date: Sat, 17 Jul 2004 10:56:57 -0400

briefly--with my ears still ringing from the sonic assault that was Sabbath last night-Tony's guitar was just so thick and powerful-Ozzy looked,acted and sounded great-Geezer was rock solid as always-but Bill Ward was absolutely fucking amazing-playing, pounding, with Power and a purpose-an unforgettable performance.


From: Lady Evil
Subject: Holmdel,N.J. 7/16/04 Black Sabbath review
Date: Sat, 17 Jul 2004 12:18:09 EDT

Holmdel,New Jersey.

Tonight's setlist (the obvious missing song is sweat leaf)
War Pigs
N.I.B.
Fairies Wear Boots
Into the Void
Black Sabbath
Snowblind
Iron Man
Children of the Grave
Sabbath Bloody Sabbath intro
Paranoid

Tonight's show started off a bit unusual,lights dimmed & the crowd began screaming as Ozzy walked onstage covered in dark blue light's & began revving the crowd up running back & forth across the stage,it worked as his demands that the audience get up & go fucking crazy were politely obliged.

Then the "Pre show montage" began,A nicely put together collage of Sabbath press photo's,candid's,live shots, & magazine cover's were flashed on the video screens as a soundtrack of classic Sabbath riffs fueled the audio.

Ozzy continued rousing the crowd as this video drew to a close w/scenes from the movie Black Sabbath & a womans screams! the video screen's went black & the band got thing's going w/an awesome version of War Pigs. The band kicked in so hard & heavy it was inspiring! Geezers arms flailing wildly,Ozzy running about & Bill Hitting the drums so hard it was spine tingling,Mr.Ward even stood up for a few very fast drum fills ala Keith Moon! & Tony Iommi just forcing the riffs from his s.g.-The video screens were filled w/images of Viet Nam & WW 2 fighter pilots as well as Hitler & nazi marches Etc.during the song.

At the end of War Pigs the guys put the finishing touches on a brilliant version w/a Sabbath ending & Bill adding his "Bonham style" fills @ the end inspiring Tony & Geezer to walk towards the drumriser smiling wildly!

And to that Impressive ending of War Pigs came a very unimpressive begining to N.I.B. no bass solo or Geezer on the wah wah pedal just 1-2-3- song starts! I feel this is a let down to many fans who love Geezer's playing as much as anyone else in the band & love his classic bass solo @ the beggining of the song,most consider it a part of the song N.I.B. myself included,during which the video screens showed a goofy 3 part image of Ozzy surrounded by skulls.

After N.I.B. (another attention getting ending for Ward) Ozzy picked up a large bottle of water atleast a quart,& threw it into the crowd even that makes the crowd go nuts.

Ozzy then introduces the song "Fairies Wear Boots"which the band pulls off flawlessly! really energetic,Bill & Geezer really hold the song down while Tony does his odd jazz like playing over their ultra heavy rhythm section,another awesome song pulled off w/Ozzy jumping up & down & head banging tto this oddly timed sabbath classic.they seem to be on a roll by this point & congrats to whoever pulled the silly video that had been playing over video screens during this song the 1st three shows of San Fran tranvestites during the 70's! getting in & out of cabs & posing for the camera,really stupid,& insulting any Sabbath fan knows the song was written about skinheads.

"Into The Void" another classic master riff unveiled for the crowd & everyone's including ozzy's performance was great! & obscure enough to please even the most diehard sabbth fans like me! another perfect song! & boy heavy! "Black Sabbath" started by Ozzy simply counting 1-2-3 over & over & getting the crowd to scream & going on about New Jersey being great & so on & so on,then the rain thunder & tolling bell,& the majestic power & beauty of the doom masterpiece,this one was a spine tingler w/Bill's emotional build-ups & the power of this song when it kicks in,& the crowd just freaks when Ozzy laughs his evil laugh in the slow part.I swore Bill was gonna put his foot right through that bass drum as he stomped a fill just before the song kicks new meaning to the word heavy.

As excitment died down a bit & everyone caught their breath,Ozzy returned w/"I can't fucking hear you" several times to an ocean of ciggarette lighters he introduced "Snowblind" which was another awesome trip to yesteryear w/the boys belting it out like no tommorow,Tony Iommi's wah induced solo was truley the icing on this portion of the cake,while Ozzy seemed like he had found some "snow" running about arms in the air like we haven't seen in quite some time.while visions of Al Pacino's snowblind Tony from Scarface covered the video screen @ P.N.C. Center.

As Ozzy simply repeated Hey-Hey-Hey! w/the bass drum over & over we knew it was time for "Iron Man" which as many times as we've heard it before there is something about the original band playing that song (especially at the end) it's still powerful & impressive a real classic! & it builds up & up until they stop on a dime.

Afterwards Ozzy returned front & center to urge the crowd to chant "One More Song!" & ofcourse we'll do one more if you go fucking crazy.As well as "I can't fucking hear you" well over ten times. That segued into "Children Of The Grave" which is still one of the best song's ever written,so dark & unusual a "Sabbath signature" if ever there was one.& like the song "Black Sabbath" Bill Is the only drummer who plays the song correctly. (meaning the song retains it's original energy! it is often dead in the water w/out Bill's rolling death march) the video screens did flash some shots of tombstones & crosses during this song,now isn't that impressive? after a very impressive delivery from everyone,& another impressive ending the band took about 10 seconds before Tony Iommi returned to the stage w/his trademark gibson s.g.(he was actually playing the tony iommi model for most of this show,not the custom jb s.g.'s that he has so many of)

Tony kicks in the riff intro of "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath" & the crowd goes nut's,they like me want to hear this song,but as the band kicks in plays the 1st verse it's over before it began,& here comes "Paranoid" we know they have to right?? well they do regardless & Ozzy gets the crowd going one last time the grand finale! A really energetic performance by a legendary band & awesome audience a fitting end to a wonderful show.

& as a fitting visual to the bombastic ending fireworks go off if the distance.as Ozzy says goodnight & see you next time! & we are left to wonder next time? It was hard watching this group of childhood friends that invented a type music knowing that a little over a month ago Mike Borden was announced as drummer for this very tour!,& to know something truly evil pulls @ the strings of Sabbath these days,greed & control,by a woman that's used to being in control of every aspect of everything around her. Geezer states in the new issue of bassplayer magazine:"Playing w/Bill there is a natural chemistry that no amount of rehearsal can produce" translation-no matter how many hours are spent rehearsing w/another drummer there is only one person born to play drums in Black Sabbath & that's Bill Ward.

but lucky for me the greed monster was staved off atleast this year & I got to watch the original Black Sabbath... drummer & all & it was wonderful.

Lady Evil


From: Mark Storton
Subject: Ozzfest 2004 pnc NJ review
Date: Sat, 17 Jul 2004 12:27:15 -0400

OK, I gotta say I was blown away by sabbs.

Those of you that didnt go to the pnc gig missed an amazing evening. The pnc is an amazing little venue and sabbs totally rocked it out.I m a huge sabbs fan have been for years. Im from england and moved to the US in 93 to go to college here. I have seen ozzy numerous times but never the original sabbs and so for me to see the original and best line up was a dream come true. I have never seen the pnc so full before, even the lawn was packed. The sound was loud clear and awesome , the set list great but short (down to old age maybe?) and the arena was literally shaking from the 15th row center ( i snuck in from the right front orchestra) when black sabbath the song was playing.

Amazing

Mark Storton aka Exiled Yorkie


From: Larry Podoshen
Subject: review for 7/16 - PNC Arts Center
Date: Sat, 17 Jul 2004 10:40:20 -0700 (PDT)

I was at the Ozzfest show in Jersey last night - it was a great show. Fortunately, there wasn't any of the Bush/Hitler stuff I read about for previous shows - just a short video montage of random Black Sabbath pictures and album covers, ending with a clip of the old Black Sabbath movie. The set list was the same as the other nights - even down to the "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath" encore tease. Same for Judas Priest, who were also great.

Slayer was good too - much better than in '99. They did ten songs - starting with God Hates Us All and ending with Raining Blood. In between were (I don't remember the order): War Ensemble, Die By The Sword, Payback, Mandatory Suicide, Chemical Warfare, South Of Heaven, Dead Skin Mask, and a real fast one I'm not sure of (maybe Dittohead?).


From: Diego Pivoz
Subject: Ozzfest 2004 - PNC Holmdel NJ July 16
Date: Sat, 17 Jul 2004 14:32:12 -0400

Well, that day came when I finally saw Black Sabbath with Ozzy....I think that makes it for me, I have pretty much seen all my heros live, but this was too sweet. I have seen Sabbath before (with Dio in the Dehumanizer tour) and that was an AMAZING show, but the original line up is the original line up and it is something that cannot be explained, you must have listened to the records for years, know every cue, nuance, riff, etc. Anyway, I went to see three bands only (Slayer & the Priest been the other two) and wasn't lucky for Slayer (got there too late). The Priest were great, but this is a review for the Sabbs, so here we go. Once the Priest was done (they went down really well...) a huge curtain with the flying devil logo of Sabbath was unveiled, covering the stage, while the roadies were preparing everything. A friend of mine went to the Jones Beach show and had told me about the setlist and the War Pigs vid, but first things first. What's wrong with audiences in America? Black Sabbath was about to start the show and everybody was still getting drunk or too drunk to show up on their seats.....pathetic! The biggest band in the history of Heavy Rock and it has to play for a bunch of drunks........sad but true. Anyway, with the curtain still on, Ozzy starts ranting on the mic, doing the usual Ozzy stuff ("Are you crazy?" "Let's go crazy!"). Then a great video follows with bits of a lot of songs from the Ozzy years and pics intertwined with the "Black Sabbath" movie.....great! Then, the figures of Geezer, Ozzy and Tony are projected into the curtain creating a great shadow effect, very well done. The intro kicks in "Supertzar" and Ozzy plays shadow figures pretending he is jacking off with the mike....hilarious! The curtain is revealed and they start with War Pigs. My friend that went to Jones Beach told me about the war scenes video, with Hitler and WWII scenes, but also Iraq bombing and apparently there was a pic of George W and Hitler and the saying "Same shit, different assholes".....never saw it, but I bet was there because the vid screen went black on a number of occasions....question is why it was taken out....Sharon? Black Sabbath being politically correct? Come on! I was really looking forward to it. The band sounded great, Ozzy was great (taken into consideration the accident and the obvious wear and tear from the booze and drug fueled years....) , Tony amazing, Geezer incredible but I want to mention my favorite which is Mr. Bill Ward. The guy was almost not invited to play, is fat, grey hair, whatever you say: THIS GUY FUCKING ROCKS!!!!! He destroyed the drum set, I could not take my eyes off him, now I get it why they keep saying that the original line up has this special thing....it is the fucking playing of these three animals!!!! Well, I was in trance, could not believe my eyes. I have seen almost everybody and this is in the top three or even higher. Another comment: SWEET LEAF was taken out of the playlist. Why? I don't fucking know. I was pissed off with that also. Finally, during the encore (Paranoid) a huge chunk of the audience was gone....what the fuck? what is going on America??????? Probably I will catch the end of the tour in West Palm Beach. The Sabbs deserve it.


From: Joe Miele
Subject: Ozzfest 2004 - PNC Arts Center
Date: Sun, 18 Jul 2004 12:48:33 -0400

I've been seeing Sabbath every chance I get since my first show on 5/17/82. I'm no expert, but I've been to about a dozen shows or so and have seen Sabbath in many different incarnations.

This was a very divided show with Tony & Geezer being brilliant, and Ozzy & Bill struggling to keep up. All in all, it was a disappointment. It was not as bad as the debacle at the Meadowlands when Glenn Hughes choked and wheezed his way through a miserable show in the late 80's, but it was far from polished.

Ozzy's accident must have really sucked the life out of him because the only energy the poor guy could muster was to soak his head in a bucket of water and flick back his hair, exposing a puffy, swollen face. His voice sounded strained, as if it was taking all his energy to croak out the songs. He was clearly laboring and putting a lot of effort into getting his lungs to push out a little bit of air so his vocal cords would vibrate. Ozzy needs a rest.

Bill Ward struggled from the opening moments of War Pigs, missing several key beats where the guitars kick in after the high-hat play. For the rest of the show, he seemed like a drummer on an audition for a band with a higher level of musicianship. His style of play fits Sabbath like no other drummer could, but it seems that he left his chops at home for this tour.

Geezer was brilliant. There are so many bass players who only wish that with all their technical expertise and fret-smoking finger work they could get a sound that comes close to what Geezer has done in his career. His pounding behind Iommi's leads in "Into the Void" was an amazing example of the bedrock that makes Sabbath the greatest band of all time.

Tony Iommi is the master of doom. There are others who play faster, and others who play cleaner. But no one - no one at all - plays heavier. Tony Iommi is the standard to which all other metal guitarists must be measured. No one in the genre does as much with six strings as Tony does. He simply takes all others to school when he straps on the SG.

Tony's leads cut through with a little too much top end (sort of reminiscent of the Born Again album), but it was vintage Sabbath nonetheless.

The set list was a major disappointment:

a.. War Pigs
a.. N.I.B.
a.. Fairies Wear Boots
a.. Into the Void
a.. Black Sabbath
a.. Snowblind
a.. Iron Man
a.. Children of the Grave
a.. Paranoid (w/ Sabbath Bloody Sabbath intro)

Not for anything, but I've heard these same songs so many times that it would have been good for them to vary the set list a little more. I understand that may of the non-Sabbath heads want to hear War Pigs, Iron Man and Paranoid, but would it have been so bad to throw in Tomorrow's Dream instead of N.I.B.? How about Symptom of the Universe in place of Fairies Wear Boots? Never Say Die instead of Children Of The Grave? And please, there's got to be room in there somewhere for Dirty Women. Sabbath has such a brilliant back catalog that it would have been easy to blow us all away by throwing in something simple like Thrill of it All.

But they played it safe and what came from their caution was a predictable, almost routine show; it did not bomb, but neither did it soar. Take some chances, boys. Even if it does not work out to perfection we'll love you all the more for wanting to give us something that we have not heard in a while. Dust off Sabotage and Technical Ecstasy. There is some great material on those albums.


From: Ricky Woods
Subject: Ozzfest 2004 - PNC Arts Center
Date: Sun, 18 Jul 2004 12:48:33 -0400

I would have to say Priest stole the night. Halfords voice was in great shape and he hit about 90+ percent of the high notes right on. The band was tight and the song selection was great.They played everything from the July 12th show plus Green Manalishi. Slayer was good but I've seen them better. (I've seen Slayer about 12 times over the years) Song selection was good but not great. On to Sab: Ozzy was a bit shaky early. He was singing War Pigs out of key the whole song. It wasn't the old school cracking either, he was sharp consistently like the band tuned down and he was singing in standard. N.I.B was only a bit better, but then by Fairies he was getting back into form and was good the rest of the night. Geezer was solid as usual and I could really hear what he was playing, not just the bottom end rumble which happens so often at concerts. Bill was solid as well. Tony was amazing as usual. The constant professional player and the dignified stage presence he has is incredible. I gota real kick during the introductions when Ozzy got down on his knees and bowed to Tony and stated that "This is the guy who wrote all our songs man!" It was nice to see Oz acknowledge Tony like that. Musically the band was very tight most of the show but the set was too short. They cut Sweet Leaf out of the set and didn't replace it with anything. Priest played a good while and Sabbath played like 50 minutes. No rare cuts either and as the earlier setlists have shown, nothing after Vol.4.

Take care Joe,

Ricky
www.RickyWoods.com


From: Ken Dreitlein
Subject: OZZFEST in NJ
Date: Mon, 19 Jul 2004 12:34:56 -0400

I thought I'd drop a line about the show in Holmdel NJ this past Friday. It was absolutely amazing to see and hear how much Sabbath blew every band there that day clear off the stage. They sounded amazing! Ozzy could really sing! I haven't heard his voice this strong in years. Yes, he croaked 3 times in total but other than that, perfection! Tony played a much longer solo for "Black Sabbath" that was truly killer. Geezer pounded his bass into submission all night and I hate to say it but Bill Ward is still grossly overweight and I can't help but worry about his health. Sabbath proved that they are the best heavy metal band of all time! Priest was weak but I expect them to get tighter with another month of shows. Slayer was Slayer and Super Joint Ritual was SJR. You knew what to expect. BLS killed and Dimmu Borgir almost stole the show but no one could dispute Black Sabbath was the best of the day. It just goes to prove, whatever comes first is the best and anything after is just a waste. Like Edison made the light bulb, now what?

Love your site, keep up the great work!


From: Quad The Ranter
Subject: Concert Review
Date sent: Fri, 23 Jul 2004 21:33:52 EDT

This review originally appeared online here.

I wasnít even supposed to go to this one.

To make a long story short (because too much happened during the day), I didnít really want to go because I thought tickets were all sold out. Then I went to a cool CD store that sold tickets and bought a ticket for myself. It cost me a good 70 bucks to go. My other two friends spent much more than I did. That would be the very last purchase I would make at that CD store, because they moved somewhere in Jersey. Now there isnít a good mom and pop CD store on the island anymore (well, for my needs anyway).

INTO THE VOID

I remember getting almost no sleep the night before, mostly because I felt like a kid on Christmas Eve waiting for the fat guy in red. With only 4 going on 5 hours of sleep, I went to my friends house and waited for my friend Mike to arrive.

We got there surprisingly fast. I always thought PNC was a 2 hour drive, but apparently not. As we approached the vicinity, we could see people barbecuing, screaming, and drinking. Who the hell drinks at ten in the morning? Apparently, these fans do.

WILD NIGHTS, HOT AND CRAZY DAYS

I never been to an Ozzfest before, and neither did Lauren, so we were both surprised at everything we saw.

Just think of one of those local carnivals and fairs you go to. There were games galore: basketball, darts, kick someone in the face with a soccer ball, all of the classics. One game of interest was a drumming game Ė who could score the most points (by bashing the shit out of the drums). Being a drummer, Mike went up and tried it. The record for the day was 342. Mike got 340. Talk about dissapointment, yet exciting. There were also many stands for promotional thingies like Stacker 2 drinks and mints. These mints were supposed to give you a burst of energy. Apparently, they worked, because there were many instances in this 13 hour day of mine in which I was running strictly on caffeine fumes.

They also served loads of alcohol, but I made the mistake of not bringing my ID on me. Although looking back, it was not that big of a mistake, as beer was 7 bucks a glass. Can you say, rip-off?

COME AND GET IT

They were selling CDs at Ozzfest for everyone: Judas Priest, Slayer, Black Sabbath, Slipknot, etc. It was then that I noticed that certain band members were signing CDs. Anyone from Black Sabbath and Judas Priest? Ö no. Damn. Wait, Slayer was signing CDsÖ

Now, I am not a Slayer fan. To me, I thought Slayer goes way overboard with their music on many levels. However, I heard very little on Slayer and even read that they arenít really Devil Worshippers and such. And if listening to metal has taught me anything in the past four years, itís to give it a try before you judge something.

My logic was this: I have been teetering on buying Reign in Blood for about a few weeks now. Probably the only reason why I didnít buy it is because of lack of funds. I did have a decent amount of money on me, so I decided to buy it. I figured if I liked it, I would have an awesome souvenir that was autographed, and was cheaper than a shirt. I figured if I hated Slayer that much, I would sell the autographed CD and make a small profit off it (Editors note: After listening to the CD, I am most likely not selling it despite the flaws).

So now it was 1PM, and Slayer was coming at 3:30. I had absolutely nothing to do from now til then. Whatís worse, I had this CD to carry with me from now til I left the place at 11PM.

HELL BENT FOR LEATHER

I saw a motorcycle chained near the stage. The license plate was from Georgia. Could that be the infamous Harley that was owned by Halford? Ö Ö probably not, but hey. Just a thought.

RAW DEAL / WHO ARE YOU?

Now, I had nothing to do for 2 hours. I bet many of you will be saying, ďWhy not check out the bands?Ē I did. Actually, I checked out quite a few of them. It seems to me that most bands donít really sing anymore. Instead, they sound like two dogs ripping each other apart while constipated. I canít stand bands that think theyíre hardcore, that think they are so talented when they sound like theyíre taking a crap. Had it not been for Black Sabbath and Judas Priest, I would have never come to Ozzfest. Some of these bands are well known, and others were really Indie. My only thoughts to them all are is that itís quite obvious that people donít even know good music anymore. Most other genres are crap, and from the looks of it, most of this new metal was crap, too.

I basically walked around, looking at the radio stations that had a tent set up, I even slept on the grass for a few, but that was way too hot and strenuous.

AM I GOING INSANE?

Eventually, after much waiting and ignoring all these ďIím too good to speak coherentlyĒ bands, 3:30 finally arrived. I was happy as all hell, as I finally going to get the finishing touches on my souvenir CD.

But problems arose: No one from Slayer was around. And thus I waited a good hour in the blaring hot sun, getting more delirious as time went on. That sun was hotter than hell (no pun intended). Around 4:30 only one member from Slayer was present: Kerry King. It was good enough for me, as I have read many things about Kerry King.

I donít know why I said this, but as it became my turn, I asked this:

Me: How long did it take you to get good at guitar?

Kerry King: Iím still working on it.

He smiled and gave me my autograph. Again, I donít have a real idea why I said that, but I think I was getting delirious and felt the need to ask something. I kept writing the future rant in my head over and over and felt the need to ask something. I think I asked because I myself am trying to get better at guitar, and what better way to get that question answered from a famous guitarist. Ironic that King was friendly as hell to me (no pun intended, either).

Now as this was going along, my friends were at the second stage listening to Slipknot. I wanted to listen to them, but I only heard dribs and drabs of them because I was waiting on line for an hour. Fortunately, the line wasnít far from the second stage, so I did have an opportunity to listen to them. I also listened to them on the way over (as Mike and Lauren love them). I canít say I like them, to be honest, mostly because of the vocals. Moreover, the two drummers is a bit overkill, and the lyrics (when I could understand them) were so angsty they were probably written by 12 year old kids screaming at their mommy and daddy as to why they couldnít see Slipknot in the first place.

After getting a much needed real drink (and not any of those shots of stacker 2), I noticed that people were heading towards the main stage. Curious, I decided to take a look.

DONíT START (TOO LATE)

Black Label Society was playing apparently, and they really didnít sound bad at all. Their music was the best music I heard all day thus far.

Sadly, I only saw them for two songs. Crap.

Thus, the next band came on, named Superjoint Ritual. A familiar name from Pantera, Phil Anselmo, was doing vocalsÖ horribly. He sounded pretty much like every other band I heard thus far. I liked how he goes, ďAnyone who doesnít like us is a pussy!!!Ē Guess being a pussy means liking bands that have someone singing and not taking a shit onstage. Needless to say, I decided to walk around a bit.

INSERT BAD GEORGE W BUSH JOKES HERE.

Iíll leave that to Whoopi Goldberg.

Walking around, something cool happened.

A bush went on fire. What was weird was a guy that was 3 feet away was asleep. He wasnít moving at all. Guards were slapping him but he wouldnít budge. Some people thought to be brave and poured their drink on the fire. Thank God beer isnít too flammable, or the park would have went down in flames, and I wouldnít have seen Black Sabbath live and thus, Iíd be really pissed off.

Doesnít have much to do with the music, but hey; cool things happen all the time. You just need to know where to look.

THE THRILL OF IT ALL

Speaking of knowing where to look, have you ever had something in the corner of your eye that you find hard to believe, but when you look closer, youíre seeing something amazing? I had a similar experience. I was on the top of the field, where I was looking over the gate. And then something caught my eye.

That ďSomethingĒ was Zakk Wylde. In the flesh. Drinking Beer with people by the gate.

I literally dropped my ridiculously expensive soda and ran down there as fast as I could. I got there in time. I was now THREE FUCKING INCHES FROM ZAKK WYLDE.

ďI gotta share a beer with this guy!Ē a random person in the crowd got a beer and both the guy and Zakk shared the beer. I kept screaming for an autograph but a guard pushed me out of the way. Zakk left without signing my ticket stub. ďHeíll come back,Ē the guard said, but I immediately knew that was bullshit. As I saw him walking away out of the parking lot, I just shrugged it off saying, ďYou canít get them all.Ē Besides, Slayer, Judas Priest, and Black Sabbath were coming up.

SLAYER: CRIMINALLY INSANE

I always thought the crowds for Linkin Park were some of the worst crowds. I knew that would change very shortly.

When Slayer came on, I expected a mosh pit. There wasnít one mosh pit. There werenít two, either. There were THREE mosh pits, and the stage area wasnít as big as other stadiums I have been to. People were going fucking crazy. I wisely decided not to brave the mosh pits in Slayer, because I knew I probably wouldnít have came back alive to write this rant. Even though I stayed away, people around me were still violent. This one dude was punching the air while violently headbanging, and if he went any crazier, I probably would have reached the receiving end of it.

As for the music itself, it did sound like most other bands (in terms of speed), but with one major difference: Tom Araya didnít sound like he was taking a dump onstage. There were guitar solos. It was actually heavy metal. The sheer speed made me realize that metal needs a band like this. Even if they are twisted and violent. We need a band that goes to the extreme on every regard. I am not talking about extreme as in all those bands that seem extreme with skateboarding and teenage angst. I am talking about the real deal here. Are you reading this, Metallica?

While I am not an avid Slayer fan, I do not think they are bad either, as they were better than any other band before it (except Black Label Society).

But of course, the two most important bands in metal were ready to take the stage. Behold them in all their glory.

JUDAS PRIEST: METAL GODS

I quickly ran like hell to find a bathroom, as I didnít want my bladder to attack me in the middle of Rob Halford kicking my ass. Afterwards, I went back to the front of the field, where I had a good side view of the entire stage.

The lights dimmed in the middle of AC/DCís Back in Black. This was it. I was about to see one of the greatest front men ever.

SETLIST: (No Particular Order)

The Hellion/ Electric Eye
Metal Gods
A Touch of Evil
The Sentinel
Painkiller
Living After Midnight
Breaking the Law
Victim of Changes
Hell Bent for Leather
The Green Manalishi
Beyond the Realms of Death
You Got Another Thing Coming

The first song played was The Hellion/Electric Eye, and that is EXACTLY how I envisioned Judas Priest starting out. It was also the first song that pulled me into Judas Priest in the first place.

Rob Halford was really amazing. Halford reminded me a lot like Dio and Bruce Dickinson; their voices rarely ever changed and sounded worse as they got older. The only song Halford didnít sound so great on was (surprise) Painkiller. Then again, I heard that he doesnít do well with that song period. Methinks that song had touched up vocals on the album.

The set list, however, does have some flaws. Most of the songs on here were to be expected (IE: Hell Bent for Leather). Now, Judas Priest came on after Slayer, so you would think that they would play some of their faster songs. Not really. Victim of Changes, Metal Gods, and especially a Touch of Evil should have not been played. Even though they are good songs, faster songs would have made the crowd even more excited, especially when a lightning fast metal band came on before it. Songs like Metal Meltdown, Screaming for Vengeance, Eat Me Alive, Freewheel Burning, Rapid Fire, Exciter, Turbo Lover, Nightcrawler, Diamonds and Rust, and Devilís Child would have been much better replacements. On Painkiller, the only songs played were A touch of Evil and Painkiller. That album is really fast and heavy, so why did they choose the slowest song on Painkiller? A touch of evil is the reason why I didnít give Painkiller a 10; because it brought the overall speed down a notch or two.

Of course, the Harley was there. I couldnít really tell if that was the Harley I saw before. It probably was. Either way, it was amazing to see him riding the motorcycle onstage, mostly because it occurred as an encore. Long Live the metal god!

Halford promised there would be another studio album, and I was ultimately pleased. The original Priest doing another album. Life couldnít get better.

Oh wait. I forgot. There was a band getting ready to play that was bigger than Judas Priest (if that's possible): Black Sabbath.

BLACK SABBATH: LORD OF THIS WORLD

No kidding.

I was talking to this kid, and he said he saw Ozzfest a few days earlier and said that Ozzy was really in bad shape. I joked saying they could always get Kelly Osbourne to do it. He said to "not even fucking joke about that." He was really pissed at the remake of changes, too. You gotta love the real metal fans.

A big purple sheet with the Black Sabbath logo was put up; so I couldnít see the band set up. Then a few minutes later, I hear a voice: ďGO FUCKING CRAZY!Ē Guess who it was. Come on. Iíll give you 10 guesses, and the first 9 donít count.

After Ozzy was making the crowd whistle and scream, everything went dead. What the hell was going on? A good 10 minutes later, Ozzy was starting in again, only the sheet was starting to move.

This was it. I was waiting for this moment for a good three and a half years.

SETLIST: (in Order)

War Pigs
NIB
Faeries Wear Boots
Into the Void
Black Sabbath
Snowblind
Iron Man
Children of the Grave
(Sabbath Bloody Sabbath)/Paranoid

The reason why Sabbath Bloody Sabbath is in parenthesis was because it was technically not played; just the beginning of it.

As for the set list, I have two words for you: No surprises.

I expected the usual Paranoid/War Pigs/ Iron Man routine. It wouldnít be a Black Sabbath show without it. However, I am a little upset that they didnít do anything beyond Volume 4. I am a lot less upset than I am letting on, mostly because this is the first time I ever saw Black Sabbath live, and to hear these songs live in concert was a pleasure. Had this been my second time, I would have been a little peeved. Thing is, Black Sabbath had so many hits, and many of them were on Sabotage and on Sabbath Bloody Sabbath. Why were these albums ignored? I know this is a reunion of sorts but still; donít ignore the best material. I wasnít expecting Ozzy to sing stuff like Neon Knights and Heaven and Hell, but come on. Go beyond the first four albums. Every song on that list I gave full credit to in my music reviews. They were all awesome live.

As for overall performances? I am surprised myself.

Almost everything was flawless. The only part that was slightly flawed was when some songs were tuned down slightly in tone. On the whole though, each band member, unlike on their Reunion CD, performed flawlessly. For Tony and Geezer, that is nothing new. For Ozzy and Bill, that is, because they are both declining musicians physically.

Bill played everything virtually perfect and sounded a hell of a lot better than he did on Reunion; a CD that was made a good 7 years ago. Ozzy, however, was the biggest surprise. Ozzy sounded like he gave up his last ounce of strength to sing his ass off. Oh yeah, he sang his ass off alright, because apparently, his pants ďaccidentallyĒ fell down. Ozzy didnít forget the words. He didnít sound like he was struggling. He acted as if he were hypnotized and sang perfectly.

There is something I always saw in Ozzy during his shows that I experienced on hand for the first time: I wanted to be at Ozzfest, and apparently, so did Ozzy. Ozzy was probably one of the only front men I have seen that looked truly excited to be singing. I have to give Ozzy tremendous credit; I can see why Black Sabbath did so well with him: he was a hell of a showman. Ozzy just loved getting the people to react and laugh. Thatís how it should be. I have a new found respect for Ozzy because of the performance.

AFTER FOREVER

I knew the last song was going to be Paranoid. You just know it. Seeing similarities to the set list of the show and Reunion, I knew when it was time to leave. Thus, as it was being played, I got ready to bail. Not because I didnít want to hear it, but because getting out of the concert was going to be hell; and for the last time, no pun intended.

As I waited for my friends to show up (because at this point we were separated for a good 8 hours), they were both surprisingly silent. Few words were spoken between us, especially me. At this point, my neck was sore from the massive headbanging (I messed up my neck during Faeries Wear Boots), and I could barely talk due to the massive screaming and inhaling 2nd hand tobacco and pot smoke. Lauren did have some negative comments for Judas Priest, which sort of upset me. She said that all the screaming gave her a headache. She does have a point to an extent (Halford wailed like a banshee on several songs), but coming from someone who enjoys the likes of Slipknot, I am not buying it. Mike enjoyed Priest though. Neither of them had comments on Black Sabbath, and I didnít want to know because I didnít want either to bash Sabbath. It was bad enough to hear how much she hated Judas Priest.

I was going to type my thoughts the second I came home, but I was so physically weakened I couldnít do anything for a good 48 hours.

EVERYDAY COMES AND GOES

Looking back at the concert, It probably one of the best concerts of my life, and probably one of the best moments of my life, too. I always felt a little alienated because of the music I listen to. I am the only person I know that enjoys Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Dio, Ozzy, Kiss, Rainbow, etc. And to be surrounded by people that lived, eat, and breathed all of this stuff was quite a pleasure.