Live Review: Ozzfest 2000

photos and words by bushman

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LOTS of bands. Lots of metal. Lots of fucked up people ingesting more ‘party’ by 1:00 in the afternoon than most college keggers on a Saturday night. Metal is so cool.

The $20 for parking was NOT cool. That’s downright thievery after the hefty ticket price. I’m not sure if its that way on every stop, but San Bernardino Blockbuster Pavilion thinks that’s a fair price so adjust your concert going schedules accordingly. We asked the parking attendant if she thought that was a fair price. She just looked at me with a, “I’d smack you if I thought I’d get away with it” glare and waived us on.

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Incubus was the first band we saw (meaning between our natural lag, the drive from SD to SB, and the convenient $20, mile and a half away parking – our arrival was delayed severely). Glad we didn’t miss Incubus as they always represent with style, precision and thick presence. They are one of those bands that people who don’t even necessarily like that band, always give props to after seeing them live. And they are phenomenal if you are familiar with their work. They were phenomenal today. Through gracious powers that be (thanks Jennifer M.!) we had some choice seats. Surrounded by a lot of empty seats. Fans are a football field away in the grass.

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Even by the time Ozzy hit the stage hours later, you could still easily spot empty seats scattered about. Shame. Because Incubus (along with pretty much EVERY band I saw today) was excellent…but distant. As opposed to…

The Side Stage. Which was very un-strategically placed way around the other side of the main stage forcing the masses to herd themselves through the narrow corridor of concessions. So if you wanted to see a band on the side stage, you would have completely missed a whole set on the main stage. They ran the sets so as when one was ending, the other was starting, but it was impossible to get there. I gave up the latter part of the Incubus as to get some pictures of Kittie on the side stage. Which was packed with Kittie fans (all giving up the opportunity to see Static-X which is an impressive feat in itself). Imagine being 17 years old and already put in tours with Slipknot and now was playing the final show of the OzzFest tour. These girls from Canada have worked for the mass of crowd that was gathered; mostly busy shouting, “Fallon!” They only have one album worth of material, but they play as hard as they can every time and the passion shows. “Brackish” always gets the best reaction and today was no exception. Tight set and I was impressed by the crowd’s enthusiasm (all of which gave up Static-X! to see Kittie). And their average age is 17. I think their sound in general walks too closely to Coal Chamber, but I like the live sets and anticipate a future for the Kittie.

Morgan Lander. Kittie on Ozzefest 2000. Photo: Bushman
Fallon Bowman. Kittie on Ozzefest 2000. Photo: Bushman
Morgan’s reaction to seeing their cover of Modern Fix Issue #1.

Stuck around on the side stage for Soulfly. Best move of the day. This band is so brutal. Loud, tight, crush, yell, pummel, spit, scream. Soulfly. They’ve got a new album. And they’ve got Mikey Doling from Snot. What was great, now is spectacular. “Eye For An Eye” opened the show and the pit blew apart immediately. Bodies came crashing over the barricade continuously. The crowd was smacked about by Soulfly viciously. And that was what I (we) had come for. Music that just knocks us on our ass. Soulfly did that.

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I heard Static-X also did that (being “the best I’ve ever seen them” from a friend who saw them back when they were still just “Static”). I’ve no doubt this is true.

I never liked Godsmack. They are really good live. Amazingly good. I still don’t care for their music, but they are a great live band. I had fun. I knew songs and I’ve never owned their album (but, oh, I have heard it). I still don’t like Godsmack’s music. The band, kicks ass.

And then, I suspect a whole generation of upstart metal kids got their first lesson in metal. Pantera. Fan or not, stand in the midst of a Pantera show, and try to deny that this is rampant. They played, “Yesterday Don’t Mean Shit” from their newest and it was razor sharp. They taunted the audience. They boasted of being the “Kings of Metal” (but of course giving props to Ozzy as being the “God of Metal”). They are arrogant, tattered and usually drunk. I love this band. They dominated the show at OzzFest 1997 in Vegas, and they HAD this crowd from crunch one. They are so metal, they can have a huge iron Pantera logo that bursts into giant flames during their set. In classic, “fuck that” Pantera humor, they started to play, “Cemetery Gates” which is the closest thing Pantera has ever done in the way of a ballad (basically pretty sweet guitar picking intro with crooning vocals, and then riff in crunch ala Pantera). But after the first pause break, singer Phil Anselmo broke in, “Fuck That. We’re not playing it.” And then they blasted into, “Fucking Hostile”. Intense. I heard it was at this time the grass area became scary with large tribes circling fires, sporadic clan battles and a general sense of human decay that results from smoking, drinking, snorting, drinking, smoking for the last 4-7 hours. Truly an inspiring sight. And then stir it all up with some Pantera driven aggression. It doesn’t get much more crazy. The long time Pantera crowd was not disappointed, and I dare say some youngin’s got schooled.

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Pantera plays… chaos erupts

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Ozzy is the institution. I’ve seen many a time. I don’t think it will ever be as tight as last years OzzFest with completely re-united Black Sabbath. But Ozzy is always a good time. I must comment on one aspect though. Ozzy has really taken this whole, “Squirt you with my various water cannons” thing way too far. For one, everyone burned in the sun all day long, and now it was nighttime in the desert in front of seating. No pits. And these giant water cannons would dump gallons of water on people (although standing) in their seats. And Ozzy would blast’em with his cannon a lot. I mean, A LOT. Then this giant seat came descending from the ceiling. Ozzy crawled into it and it started to rise back up in the air (all during an interlude in a song during which the band would ‘jam’ while Ozzy was busy with this). The chair was equipped with a giant gun that shot…water. Throw in a water slide and this would be the COOLEST water park in the world. I am sure some of the crowd appreciated it. It was just worked into the set like a prop. Anyway, Ozzy songs. Interrupted often with, “Let me see your hands” and “I want to see you fucking go crazy”. At least twice per song. Mostly, people responded.

If they didn’t, he nailed them with some more water. Good set though. Wet.

OzzFest 2000 was again the loudest, most badass tour of the summer. If you don’t like the genre of music, throw all the stones you want. But if loud fast rules is for you, this IS the tour of the summer. So much talent in one day. Blockbuster Pavilion isn’t my favorite place to see something like this, but the lineup was choice. This tour was created when metal was a bad word in the market industry. But it never went away. And after numerous years of OzzFest being one of the most successful summer tours, the genre has seen a huge rebirth. Proving that if you just stick to what you know, you will succeed. A moral lesson within the OzzFest ideal. I feel enlightened and the ringing in my ears has stopped. Another great OzzFest ticket stub to add to the collection.