Monday, November 26, 2007

Ozzy Osbourne/ Rob Zombie/ In This Moment, Winnipeg, Oct. 27, 2007, MTS Centre

audience: 11,500
Ozzy 3/5
Rob Zombie 4.5/5
In The Moment 3/5

Overall, I would rate this concert 3.5/5.

Ozzy played about two or three songs from his weak new album. Classic material heard included Crazy Train, I Don't Know, Mr. Crowley, Suicide Solution, Bark At The Moon, the ballad, Mama I'm Coming Home and Black Sabbath's Paranoid. Not so classic material played - Fire In the Sky, Not Going Away, I Don't Wanna Stop. Missing were favorties Over The Mountain, Flying High Again, Iron Man, No More Tears, The Ultimate Sin, Miracle Man and Journey To The Centre of Eternity. Ozzy is a nostalgia act, like many veteran artists, and as such, he continues to survive and draw fans largely based on the strength of his best material, as opposed to his new releases.

Ozzy's vocals were all right. Fortunately for us, he didn't take his shirt off like he did the last time I saw him, about 8 years ago. He looked like he came from a workout with his black outfit appearing as sweats and a sweatband across his head. Throughout Ozzy's set, there was a video camera panning the crowd, which stopped on a woman who was jiggling her breasts. She noticed herself on camer, and pulled her puppeis out to the delight of many. Of course, a few other exhibitionists decided to pull up their tops for camera, including this one woman standing with her girlfriend beside me. One guy in front of me realized that the camera was showing a woman with red horns and turned around to confirm that it was this young woman by me. He pointed towards her bare boobs with his full arm, obviously enjoying the scene and then decided to take a few steps towards her, to get into the party by copping a feel. Well, her friend was having none of that and sternly slapped his hand away. As usual, Ozzy spent a fair amount of time trying to get the audience fired up with his constant beckon on "Make some f**king noise. I can't f**king hear you!" I know Zakk Wylde is a guitar hero to many and is successful with his own band, Black Label Society, but....his ten-minute guitar solo was woefully lame. Maybe I'm spoiled after having seen Eric Clapton solo brilliantly without appearing to break much of a sweat. In comparison, the kilted Wylde was about as good as the guys from Twisted Sister. Randy Rhoads, I miss you.

Rob Zombie played like a headliner and his stage set up was easily the best that I've seen a supporting act perform with, not to mention the endless flames that blasted out in synch with the music. The set boasted six video screens which accompanied all the songs with scary and campy animation and snippets from films, including Zsombie's own The Devil's Rejects. Most of the footage seemed to revolve around vampires, zombies, werewolves, Herman Munster and most common of all, breasts, some clothed, some not, but all jiggling. I'm only familiar with one Rob Zombie song, Dragula. I thought the first song he played was it, but it was saved for the latter point of the show. Zombie's set opened up with the band wearing skull masks, which reminded me of how the last Alice Cooper show began, with the band in masks. The drum kit was on a platform around 20ft in the air, and the platform itself appeared to be a Japanese demon face, almost "Simpsonized." Early on in the set, during More Human Than Human, a 10ft tall robot walked on stage and proceed to thrash around and pursue the musicians. Of course, this is straight out of the Iron Maiden playbook as they came up with the gimmick over two decades ago with their mascot Eddie. Helping out with vocals and eye candy were two scantily clad female singers. Tracks played included American Witch, Demon Speeding, Livin Dead Girl .

With constant visual spectacle, Rob Zombie is tailor made for today's masses of attention-deficit fans who need relentless shock and awe in order to have a great time.

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