SHOW REVIEW: A Sick Man's Review of Ozzfest '98
Sony Blockbuster E-Center -- Camden, New Jersey
By: Jeff Lockwood
It was a lovely Saturday morning on Penn's Landing in Philadelphia. Happy families were boarding the ferry for the four minute ride to the Camden Aquarium just across the Delaware River in New Jersey, the local independent radio station, WXPN, was hosting its popular annual Singer/Songwriter Weekend at Penn's Landing which usually showcases folk-type bands and even the homeless people preceded their begging with the word "please." Oh, what a lovely day in the City of Brotherly Love!
While I was basking in my new found joy, something started to change. The happy families were starting to be outnumbered by people wearing tattoos and people wearing mullet haircuts. Some of them even wore mullets and tattoos. The stink from the Delaware River started to become rather noticeable and strange grumbling began to emanate from just beyond the Aquarium. Yes, Ozzfest was in town.
For the second year in a row, Ozzy Ozzbourne is criss-crossing the united states with his personal festival - aptly titled Ozzfest. It seems as if every genre of music has assembled a festival type tour offering a good slice of bands. This particular traveling circus of metal includes newer bands such as Soulfly, Coal Chamber and Incubus as well as more established bands such as Ozzy, of course, Tool, Megadeath and second stage headliners, Motorhead. The day started out early yes 11:00 am is early for some people.
The symptoms of my cold combined with the blistering heat caused me to leave the festival before Motorhead, Tool, Megadeath and Ozzy. Sorry Ozzy, the mucus in my head was just too much, but here is a brief rundown of the bands that really stuck out in my mind.
On the eve of the World Cup finals, Soulfly donned Brazilian paraphernalia in fine style. Max Cavelara, formerly of the Brazilian metal masters, Sepultura, and his new band completely rocked. Heavy, wet and original, Soulfly, pardon the pun, had the most soul of any band that played today. Soulfly are not into the metal for the sake of being in metal, it comes from the soul. The Soulfly concert t-shirts are fashioned after the Brazilian National Soccer team jerseys. They even had the number of Renaldo, the star of the Brazilian team. Too bad that Brazil was decimated by France the next day.
Limp Bizkit won the Most Contact with the Audience Award. Positioned on the main stage, the lead singer decided to take a stroll through the audience while singing right in time with the band. He did not remain under the pavilion. He made his way up on the lawn and back down on to the stage. Limp Bizkit blends hip-hop and metal with a very raw edge. Jumping around on stage was what these fellows were all about.
Many people would say the members that make up the band Coal Chamber are very disturbed individuals. They might be correct in their mindless labeling, but it did not matter today. I could see a bright smile hiding behind the jet black hair and tattooed face of vocalist Dez. Coal Chamber was the only band at this testosterone crazed event that had a female as part of the band. They played a quick set that had much of the lawn spectators swirling in a dancing frenzy.
I must admit that I am rather envious of the Melvin's frontman, Buzz. He has some big ass hair and lots of it. I am sure that the comparison to Sideshow Bob, from The Simpsons, has been made before, but it sure fits. Boutique talk aside, the Melvins had the most "rock" sound going today. The sound emanating from this trio was much bigger than the second stage could handle, but then again, I liked the intimacy of them on this stage. Though, sadly, this is where my day at Ozzfest ended. Luckily, I was still able to see Incubus, Snot (fitting), Ultraspank, Sevendust, Kilgore, Life of Agony, Monster Voodoo Machine and a few others.