Gone are the days of long hair and leather – at least for me. I went to see Ozzy in concert at the Saddledome and wore no vestiges of a heavy metal fan. Sorry, but the big hair, heavy metal t-shirt and high top sneakers was my look for the 80s. Not to say there is anything wrong with still having that look – and there were plenty of mullets in the crowd, but I want to feel like I am moving forward in terms of my own personal fashion.
This was the concert I had always dreamed of attending in the 80s and 90s but was unable to because it seemed that it only existed in the heavy metal capitals of the world – Big Town US and Europe. Our seats were left of the stage and in the stands so we only got to be witnesses to the fun and not be actual participants.
There was the mosh pit! It was absolutely huge and it was amazing how everyone cooperated with each other. In the golden heavy metal days you probably would have been kicked out by security if you even considered standing on your chair in the Saddledome (I believe I was disciplined at Megadeth for doing that!). Now they don’t even bother with the chairs and actually encourage a bit of physical contact. They also make sure the safety nets are there for those who want to participate in the pit.
It was kind of interesting watching from above – watching the ebb and flow of people working together. I have never seen it from this perspective before. I am completely envious of everyone on the floor…
Ozzy is looking good these day – he looks fit and thin. He looked healthy. He didn’t stress himself too much though you could hear his voice begin to fail towards the end of the concert. His supporting band could easily stand on their own. Jason Newsted looks relaxed and he you could actually hear him play. He wasn’t drowned out like he always seemed to be when he played for Metallica.
Zakk Wilde is as crazy as ever – the king of hammer-ons, pull offs and spit. I had to laugh – the opening band did 5 songs and they each used 5 guitars – one per song. Zakk used his classic yellow target guitar (does this guitar have a name) for most of the concert and switched only when it began to go out of tune. No flash – no needless equipment that others have to tote around for him – just crazy guitar and good music. I think Zakk had just as many fans in the audience as Ozzy did – or at least in my section, which I will refer to as the Black Label Society Fan Section.
At every concert there is a moment where everyone just seems to connect and there is absolute harmony. During this moment you are satisfied and you know that the money you spent on the ticket was money well spent. During Pink Floyd this moment was when they played Another Brick in the Wall and everyone in the Stadium was singing the words while a gigantic flower rose up out of the center of the stadium. I will remember that moment forever.
During Ozzy this moment occurred close to the end when Crazy Train started. Everyone began singing the lyrics and was focused on the Ozz-man. It was like achieving an inspirational moment where neither time or presence matters. I knew after this that the concert would be unable to reach that same pinnacle. So, we left when they began to play Mama I’m Coming Home. Plus, this is lame, I know – I had to be up at 3am for my flight to New Orleans.
The concert in a nutshell – Ozzy is still the King, and Zakk, Jason and Michael are cool too.