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MUSIC REVIEW: Dad and Daughter Take in OzzFest in St. Louis

Posted by kinchendavid on July 19, 2006

By  Tom Proebsting

Moberly, MO   — I was blown away last Saturday. Yeah, an old fart like me taking his 16-year-old daughter to the OzzFest in St.Louis. It was held at the UMB Bank Pavilion in the flood plains of Earth City, next to the Missouri River. This whole area was under water back in 1993, when the Great Flood hit the Midwest.

 Anyway, this was the first OzzFest for me and my daughter, Amber. She is a self-proclaimed Hard-Core Punk Rocker who has a lip ring and is into Paganism. Me, I’m into beer and cigarettes when I’m not driving a truck. So I thought the fest would be a great Daddy & Daughter outing. It beats the zoo or the art museum.

By the time we got there, it was about 106 degrees–in the shade. The bands were jamming on the Second Stage, the sweat was flowing, and the scent of reefer was ever in the air. We bought some cups of ice cold water at three-fifty per and headed to the stage. In order of appearance were Bad Acid Trip, Between the Buried and Me, All That Remains, Walls of Jericho, Full Blown Chaos, The Red Chord, Strapping Young Lad, A Life Once Lost, Norma Jean, Bleeding Through, Unearth, Atreyu, and Black Label Society. The singers in these bands screamed out, rather than sang, the words. It reminded me a little of rap music, where rappers talk, not sing, the lyrics. Only with rappers, the music is a little slower. More keyboards, too.

I sipped my water as I watched Walls of Jericho, a rocking band from Detroit. I enjoyed the music and wondered how the chic singer, Candace Kucsulain, would look in a bikini. She had lots of tattoos. So did most of the other singers and musicians.

When Walls’ thirty minutes were up, New Yorkers Full Blown Chaos surged the stage and lead screamer Ray Mazzola roused the crowd. At their inciting, everyone around me formed a Mosh Pit. My ice water vanished instantly and I was shoved into Hell. I hadn’t been in a Mosh Pit since I was in the Army, stationed in Germany in the late 1980’s. It was fun.

After I managed to escape with my life and sanity, my daughter and I rushed to the very front and leaned on the fence that separated us from the stage. There was an epidemic of crowd surfing as rockers of all ages, sizes, and shapes, boys and girls, were passed overhead to the front. The kindly security guys received them safely and sent them to the side of the stage to return to the crowd. I saw one girl, a young blond cutie, pass over and the security officer grabbed her and got himself a hand full of tit. She smiled and waved at the crowd the whole time.

Some of the crowd surfers were so fat that the crowds would drop them. I saw one old turd about my age pass overhead. He was rejoicing like it was his first experience crowd surfing. Or maybe it was his last.

There was a brief contest to vote by applause the Miss OzzFest for St. Louis. It was between LeenVicious (The Winnah!) and a girl who did a good impersonation of the Wicked Witch of the West. Leen won it by a long shot. The winner showed us her tits. So did a few girls in the audience.

My daughter’s favorite Second Stage band was Atreyu. As they were setting up, Amber had to be taken to the medical station because of the extreme heat. I couldn’t leave because the music was starting and there was no way to get through the crowd when it was moshing. At the next break, I left and found Amber lying under an overhead canopy, hooked up to a nose hose. She had been hyperventilating.

I knelt down and asked her how she felt. (“Like shit!”) Someone standing just above me asked me if I was Amber’s father. I looked up, said ‘yes’, and he said he was the rhythm guitar player for Black Label Society, Nick Catanese. He was in the 2001 movie “Rock Star” (So you wanna be a rock star?) where he played Xander Cummins in the band Blood Pollution.

He said, “We’ve adopted Amber. I’ve invited her to watch the show on stage.”

And that’s what we did. Amber and I sat in the wings and watched Black Label Society rock on for thirty minutes. In between songs, I asked Nick where he was from. He pointed to the world ‘Pittsburgh’ which was emblazoned on his blue jean vest. “In two more days, I’ll be home.” He threw his hands up in the air and added, “My own bed!”

Regular guys, these hard rockers. Titillating the audience with music that the Mother Goddess would approve of and thinking of their own beds at the same time. “I don’t like living out of a suitcase,” Nick told me before he jumped back on stage. Front man, lead singer, and guitar hero Zack Wylde took front and center stage for the entire set. His playing, honed for two decades with Ozzie and band, sizzled. Their latest CD, Shot to Hell is a must-buy.

After the set, Amber and I thanked Nick and headed for the Main Stage. She confided in me, “That’s the most fun I’ve ever had in my whole life-sitting on the stage watching Black Label Society. I want their latest CD. Also, I want a tattoo of their logo.”

For the Main Stage, the line-up, in order of appearance was: Dragonforce, Lacuna Coil (hard rockers from Italy), Hatebreed, Avenged Sevenfold, Disturbed, and System of a Down.

Dragonforce, featuring guitarist Herman Li, took the stage first. I was in line getting drinks for me and Amber the whole time they were jamming, so all I heard was the music from a long distance. Plus a lot of boring weather comments.

I got back to Amber, sat down next to her on a grassy hillside, drank water, gulped soda, and smoked Kools. We were too far back to see the enclosed stage so we watched the bands on a super-sized screen.

Lacuna Coil was a crowd-pleaser, but I’m not into European metal. Hatebreed came on next, playing great metal music and promoting their new CD, Supremacy.

Avenged Sevenfold then made their appearance and they were a band I knew. Their tune “Bat Country” from their CD “City of Evil” was written for Hunter S. Thompson, the late great writer and author of “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.” Guitarist Synyster Gates must have been inspired by the Muses when he soloed at the end of “Sidewinder.” He was SMOKIN’! When he finished playing, I said, “Eddie Van Who?”

Politics reached a crescendo when Disturbed hit the stage. There were no dogs in their play list. The highlight for me was when they covered Genesis’ 1986 tune “Land of Confusion.” I knew the words and could sing along.

Singer David Draiman is nothing if not charismatic. If he had told the crowd to do handstands, they would have done handstands. The band hails from the Windy City and they became the Social Conscience of the day.

Some of my favorite lines from Draiman during his impromptu ramblings: I don’t know about you, but it disturbs me when I care more about the life of our soldiers than the president of the United States does.

Another zinger when Draiman introduced a song for victims of child abuse: Let’s not send child abusers to jail; let’s send them to HEEEEEELL!!! That line got the crowd pumped up.

Here’s my personal favorite: It’s Africa-fucking hot in here!

Their cover of Pantera’s “Walk” was another highlight. May Dimebag Darrell rest in peace. When I saw “Dawn of the Dead” a year or so ago, I enjoyed Disturbed’s featured tune “Down with the Sickness” and even more so live that night.

Finally the band everyone was waiting for appeared: System of a Down. These high-energy rockers are products of Armenia and they are very political. They played my favorite song, BYOB second. It’s the only song I know all the lyrics to. One of my favorite lines from a short speech by guitarist Daron Malakian: Jesus didn’t work for a corporation and neither do we!

The rest of the evening we sang, danced, held up our fists, applauded, and held up the sign of the devil’s horns as the music flowed.

The concert ended on a high note and everybody got their money’s worth. We stayed for over fourteen hours of heavy metal music, crazy fans, intense heat, cotton mouth, all-day fasting (I swallowed half a dozen White Castles on the way home), politics, the bliss of musical brotherhood, and the chance to be a kid once again.


                       * * *

Tom Proebsting is a writer and blogger in Missouri. Tom Proebsting, 823 N. Ault St. Moberly, MO 65270

                     e-mail: truthprobe777@yahoo.com

Proebsting invites comments. Reply to: http://truthprobe.blogspot.com







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