×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

OZZFest 2004

The more things change, the more they remain the same, which is good news for the heavy-metal merchandising empire that is Ozzy Osbourne (with wife and manager Sharon by his side). Disaffected youth and adults alike continue to stream into OZZFest each year while other multi-act bills struggle to get out of the gate.

With:
Main stage:Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Slayer, Dimmu Borgir, Superjoint Ritual, Black Label Society.

The more things change, the more they remain the same, which is good news for the heavy-metal merchandising empire that is Ozzy Osbourne (with wife and manager Sharon by his side). Disaffected youth and adults alike continue to stream into OZZFest each year while other multi-act bills struggle to get out of the gate.

Clearly, this summer’s concert highlight was the return of singer Rob Halford to the fold of his Judas Priest cohorts after more than 12 years apart.

The all-original lineup of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame-worthy (and long overdue) Black Sabbath may have been heartwarming to witness, given icon Osbourne’s debilitating ATV accident last December, but band’s closing hour felt anticlimactic (or perhaps just fell on a tired aud’s ringing ears) after the raucous Priest reunion.

Both groups released career-defining boxed sets this year, with Sabbath’s Saturday night songlist culled entirely from its first four seminal early ’70s albums; Judas Priest’s crowd-fave status, however, likely stems from catching the MTV wave in its ’80s prime.

Halford, in all his studs ‘n’ leather glory, sauntered around the stage as he soaked up every drop of adulation that greeted his first appearance during the opening riffs of “Electric Eye” on through the apropos “Metal Gods” and “Heading Out to the Highway.” Band, featuring the radio-ready leads of guitarists Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing, plowed through a three-pronged encore of “Hell Bent for Leather” (with Halford returning on a motorcycle for its duration), “Living After Midnight” and “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’ ” that left fans delirious.

Of course, the specter of Spinal Tap-like moments on the road are hard to avoid as the metal genre grows ever longer in the tooth. In a moment strikingly similar to producer Don Mischer’s profane on-air utterance while waiting for the balloons to drop at last week’s Democratic National Convention, an impatient Ozzy cried, “Open the fucking curtain!” after growing weary of standing in silhouette with his Sabbath bandmates to start their headlining show.

Drummer Bill Ward mixed swing in with his bash, and in tandem with the propulsive bass lines of “Geezer” Butler, ax man Tony Iommi served up some of the fattest, sludgiest, most influential riffs to ever have been appropriated by countless others, outshining all the multiguitar outfits that preceded him on the main stage (including OZZFest old-timers Slayer and Black Label Society and newcomers Dimmu Borgir and Superjoint Ritual, all screaming for attention and respect).

Unfortunately, Osbourne, when not exhorting the aud in vain, spent the evening in the neighborhood of the key to each song but never quite making it home. The classic “Fairies Wear Boots,” where Ozzy seemingly sang the least, proved most enjoyable, while vid clips such as Al Pacino in “Scarface” during the tune “Snowblind” were more watchable than the singer’s stage antics.

The most rabid crowd response of all probably occurred earlier in front of the daylong second stage where — with too many bands to mention, capped by another OZZFest vet, Slipknot — a roiling sea of humanity (and/or inhumanity) stirred up enough mosh-pit action to add a caked-on layer of dust and dirt atop the blissful participants’ blistering skin.

OZZFest 2004

Hyundai Pavilion of Glen Helen, Devore; 65,000 capacity; $128.75 top

Production: Presented by Clear Channel Entertainment. Reviewed July 31, 2004.

Cast: Main stage:Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Slayer, Dimmu Borgir, Superjoint Ritual, Black Label Society.

More Scene

  • Taron Egerton Elton John Rocketman Live

    Elton John and Taron Egerton Duet at 'Rocketman' Awards Season Event at the Greek Theatre

    “Rocketman” has officially launched into awards season. Paramount hosted a screening of the film with a live-performance of the score by the Hollywood Symphony Orchestra and a headlining performance by Elton John and the film’s star Taron Egerton. John and Egerton — who is in contention for best actor for his portrayal of the singer [...]

  • Hailee Steinfeld Dickinson Premiere

    Hailee Steinfeld, Jane Krakowski on What Modern Women Can Learn From Emily Dickinson

    Emily Dickinson lived in the 1800s, but if you ask the team behind Apple TV Plus’ upcoming series, “Dickinson,” her story is more current than ever. Hailee Steinfeld stars in the the modern-day retelling of the poet’s young life. The actress — who makes her first full-time foray into television with the role and also [...]

  • Don Cheadle

    ACLU Bill of Rights Gala to Honor Don Cheadle, Feature Appearances by Selena Gomez, Regina Hall

    The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California will honor “Avengers: Endgame” and “Black Monday” star Don Cheadle at the organization’s annual Bill of Rights dinner on Nov. 17 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. Cheadle will be recognized for his activist work as an advocate for racial and gender equality, immigration reform, reproductive and LGBTQ [...]

  • Helen Mirren attends the LA Premiere

    Why Helen Mirren Considers Catherine the Great to Be 'Superhuman'

    It’s no secret that Dame Helen Mirren has a knack for nailing regal roles. Following her Oscar-winning on-screen reign as Queen Elizabeth II back in 2006, the thespian brings yet another powerful ruler to life in HBO’s limited mini-series “Catherine the Great.” Just as she does on the small screen as Russian Empress Catherine II, [...]

  • Taika Waititi Jojo Rabbit Premiere

    Why Director Taika Waititi Decided to Play Adolf Hitler in 'Jojo Rabbit'

    “Fox Searchlight blackmailed me into doing it,” Taika Waititi told Variety of playing Adolf Hilter in “Jojo Rabbit” at the film’s premiere at American Legion Post 43 on Tuesday night in Hollywood. Staying mum when asked which other actors had been on his wish list to play the role, Waititi explained why he eventually decided [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content