Ozzy Osbourne rang in the new year in Los Angeles, headlining the festival he founded, Ozzfest, at the Forum. The one-off show kicked off early, with the venue grounds transformed into a holiday wonderland complete with food trucks and an outdoor stage which featured sets by Wednesday13, DevilDriver and Black Sabbath cover band, Zakk Sabbath.
L.A.’s own Body Count took to the main stage at 6 pm as the entire heavy metal congregation moved indoors. The band harshly criticized Donald Trump, as well as dedicated the controversial 1992 hit, “Cop Killer,” to former police chief Daryl Gates. It was the Ice T-fronted group’s first time performing on the fest, but the other acts headlining the bill, Jonathan Davis of Korn, Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie, were all Ozzfest vets.
Davis delivered a blistering set, stopping only to say “God bless Aaliyah,” after playing two tracks from the “Queen of the Damned” soundtrack amidst much of his solo work.
Manson brought his signature brand of shock rock to the evening, playing hits like “The Beautiful People,” and his cover of Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of These).” The rocker led into the beginning of “I Don’t Like Drugs (But Drugs Like Me)” after smoking what could have been a joint, only to stop the song after the first line to say, “I f—ing lied, the dope show,” and switched to play the song of that title.
Priming the stage for the evening’s headliner, Rob Zombie’z setup featured robotic demons and animatronic aliens and his set list included hits like “Dragula,” “Living Dead Girl,” and “Never Gonna Stop (The Red, Red Kroovy),” as well as covers of Alice Cooper’s “School’s Out” and The Ramones’ “Blitzkrieg Bop.”
At one point, Zombie criticized the lackluster crowd and stated, “The last time I played The Forum was in 1995 with White Zombie and Pantera and it was mayhem. It was mayhem, do you remember mayhem? Put your phones away for three minutes and enjoy the show that you’re Instagramming about.” After this admonishment, he brought Manson back tot he stage along with former Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx, who joined Zombie and company on stage to perform a cover of The Beatles’ “Helter Skelter” (Crue also covered the classic on their 1983 album, “Shout At The Devil,” while Manson and Zombie recorded a version for “Twins of Evil: The Second Coming” earlier this year).
Ozzy’s set kicked off at 11:30 pm when the Prince of Darkness took the stage in a purple sequined ankle-length jacket. “Are you ready to let the madness begin?” he asked the crowd, then launched into “Bark at the Moon.” Ozzy’s set included such classics as “Mama I’m Coming Home,” “Crazy Train,” and “No More Tears” as well as Black Sabbath hits “War Pigs,” and “Fairies Wear Boots.” He paused the show at a few minutes shy of midnight for the final countdown, and rang in 2019 with red fireworks and a shower of Ozzy-branded confetti.