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Ozzy Osbourne Live Review

Photo by Christian Graus for Bring Back Glam! On January 20, I drove to downtown Dallas to see Ozzy Osbourne and Slash. I’ve seen both before, but I decided I wanted to see guitarist Gus G, to see if he could hold a candle to Zakk Wylde. I had a VIP ticket, which came with a meal beforehand, so I was early and got a good parking spot. I collected my ticket, and after some confusion (because I had a VIP pass but no ticket, as I came from overseas, I needed to go back and collect that), I was in.  The VIP area was a bar, with chips and dips and cookies for food, and a display of a used drum head that was signed and being auctioned for Sharon’s cancer charity. People who paid $1000 got to go and meet Ozzy and were in the front row, for $300 I was in the third row, dead center. In comparison, $300 got me a seat where I could barely see Bon Jovi, $1000 got me in to a seat worse than the one I had for Ozzy (although the exact same seat as I had also cost $1000 ), and $2000 got you front row. I will say that the food was better for Bon Jovi.There was a good range of merch, I spent $190, including three shirts (one for my daughter). Then I headed down. This is the third time I’ve seen Slash, having seen him at ROTR first, then a full set in Melbourne late last year. I will see him again in March at the Soundwave Festival. I think a lot of the songs he keeps for his full show are better than the ones he does for his opening slot/festival set, but the ones he chooses to keep are logical, things like "Sweet Child O' Mine" and "Night Train," with the singles from his album. I had hoped Ozzy might come out and sing "Crucify the Dead," but he did not. At the end of their set, Slash threw out his pick. He didn’t throw any during the set, so I assume it was the one he played the whole set with. It flew through the air and landed right at my feet. Thank you, Slash.

Photo by Christian Graus for Bring Back Glam! I guess Ozzy is famous for throwing water on his crowd. The woman in front of me was putting on a poncho before the show. In fact, Ozzy had a hose that shoots white foam, which he used twice. My camera is still covered in it. I wonder if he realizes that when everyone ducks, it means they don’t want to be foamed? One guy was white from head to toe. I found I dried off quickly, but I wonder about the people who got soaked. It was very cold outside. He also threw water over us towards the end, although it’s still true that I was dried off by the time I left. Ozzy’s set started very soon after Slash ended. I think it was only a 20 minute turnaround. The set started with a short movie of Ozzy put in to things like Avatar, Twilight, and a Lady Gaga clip. It was funny, but I am sure it would have been rated R at the movies, I saw a lot of kids who looked around eight, and I would have not liked for my 10 year old to see it.

Ozzy starts the set by walking out and getting everyone to cheer, rather than starting the first song with a bang, which I thought was unusual. It’s always evident that Ozzy loves to be on stage, and when he says "I love you all," he means it. Ozzy’s set list has been changing a bit on this trek, although it seems to be stabilizing, so I suspect he’s just been trying different songs and deciding what to settle on. The set I saw is as follows:

Bark at the Moon
Let Me Hear You Scream
Mr. Crowley
I Don't Know
Fairies Wear Boots
Suicide Solution
Road to Nowhere
War Pigs
Fire in the Sky
Flying High Again
Shot in the Dark
Rat Salad
Iron Man
I Don't Want to Change the World
Crazy Train
Mama, I'm Coming Home

I was disappointed to not get "Killer of Giants," which he’s done in other shows, but "Fire in the Sky" was way better than I expected, and all the Sabbath songs were cool. "Rat Salad" is, of course, an instrumental and so served as the bedrock of the two solos. Gus G was generally excellent, it struck me pretty quickly that much as I love Zakk, it really made no difference, as a guitarist I could hear differences in the soloing style, in the little riffs that each player adds to the established solos, but, the overall sound was not different at all. "Let Me Hear You Scream" fit comfortably in to the set, I thought. With someone like Ozzy, there’s always going to be your ideal set list, and this was far from mine, but I still enjoyed it all, Ozzy has more than enough good songs that I don’t not like any song he played. I just like "Desire" or "S.I.N." more than "Road to Nowhere," for example, and I’d love it if he played "Revelation" or "No Bone Movies" instead of "Flying High Again" ( OK, so they are not on the
same album, but they are all Randy songs ).

One thing I have to say, I saw Ozzy in Australia two years ago, when the memories of The Osbournes were still fresh, and I was surprised at how together Ozzy was. I didn’t get the impression that Ozzy was drunk or mentally unaware at the show, but I did notice that he has a lot of trouble stopping his hands from shaking, he held his mic stand a lot, and often stood away then went back as his hand would shake. It was widely reported in 2003 that Ozzy had found out that this shake was something hereditary and was now under control with medication, so to see it back again leaves me concerned for his overall health. To be clear, apart from the hand shaking, Ozzy was together and put on a great show, but the shake was very obvious from the third row, so I hope it’s not a sign of something more sinister.

If you look at the set list, you’ll see that, including the solo section, five songs from Paranoid are in the set list. He’s also played "N.I.B." and "Into the Void" on this solo run  (I was hoping for one of those, or perhaps even "Children of the Grave," too). I wonder if he’s advertising his willingness to do that material again, now that Tony and others are at a loose end? It would not surprise me if next years tour is a Sabbath one. I, for one , would love that. I saw Heaven and Hell three times and loved it, I would love to see an Ozzy Sabbath show, too.


Reader Comments (22)

I saw Ozzy At Ozzfest in pittsburgh last year, and the setlist wasn't much different in the songs played, but he did do Into The Void then and it sounded great

.I too really wanted to see Killer of Giants or anything from The Ultimate Sin for that matter, but he didn't do it then either. His voice sounds great for what i've heard and seen given how long he's been at this.

I really wish he would try and do some other stuff from Diary no matter how many octaves they to bring it down, i will still love that album. As for the Sabbath stuff, I would like to see some stuff from Sabatoge if possible, Vol. 4 would cool but Backstreet Kids From Technical Ecstasy would be totally awesome to hear!
January 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterShadow
I agree - Sabotage is an amazing album, and while all of Paranoid is killer, it seems like the easy choice. Still, it was good to hear so much sabbath at all. The songs I'd love to hear, off his solo stuff, are Devil's Daughter, Revelation (Mother Earth), No Bone Movies, Rock n roll Rebel, and Miracle Man ( why does he not play that anymore ? ). I also wish he'd do Desire instead of I don't want to change the world and No more tears instead of Road to nowhere.
January 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChristian
OTSK! Shadow! Technical Ecstasy is my fave Sabbath album! I wish he would play stuff of that! "Backstreet Kids", as you mentioned, or "Rock'n'Roll Doctor" would be killer, to name but a couple.

You boys should know I saw The Oz Man in '92 at The Paramount Theater, before he got the shakes, inside Madison Square Garden 4th row with Zakky boy choppin' it up! K-I-L-L-E-R !!!

God Bless You All!
January 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
Ozzy in 92 would have been amazing. Not least b/c I bet he was doing a lot of the 'no more tears' album at that point. Mr Tinkertrain or S.I.N. live would have been killer !!!!
January 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChristian
I am so glad he played Killer of Giants when I saw this tour in Calgary. It was the highlight of the night.
January 24, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterspence
Hey Metalboy! I know there is a live version of RocknRoll Doctor on youtube, pro shot too! If memory serves its from the never say die tour, still good though.

Christian, I know! Tinkertrain live would kick ass so much! I always loved how creepy the intro is. Miracle Man is really high vocally, I don't think he ever did that one live in the same key as the album, even on the 88 tour. I've noticed though that for this tour Ozzy seems like he's trying to do less Zakk Songs which for me is really cool. I've always been Rhoads #1 but I liked Jake E. Lee way more than Zakk. Fool Like You, Secret Loser and Lightning Strikes would be great live! Hell I'd go one step further and remix/ rewrite some of those songs and rerelease the Album. Secret Loser was the drum solo song on the tour and I really think Clufetos would be right at home.
January 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterShadow
Yeah, Shadow, I guess he could well be trying to not make Gus play too many songs by the last guy in his shoes. That did not occur to me. I was pleased he was doing Jake songs b/c I thought maybe it means Sharon is over hating Jake so much.
January 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChristian
Hmm, from what i've read and listened I thought it was Ozzy who disliked Jake so much. Oh well.
January 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterShadow
Ozzy does what Sharon tells him. It's Sharon who was behind the removal of the original band for the first two albums, for example.
January 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChristian
I getcha there, God i hope those new remasters are available by the time i get to visit england in march, i really want the special edition stuff. I honestly didn't have a major problme with the first two remasters from '02 but the Bark at the Moon remaster was awful, i get the whole remix thing but totally not the best product in the end.
January 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterShadow
Yeah, talking here made me think to check, and the promised reissue of Blizzard does not appear to be out yet.
January 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChristian
Yeah, they were supposed to be released before christmas but they were delayed. I hope it isn't because of legal troubles with Daisley and Kerslake. As much as i think that is reason, it may be just that they are remastering more material than has been mentioned. I really want to see the footage from entertainmente tonight in its entire form. I really think the Diary stage show is one the best concerts ever. Plus over the mountain is my favorite song of all time and a non bootleg or soundboard live edition of it would be worth the wait.
January 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterShadow
But there's been nothing said, which makes me think that everyone is quiet while a lawsuit goes on.... :(
January 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChristian
Guess I'm late to the party here...Are you guys saying that Blizzard and Diary will be reissued with Lee and Bob's parts put back in where they belong? Fortunately, i snagged the 1995 remasters before they disappeared.
January 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBob
Yes, there's a special reissue of at least Blizzard that was supposed to be out by now, with the video footage that sells on bootleg DVDs on ebay all the time, and some other extras.
January 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChristian
I didn't realise you were from australia! Me too!

I saw the ozzy osbourne show a few years ago back (in melbourne)
ozzy's pants fell down at what point. hilarious...

as far the intro movie thingo, what do you expect when you go to a metal show. swearing, weed and boobies are all part of a show!
January 24, 2011 | Unregistered Commentersteve
Randy Rules!

Jake Rules!

Zakk Rules (but not as much as the Jake and Randy)!

However, I just copped a cool 2 CD Allman Brothers "Live Import" set from '93 of Zakk sittin' in for an "ill" Dicky Betts. Whoa! How he smokes on this.

p.s. I can't wait to get all of the versions of those albums you mentioned. Sheeez, I had no idea they switched up the guitars at Sharon's behest. What a crazy Rock'n'Roll story that is. Further proof of what an amateur I am when it comes to this genre. Hey, I'm learnin', I'm learnin'! Thanks for the tips, boys!
January 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
Hey Steve. Yeah, I was at that show too, at the barrier. That's the one where Zakk threw out his guitar, right ? I was on the other side, but I was at the barrier.

Metalboy - you really didn't know the remasters had drums and bass replaced by his touring band at the time ? I am surprised. Yes, that is true. Cheap and tawdy, but true.
January 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChristian
I'm a ludite when it comes to a lot of trivia -- you know that, Christian! True, I know a fair amount but not as much as you, at least about the bands we both have knowledge of existing, hahaha!!!

Here's what I want to know...

Is there noticeable difference between the remasters and the originals when it comes to the new tracks vs. the old tracks of drums and bass.

Also, please clarify... Are all the guitars intact? She didn't start playing Mr. Potato Head with Jake's leads, replacing them with Zakk's, correct?

What is your view from a collector's standpoint? Sounds like I should get 'em all, tho CDs are basically worthless unless they are Japanese or other imports and/or rare special editions or indy releases of bands you've never heard of who are collectors items.

In this case, based on yours and the others comments, it seems like I should get the original remasters from '96 amd also get the latest remasters and compare them for the helluvit.

They should really put out the original remasters again, intact, with the original drums and bass, as that is their proper essence. With new technology as it is now, they will sound even better than when they were first remastered in '96.

I actually believe I picked up a few of the '96 remeasters when they first came out but they are in storage over a thousand miles away and not doing much good for me now. Time to track 'em down again.

And get the new ones, if there's a significant difference. Totally nuts but could be fun to listen to, if I can hear any variation.

Cheers, boys, as I dance on the head of my pin (as opposed to on my pinhead, hahaha!!!)

p.s. M3 or bust!
January 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
Metalboy! There is a slightly noticable difference in tone on the drums but the bass is very sloppy. The first 3 albums had this done to them. BArk at the moon was actaully remixed, some songs cut apart like Rock'n'Roll Rebel, missing some solos, while others had some of the keyboards taken out, ie Bark At The Moon. Some places just had certain instruments put higher in the mix, and Jake's guitar lowered, still there but not as centered as iat was on the original cut.

Randy's Guitars were untouched, just very nicely remastered, the remasters gel but the originals flow a bit more. You should get the now infamous 2002 remasters just cuz there famous for this. Pretty good pricing too.

They cut Ultimate sin and Speak of the devil (among others) from the discography but if he's playing shot in the Dark liver now, they may come back into the fold, hopefully this happens, Speak of the devil was in my opinion second only to Tribute when it came to his live albums and I've already stated my love for the The Ultimate Sin. Diary should be remastered to since its been said that the new remasters will be in a box set most likely.

Go Crazy!!!
January 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterShadow

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