Gawkman reviews Ozzfest 2002's stop in Phoenix. And tries to see how many times he can replace a syllable with "ar".

Ahhh, Ozzfest. There's nothing quite like big all day concerts such as this where you get to have your basic human rights stripped from you, paying nearly 4 dollars for a bottle of water after waiting in line for it for 15 minutes. My sweet thang and I arrived at the Cricket Pavillion at about 8:45 to stand in the long line of death. After getting through the long line of death, we went directly to the side stage.

Horrible anagram for "Poet"!

I actually think that's how Otep got their name, or at least that's what I heard. After waiting around for a while and trying to find Joebob with no success, Otep finally came out on stage. They weren't anywhere near as heavy as the production on their cd, but that's not surprising. The singer chick did have a seriously good scream/growl, though. There was the pig head thingie impaled on a *spear* (mic stand), which she kept talking to in through poetic verse. I couldn't decide whether doing that was disturbing or dumb, or just disturbingly dumb.. Their response was lukewarm, which wasn't surprising with this particular crowd who was likely 50% comprised of people with a hangover.

After a couple of songs, the singer chick made mention that she was the only female artist on the tour, and everyone cheered. Then she went on to say that the girls there shouldn't be showing their tits to guys because they are not pieces of meat (and then generalizing that all guys are pretty much scum. Nothing like fresh guilt for being a male with hormones to start your day!!!). This didn't quite invoke as enthusiastic of a response. I don't think it made an impression on the number of girls there that had already been walking around topless with their boobs painted. Eh, I was ready for Switched by this point.

No witty puns for "Switched"

I had been looking at the times and noticed there were just 5 minutes between each band. How was each band supposed to get on and off in 5 minutes? Well, I was impressed because they... wait for it... *switched* bands pretty quickly! As soon as Otep got off, there was just flurry of roadies moving amps, drumset platforms, and backdrops. HAHA! You had to work under stressful conditions everyday in the hot sun! That's what you get for thinking you can get a foothold in the industry by being a roadie!

In between the set switch (ah, there it is again!), we found Joebob, aka The Boy. He was sad that he had missed Otep. Poor, poor The Boy. Switched came on stage, and they played. I like Switched. I like their songs. They played songs. I like the songs they played. Oh, the singer didn't sound very great pitch-wise. I was disappointed in that respect, and the guitars sounded a little out of tune. Then they stopped playing. And that was the end. NEXT!


Glassjaw came on next. They started out with a so-so song off their new album which didn't grab the people that had never heard Glassjaw. Then they went into "Pretty Lush", and I wish I could have said that all hell broke loose, but it did not. The response was so indifferent that The Boy and I had to get the pit started during the heavy part of the song (and that's BAD). There were a couple of other guys willing to mosh, but everyone else was just like, "Eh". The next song Glassjaw played was "Tip Your Bartender", and then the pit finally got going (that's RIGHT! You best be dishin' it out fo' GLASSJAW). I've concluded that Glassjaw sounds really good live. Daryll is absolutely dead on. I enjoyed them thoroughly, although it seemed not everyone else did.

Seethar! (score: 2 for the Gawkman on fitting "ar" into the name)

I didn't watch Seether. Heard them a little, and nothing really stood out. So I don't really have anything positive or negative to say, other than the fact that they have an "er" at the end of their name, allowing me to call them SeethAR!!!

A Fungus Among... THEY!

After getting what was probably the 3rd bottle of water for the day (and it was just starting), we went over to watch Mushroomhead. I heard the talk of first how they were Slipknot wannabes, then I heard that they were around before Slipknot and that Slipknot had copied them. After seeing them live, my conclusion is: I DON'T CARE. I found these guys to be not good. It could have been the sound guy creating a indecipherable mix of mush (you could barely hear the drums), but after listening to a song by them, they were just as I remembered- BAD.

Yay! A "not suck" band!

After listening to Mushroomhead (and I use the term "listening to" loosely), my sweet thang decided to go sit down while The Used came on stage. The Boy told me that The Used was good, and I know that The Word from The Boy is usually The Good. And the verdict: Teh Used was Teh Good! The singer was the main thing that really stood out for me- he was just so dead on. Unfortunately, there was some fat Slayer guy yelling that they sucked on the side of the stage, in a very fat manner. There's one in every croud.

Mediocrity at it's average-est.

After the Used got off stage, a band called "Neurotica" came onstage. I had heard they were goood, but later realized when they started playing that I had confused "Neurotica" with "Neurosis", a very big boo-boo. I went to sit down next to mah sweet thang during this band. The only thing I remember from this band is that they covered a Beetles song or something, and I only knew that because mah sweet thang told me so.

The Sucky Streak continues.

After Neurotica was done, The Apex Theory came on. I felt no need to get up. This band was a little different than most of the bands here, but still very blah. I can't remember much from these guys, either. That should tell you something.


Finally! I'd been looking forward to seeing Chevelle again ever since I saw them open for Sevendust a few years earlier. I was not disappointed. Even though I didn't recognize a single song that they played (since they were all from their up-coming album), I still thoroughly enjoyed their set. That band proves that through it all, excellent musicianship and good playing are truly all it really takes to put on a show.

Larst Prophets (score: 3)

I had heard several songs from this band before, and I liked them, so I was looking forward to seeing them. They had a good stage presence, sounded really good, but for some reason I found myself not really getting into them that much. I was probably just thinking too much about the bands that were about to follow.

A Hurricane of Heav... wait, I used that in the last review of them.

Well, I saw Ill Nino again, and I can tell you they were much more enjoyable after owning the cd and becoming familiar with the songs.. I was getting pretty crazy- crazy enough to mosh.

The second guitarist was still doing the annoying excessive ninja-kick thing. Stop it! STOP! Just DON'T DO IT! You don't have to do it! I don't actually WANT to make fun of you everytime I review Ill Nino, but I have no choice! IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY!

I'll need to point out that the singer was not nearly as on-key as he was at the last show. Some of the singing part were actually done rather poorly. I'm wondering if it was a monitoring problem on stage, because it was consistent throughout the show.


Meshuggah is one of those bands that I honestly never thought that I would get to see. Well, I was wrong. It's nice to be wrong, from time to time. So is a salad. Especially with lots of bacon bits, even though they often call them "bacon pieces". And I do not believe they are actually made of bacon at all. Like this one time, I had a friend who was Muslim, and he said that he couldn't eat bacon, and I tried to convince him that it was okay to eat bacon bits, because they're good, and they're not real bacon. I'm not sure if he ever did or didn't. But he should have. Bacon bits are good; especially on salad. Didn't I already say that?

Well, Meshuggar (score: 4) got up there and first started off with some of their older songs, which I really didn't recognize, but they was crazay. People weren't really sure how to react- on one hand, it was very, very heavy. On the other hand, there was like, no established beat. But when they ended the set with Future Breed Machine, all hell broke loose near the end. The beginning of the song was cool. I always wondered how they got that weird sound- it was this little electric harmonica like thingy that one of the guitarists blew into while he was playing. And in case you were wondering, YES, THEY DO PLAY THAT STUFF LIVE.

You wanna see me fail?

Yep, after Meshuggah KILLED, Joebob, mah sweet thang and I went and found Mikety-Mike (Psychostick's bass player). He was wearing his trademark mohawk, and he told us that over a hundred people had stopped him and asked him if he was in Psychostick. WE ARE FAMOUS!

Anyway, it was Hatebreed's turn to get up there and KILL. And KILL they did, in a very KILLING manner. They started off with the very first track off the new Perseverance cd. During the ending part, I was going crazy and moshing and stuff, because it's like the heaviest thing ever. Then they went on to play some other songs, and they turned out to be the even more heaviest thing ever. I was really getting tired at this point, which annoyed me because I wasn't able to enjoy Hatebreed as much as I wanted to. I guess the sun gets to you sooner or later. One little thing I should throw in- the chorus part for the song "Perseverance" sounded absolutely DISGUSTING live.


After Meshuggah got offstage, everybody left me. Seriously. Joebob, mah sweet thang, Mikety Mike, and his friends. So I watched the first few songs of Down alone. Phil was up there flaunting his ego, which was really what I wasn't in the mood to hear. They sounded good, but I just wasn't in the mood for them. This is hard to believe, because I love Down, and I've wanted to see them for years. But I have to say I was kinda disappointed. I heard a couple of my favorite songs, then decided that I was hungry, thirsty, and had a headache after all the consecutive carnage I had just witnessed.

Zakk Wylde society

I went and got some food (and I use that term loosely as well) during Pulse Ultra's set, then went to sit on the grass field. While sitting on this field of grass, Black Label Society came out and played. They played really well, but Zakk's "I are toughest guy in the universe!" attitude was really getting annoying. I think I'm going to place Black Label Society in the "like the cd but don't care to see" file.

Side note: the "food" I got from the concession stand was more genuinely intimidating.


After BLS, everybody's (as in "MTV's", which translates to "everybody's") favorite band Adema got up there!


They played. Yep.



Well, enough talk about Adema.

Methods of SH*******T.

If you don't think there's corruption in the music industry, then you must seriously question how Tommy Lee could get on Ozzfest not only once, but TWICE. The music was the opposite of good. It was BAD. The only appealing thing about the entire set was the "titty cam", in which they had a camera that displayed on the big viewer screen, and would zoom in on random chicks who would flash the screen with BOOBAYS while the words "titty cam" flashed on the screen. Oh, what a horrible thing to use such sacred things as BOOBAYS to get people's attention because your music sucked. What's worse is that it worked.


This was my second time seeing POD. They sounded pretty good, had good energy. I was still tired, and laying down a majority of the time, so I really can't say much. I do remember them announcing that this was their last show. Did the band break up after that? I would go research that myself, but just remembering that part of the show makes me feel lazy again.

Rob ZARmbie (score: 5)

It took a while for them to get set up, and I was suckered into standing up by mah sweet thang to get a little closer for Rob's set. I think that it was during this time that the croud started chanting "arson, arson, arson" meaning to start getting some bonfires going. There are some signs at the venue stating that any fires started is considered arson, and giving the pointlessly rebellious attitude of most of the croud, it was a moral imperative to do it to spite the sign.

Well, you wanna know what? Rob Zombie knows how to put on a show. Of course, there were lights and all that stuff to distract, but the band members themselves were very energetic and into it on stage. They played a few White Zombie songs, including "More Human Than Human", "Super Charger Heaven", and teased the audience by playing the beginning of "Thunderkiss 65", stopping, then saying, "Nah, you don't wanna hear that." But of course, they played it anyway.

The rest of the set of course, was Rob Zombie songs, which I've always never really been able to get into, but I can at least give the band credit for sounding damn good on pretty much every song they played.

Rob Zombie gets the thumbs up!

*thumbs up*

System of a Can I Go Home Now?

By the time Rob Zombie got off stage, the bonfires were in full blaze- three of them I believe. The croud must have been persistent enough to make the security guards finally say, "Aw, f*ck it". I think it's a tradition or something.

After a little waiting, System came on. They put on quite the excellent show, too. The croud did seem kindof dead however, but that's not surprising. The show was very well put together and thought-out: there was a screen that played repeating video along with the songs that the band played, adding an interesting visual element. Some of the footage was funny, some interesting, and some just plain bizarre. Flying oversized bees, guys drinking coffee, computer interpretations of geometric planes, etc.

I will have to complain that the guitar playing was absolutely SLOPPY. Because of this, it kinda took away from the heaviness, which may have accounted for at least a small part of the lack of mosh-age. However, for what slop there was riff-wise, Serj totally made up for vocal wise. He sounded fantasic, that's all I can say. After the band played, I was ready to go home. You know what they say- it's not a good show if you don't go home exhausted. Well, I'm not sure if that's exactly what THEY say, but it is what I say.


AR! (count: 6)


Category Comment Rating
Sound/Production The systems they have for events like this are usually not the suck. 4.5
Presentation Side stage only got a banner. Mainstage bands got the works. No fair. 3
Originality A few standouts, but a lot of blah bands. 3.5
Deathy/Heavyness There was much heavy on this tour. 4
Final Verdict: 3.75


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The following comments after this point are old comments. Yay!

pstick93 jabbers:

Smilie!Black Label Society rules!!!!

Joebob communicates:

Smilie!I remember that carnage! Meshuggah owns everybody. I got a bruise underneath my nail during the Glassjaw "pit" we had to start too. Ow for weeks!

Rawrb plutoniums:

Smilie!I hate all of you for some reason!

Gawkman evaporates:

Smilie!Ahhh, shoosh Norm! I was listening to Down my senior year before I even graduated in 98, lots of memories associated with that cd. I have the right to miss their set, I've been loyal for much long time!!!

Gawkman un-shut-ups:

Smilie!Sweet thang... yo' MAH SWEET THANG!

Oh yeah, I forgot about yer autograph-getting. There's a lot I left out, too much to try to cram in.

Cheshire vocalizes:

Smilie!And hey, that time I "left you" during Down was when I was off getting Rarb Zombie's autograph. Couldn't help myself. So there. =P

Cheshire jabbers:

Smilie!Haha... a review of Ozzfest, and you didn't even mention Ozzy in passing. Not like we were there for his set anyway, but... still. :) All in all, it was a fun show.

On a side note, I had to laugh... love how you referred to me as "mah sweet thang" 7 times in one review.

Norm plutoniums:

Smilie!Finally, SOMEONE mentions Down! You suck for not catching all of their show.

Gawkman forms verbage to communicate:

Smilie!Actually, you missed Hatebreed, Chevelle, System, Rob, and Ill Nino.

Rawrb jabbers:

Smilie!Looks like I didn't miss much this year. Meshuggah and GlassJAw are teh only good reasons to have gone, methinks.