Tag Archives: ozzfest

PiercingMetal’s “Best Of Decade”: 2000-2009: The Concerts

As I’ve previously noted, we’ve always aimed to deliver a year end “Best Of” list and with the end of the decade just having happened, it’s time to continue our thoughts about what was the “Best Of The Decade” from 2000-2009 – I’ve already doled out the Music and Video picks and now it’s time to get into the live concerts that we found the most enjoyable over the past ten years.

I was not really planning on doing a decade spanning concert “best of” but many of the readers of the site had sent me emails after the list posted inquiring about those events which I thought were the biggest highlights to me. Based on the interest, I figured that it was better to append the article to also feature this information of be stuck answering emails over and over. I’ve been fortunate as a writer and photographer to get to enjoy a large number of shows and I hope that you enjoy the list I came up with.

Van Halen @ Madison Square Garden (Warner Music Group): The Brothers Van Halen reunited with David Lee Roth made this one of the highlights of my decade. Yes Michael Anthony was no longer a part of the band but I could live with that since it gave me back Dave. The hits were non-stop at the show and I think I watched it five feet above the floor where my seat was. Everyone in NYC was dancing the night away that’s for sure.

Iron Maiden @ Madison Square Garden (EMI Music): This show was for the “Brave New World” CD that many loved for bringing back Bruce Dickinson and Adrian Smith into the fold. I loved it for its amazing level of energy and how it showed just how good Maiden was and the fact that it had Rob Halford as the opener and Queensryche. OK I admit that I didn’t feel the Ryche were all that good that night and were rather slow after the Halford set. It was fantastic seeing Rob’s then new band in action of course as he was still years away from rejoining Judas Priest.

The Gathering @ The Knitting Factory (The End Records): I was a casual fan of The Gathering and my buddies who went to the show with me were much more into them, but seeing them in this smaller space was fantastic. Very moody and atmospheric stuff and done well in the live sense. Anneke sang like a siren and one of the openers was an unknown group called Unexpect. I’ve been a supporter of theirs since that night and feel that this appearance gave me a heads up on a terrific band many years before the rest of the folks would catch on.

HIM @ The Bowery Ballroom (Universal Music): While working at one of the investment banks from hell I scanned a video for HIM which was “Join Me In Death” and I was hooked and did my best to find a couple of the bands albums. Their first show on US soil in NYC would be at The Bowery Ballroom and the two nights were close to sold out. We caught the first show I believe but its been awhile and in any case it was amazing to see HIM in such an intimate room. Going forward we would watch the band play larger places each time and having all of the shows sell out well in advance.

Kamelot @ B.B. King Blues Club (SPV Records): I am referring to the first time that I ever caught Kamelot performing at B.B. King Blues Club and not one of the other four times. I was very new to the band and how they did things but it was a smoking show and one that made many fans for the guys who would rally to their cause in the future. They continue to impress the masses and we love them for it.

Ozzfest 2004 @ Jones Beach Ampitheater (Epic Records): This particular Ozzfest was one that would find a reunited Black Sabbath once again and Judas Priest who were now back in action with Rob Halford on vocals. The show also featured Slayer and the mighty Dimmu Borgir which brought the heaviness and the darkness into play. A dramatic night that had a thunderstorm looming over our heads and definitely making the atmosphere electric. My companion and I arrived during the Superjoint Ritual set and honestly hated the way they sounded. We were fine in picking up the musical night from the Dimmu set and onward.

Nightwish @ L’Amour’s (Century Media Records): Back when this show took place I had been listening to Nightwish casually but steadily and while I expected no one to be in the club it was jam packed like the old days. Turns out they had a lot more support over here than I realized. I commented about the show on the Bravewords site and ended up with the words posted online. This led me to receive an email asking for more information about the show and I gladly complied to those folks over at the Metal Circus. I’ve been writing concert and product reviews ever since.

Ozzfest 2007 @ PNC Bank Arts Center (Epic Records): The free Ozzfest was very appealing to me as a fan of Metal and as a growing in scope music journalist because of the bands that it presented to the audience. Ozzy would headline of course but opening up for him would be Lamb Of God, Static X, Lordi and Behemoth along with up and comers like In This Moment and Chthonic. It would be perhaps the heaviest of this festival yet when it came down to it and those who wisely got their early enough never forgot the show.
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Ozzy Osbourne’s “Ozzfest” @ PNC Bank Arts Center (8/16/2007)

This year Ozzfest was going to be free and also find some of the most brutal of the Metal bands around as a part of it. Getting the ticket was easy if you followed some details and the capacity crowd affair found Ozzy taking the stage with the likes of Lamb Of God, Static X, Lordi, Black Tide, Hatebreed, Behemoth, Devildriver, In This Moment, Nile, and Chthonic as the Metal lead offs. Our travel to the show caused us some delays and hence missing a few acts but we were there to bring you the scoop so to see more just keep scrolling down past the logo. It was an incredible day of Metal under the blistering heat of the summer sun.

Logo - Ozzy Osbourne

Artist: Ozzy Osbourne (Ozzfest)
Venue: PNC Bank Arts Center (Holmdel, NJ)
Opener: Lamb Of God, Static-X, Lordi
Date: 8/16/2007
Label: Epic Records

In 2007 it was decided that instead of charging an incredible amount for tickets that the Ozzfest event would be free of charge and be aptly referred to as “Freefest”. If the Metal Legions wanted access to the show they would need to follow advertising and sponsor promotional links or purchase the new Ozzy Osbourne album in order to potentially be allotted a pair of tickets. This might sound pretty straightforward but it was actually a little more confusing that many had expected it to be. There was talk of redeeming issues and continual internet run around which I can attest to being true as I tried to help my friend get his tickets for the area appearance in my vicinity. Since the show was going to be free it would mean that the bands themselves would not be paid and instead get all their operating capital from merchandise sales at each stop on the tour. Resultant of this the now free event would not attract what some people considered to be “top tier bands” and instead drew groups like Lordi, Behemoth, Hatebreed, Lamb Of God and Static X to its stages. I really had a problem with people who were making that statement because while a band like Disturbed and System Of A Down might be good and at times quite heavy, when compared to some of the bands that I just named, come up very short in terms of being in touch with the actual Metal scene of today. These “underground Metal upstarts” for the roster in 2007 would quite possibly go down in history as the MOST relevant lineup based on what is happening in the Metal world right now. This aspect appealed to me as both a journalist and fan of Heavy Metal music overall.
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Ozzy Osbourne’s “Ozzfest” @ Jones Beach Theater (7/14/2004)

Logo - Ozzy Osbourne

Ozzfest 2004 @ Jones Beach, NY: 7-14-2004

As far as concerts go, it would seem that if you were a heavy metal music fan and chose to miss these years Ozzfest for any reason that you were doing yourself a great injustice. This years Ozzfest would prove to be the one with perhaps the best lineup of all time for when it was at the planning stages it seemed as though each act was getting better and better upon the announcement. The Main Stage bands listed were Black Label Society, Superjoint Ritual, Dimmu Borgir, Slayer, Judas Priest and Black Sabbath. The second stage bands were also very good this time around, mixing some new and some staple acts. Among this list were Slipknot, Hatebreed, Lamb of God and Lacuna Coil and Otep.
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