Germain Amphitheater, August 17, 2007

 

Written and Photos by: Jason Perlman

 

For years, concert goers and metal heads alike have accused Sharon Osbourne of making the festival that brought metal back to the front burner a commercial sell-out. And maybe that was true, but if it weren't for Osbourne's glamorizing of metal and making it a commercial-viable form of music, thousands would have been paying close to $100 per tickets versus getting in to the 2007 Ozzfest for free.

 

Commercial sponsors littered the parking lot like plastic 20-ounce beer cups, and the Ozzfest web site was nothing but a collage of logos that even a scrapbooker would have a hard time putting together, but all that led to a free day of great metal music, with both recognized names and new faces adorning the stage.

 

The names most would recognize were long-time Ozzfest alumni such as Static X and Hatebreed, but it was main stage opener Lordi and rhythmic Ankla that brought the show up to snuff. With no power names such as Iron Maiden, Marilyn Manson, Korn or Judas Priest to receive most of the attention, the fans actually spent their time listening to every band and heard a lot of quality music that usually goes unnoticed at prior Ozzfests. Bands such as Taiwanese Chthonic received much fan love with their take on European metal mixed with the Asian influence of the Hena, comparable to the eastern violin. And female-fronted In This Moment also received a large fan approval as most females in the audience could relate to the words and screams of Maria Brink.

 

Of course Hatebreed was what the second-stagers were most anticipating and it wasn't a surprise at all when the parking-lot-turned-arena erupted as Jamey Jasta pounced on stage in his signature black concert Tee and ball cap. Columbus was actually a sore spot in the Ozzfest line-up as Circus Diablo pulled off the tour just days before and The Showdown never made it to the venue in time to play their set. (Not to mention a fiasco with Lordi as one of their bus drivers took off with crew and all in the middle of the night). But all was forgiven when Lordi brought their dramatic and thematic stage show to Germain Amphitheater's main stage. With a set that can only be rivaled by Spinal Tap's Stonehenge (if it was actually the right size), these Finnish take their European death metal seriously and have the make-up and stage presence to prove it. Not only was the music dark and harmonic, it proved a perfect descent closer to the abyss after over 100 minutes of the pure fury of Devildriver and Hatebreed.

 

After Lordi, Static X and Lamb of God brought back the American style of metal fury to fist-pump the crowd in a frenzy for Ozzy Osbourne, who naturally stole the show and proved why every band and audience member used to pay to see the prince of darkness.

Minus the miscues of a few bands no showing, the first-ever free countrywide tour of this magnitude was a rousing success. Sure, there was the brash and in-your-face commercialism that many have complained about in the past, but as least it was free where as Warped one still needs to shove out cash to attend the day-long commercial.

In This Moment
Devildriver
Chthonic
Behemoth
Ankla
Lordi