Tour de Force

OZZFEST 2010 LINE-UP ISN’T AS BAD AS WE THOUGHT IT WOULD BE

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So unless you managed to stay away from a computer this entire weekend – and good for you if you did – you’ve probably already seen the line-up for Ozzfest 2010, which was unveiled this past Friday evening. While our source was right that this year’s incarnation of the tour would be scaled back – it’s only hitting six cities over the course of about a week and half – a whole lot of the bands we’d heard would be playing the fest aren’t. In fact, if you can’t quite consider it a stellar line-up, that’s probably only because so many great bands were already swept up by other big package tours; maybe I’m being too nice because a large chunk of the second stage consists of bands I really like or at least respect, my feeling is that if this line-up doesn’t send anyone running for tickets, well, it’s not exactly something to be scoffed at, either. My own thoughts on all the bands and artists after the jump… plus dates, natch.

Main Stage
Ozzy Osbourne – Unless you’re a young ‘un and you’ve never seen Ozzy before and you wanna check him out once before he kicks the bucket, there’s really no reason to watch Ozzy. Early word on the street is that Scream is not the return to form we’d all like it to be, and I don’t think having Gus G. on-board is really gonna end up making that much of a difference to his live show. Still, only really old people who cling to their past like a wet t-shirt to Marta’s boobs and really young people who don’t know any better come to to Ozzfest to see Ozzy, so no points docked for his appearance.
Mötley Crüe – The last time I saw Mötley Crüe, they officially crossed the line from “fun stupid” to “stoopid stupid.” But Gary Suarez saw them on a different leg of that same tour and swears I just wasn’t intoxicated enough to enjoy them. Take that for what it’s worth. If I were at Ozzfest and they were playing, I’d probably give them at least a few songs to prove that they’ve still got some of the old magic before making my exit.
Rob Halford – He’s apparently going to be playing material that spans his entire career, from Judas Priest to Fight to his solo stuff. Of course, I’d rather just see Priest, but I’d never knock Halford; his voice still sounds great and unlike so many of his peers (including this tour’s namesake), he’s never done anything to really shit all over his legacy. In other words: I bet this is a fun set.
DevilDriver – I have nothing bad to say about DevilDriver, other than the fact that I think having the band who once tried to set a world record for “biggest circle pit” on the main stage is a waste. I kinda wish they’d switch slots with Black Label Society. But whatever.
Nonpoint – I’m not a Nonpoint fan but I don’t think anyone ever really watches the first band on the main stage so, y’know, there’s that.

Second Stage
Black Label Society – What a great time to grab some over-priced food or find a nice piece of lawn and take a pre-main stage nap!
Drowning Pool – Or maybe this is when you should eat and/or take that nap.
Kingdom of Sorrow – I’ve never seen this band live, but even if I didn’t love their first record, I’d be down to check them out.  I mean, it’s Kirk Windstein and Jamey Jasta, how bad could it be? Side note: with Hatebreed playing Mayhem, Jasta will be the only musician out there to play multiple major package tours this summer. You can’t accuse the dude of not being a worker.
Goatwhore – Goatwhore RULE. Period. I can’t believe they’re on Ozzfest. Good for them.
Skeletonwitch No one should be surprised if they end up playing the best set on the entire tour. I can’t say enough good things about Skeletonwitch live; I wasn’t even really a fan before I saw them live and they won me over. Awesome. Totally awesome.
Saviours – I’m not a Saviours fan, but that doesn’t mean I don’t respect them. Could definitely be worth checking out.
Kataklysm – They put on a really, really fun live show. Another band totally worth seeing.

So there’s twelve bands on the tour, and by my count, at least seven and possibly eight of them are worth seeing. That’s probably a stronger good-to-shitty bands ratio than Ozzfest has had in awhile. The second stage is stronger than the main stage, but that’s almost always the case at Ozzfest (or Mayhem, for that matter). So, no, this isn’t exactly a “can’t miss” tour – but at least it doesn’t have Hellyeah, Limp Bizkit, or any number of other bands I’d heard might be on the bill.

Here are the dates:

Sat, Aug 14 – San Bernardino, CA – San Manuel Amphitheater
Tue, Aug 17 – Chicago, IL – First Midwest Bank Amp.
Thurs, Aug 19 – Pittsburgh, PA – First Niagara Pavilion
Sat , Aug 21 – Hartford, CT – Comcast Theater
Sun, Aug 22 – Camden, NJ – Susquehanna
Tue, Aug 24 – Boston, MA – Comcast Center

-AR

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