Aug. 11, 2002

There's More to OZZfest Than Ozzy

By Randy J. Klodz

It's summer, it's hot, and this means one thing: It's time for the annual OZZfest to storm through town. And did it ever, with consecutive stops at the Tweeter Center in Tinley Park and Alpine Valley Music Theatre in East Troy, Wis., this past weekend.

OZZfest is a day-long metal fest that showcases up-and-coming talent on a second stage—that allows most bands a set time of 20 minutes—and a main stage, filled with better-known bands, with longer set times. The madness ends with a 90 minute appearance by the Prince of Darkness himself, Ozzy Osbourne.

On Aug. 11, OZZfest made it's stop at our not-so-distant neighbor to the north, Alpine Valley. Although most bands on the second stage had only 20 minutes to display their energy, there were several stand-outs.

With a 10 a.m. starting time, Glassjaw's vocalist Daryl Palumbo fired up the second stage mosh pit with his violent arm thrashing while delivering the songs "Ape Dos Mil" and "Tip Your Bartender." The Long Island, New York natives also took part in this year's Van's Warped Tour festivities.

Following Glassjaw's short set, the South African natives Seether delivered their brand of teen-angst meets grunge metal on tracks "Gasoline" and "Pig." A shirtless fan in the mosh pit yelled "Who are you?" and Seether vocalist quickly answered, "Hello, we are Seether." Seether's album "Disclaimer" will be in stores on Aug. 20.

On the main stage, vocalist Dave Williams of Drowning Pool ironically graced the stage with a keen smirk on his face while delivering his bands brand of Texas-raucous metal on tracks "Bodies," "All Over Me," and "Sermon." Drowning Pool has been thriving on the success of their "Sinner" album and participated in last year's OZZfest, but were on the second stage.

Rob Zombie, who's presence is as creepy as the posters of horror movie monsters that graced the stage, delivered an energetic set filled with many of his band's songs and his former band's songs (White Zombie). Stand-out songs were "More Human Than Human," "Superbeast," and "Thunder Kiss '65." Rob Zombie wrote and directed his low-budget horror film "House of 1000 Corpses," which may be in theatres soon.

The last band to appear before Ozzy's set was the Armenian-born System of a Down. The voice of Serj Tankian, SOAD's vocalist often deviates from a bear growl to a high pitched Scooby-Doo yelp on such songs as "Deer Dance," "Chop Suey!," and "Needles." Jack Osbourne, the young son of Ozzy, appeared on stage during SOAD's set-closing creative convergence of "Sugar" and "Prison Song."

With nearly 20 other bands on the bill—and 13 hours of festivities—there's more life and energy to OZZfest than just Ozzy.

Serj Tankian of System of a Down Photo: Randy J. Klodz