highlights, lowlifes, a mind-blowing experience and Ozzy...

the gods of metal were watching over us this year... the rain, with the exception of a few drops here and there, held off for most of the day. Caitlin and I dragged our butts out of the house at 7:30 and headed south to Camden, NJ. We arrived at 9:00 and made our way in and headed to the second stage to see what was going on. First up was Twisted Method, who, considering the hour, cooked. An inspired set by Killswitch Engaged followed, after which Shadows Fall ripped it up big time. After their set, we tripped back to the vendor areas, scoped out the various stands and stuff, grabbed an early morning hotdog and wandered back to the second stage to catch Unloco, who were luke warm at best. An even worse Endo followed... then Sworn Enemy more than made up for the two preceeding lackluster events. We skipped Grade 8, Depswa and Chimaira, then hustled back to catch the insipid, but at least colorful Motogrator... next up, a fairly mellow band from Australia, Memento, who, while not bad at all, lost the attention of the then growing crowd who were starting to warm up, bellies full of early morning beer. Hotwire failed to fire up the crowd very much, but they were follow by Voivod, with Jason Newsted, recently departed from that collective group of assholes, Metallica. Good move Jason, you rock!!
Last up, but certainly not least, the madness of Cradle of Filth! They were the perfect end to the day's outside festivities, too bad they didn't play the inside shows... maybe next year?
We hustled back inside the ampitheatre, grabbed some more grub and found our seats... not too bad, twelth row left, a little out of range of center stage, but close enough to be glad I brought ear plugs!
First up - Chevelle. It's too bad that the ending of the outside show and the start of the inside were so close, the house was less then half full for their set. They really rocked. I'm happy that they're getting noticed.
After them came the dull and ordinary Disturbed... I do have to say that, even though I'm not a fan of their's, the sounded really clean and tight... maybe I need to give them a second listen sometime.
and then... well, just what the hell can you say about Marily Manson? Just when you think you've seen it all, he pulls one of the most over the top stage shows out of his pants and blows your mind. Singer, performer, actor, he does it all... he had the crowd in the no doubt sticky palm of his hand for forty minutes. I hope my pictures come out... words just can't do him justice...
After Manson came a mediocre set from Korn. Well, maybe that's not actually fair because they played mostly old school stuff, which was great to hear, however... while Jonathon, Fieldy, Head and David were trying to give it their all, I think they were distracted by Munky's desire to play the crowd rather than his axe... he spent more time thowing water and picks, then trying to catch up with the song then playing along... too bad, it ruined what could have been a nice set.
And then... there's Ozzy... I gotta tell ya, I really, really love the man and as long as he can drag himself out on stage, I'll probably be there to see him, but... Sharon, if there's any way in hell you ever read this, please sit the Ozz down and tell him he needs to start taking it easy. The poor guy is cooked. He was still suffering the effects of loosing his voice three weeks ago and was having a tough time talking. His singing suffered as well, both from the throat thing and the ravages of the tour. The band was having a hard time trying to keep up with his ever changing tempo and it was painfully obvious that he was physically trashed. It's always a wonderful thing to see him, but it would have been a lot more fun and man, it was actually embarassing to see him like that. He better start taking care of himself, or it's going to be the Ozzy Osbourne Memorial Tour one of these days, probably sooner than later. Take care of yourself, Ozz...
Well, that's about it for now. Like I said, maybe my pictures will be worth posting.
Have a nice evening and pray for the Ozzman...


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