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OZZFEST SURVIVAL GUIDE: 
Who are these guys and will you like their music?

Some answers by Alicia Downs


This yearís Ozzfest is not the most anticipated concert I plan to attend this year. With 23 bands gracing the main and side stages, however, there's bound to be something for everyone. Unfortunately, many think that Ozzfest has lost touch with its original concept of being a metal showcase and instead has opted to book bands that are more on the "flavor free" side- at least on the main stage anyway.

And, of course, it doesn't help that MTV and MTV2 have jumped on the mainstream wagon of hard rockers - resulting in a lot of toned down music designed to catch that receptive mainstream audience. 

Still, Ozzfest is showcasing some very talented second stage acts that will make the day palatable. In light of all that commentary, here is a guide to the bands of Ozzfest, grouped in their respective categories to make the whole experience just a little easier.


THE GODS... 
Black Sabbath and Zakk Wylde's Black Label Society. No introduction, no explanation. But you didnít need one did you? 

MTV QUEENS... 
These three are MTV's newest wet dreams, gracing the rock shows and even winning over the hearts of N'SYNC fans on TRL... 

Papa Roach (Main Stage) 
These guys burst onto the scene with their debut album "Infest." Their indie albums date back to 1995. As for Papa Roach topics, they represent the utmost trials and tribulations of the standard white suburban youthful male ranging from divorce and suicide to ADD. Their live show is known for the group to be adorned in all black Dickies matched with lead singer Coby Dickís infamous stage diving antics. 

Marilyn Manson (Main Stage) 
What can be said about Marilyn Manson that has not been said or thought before? Whether or not you like his music, the man is a master entertainer. Marilyn Manson and his sideshow of freaky band members are enough to entertain and stimulate the senses. He has been known to use pyrotechnics and all out glamorous displays of rock gluttony. 

Linkin Park (Main Stage) 
Honestly, "mediocre" is my musical opinion of this band. Their first track, "One Step Closer," excited many and just bored the hell out of me. I am coming around, though, and after listening to their debut album, "Hybrid Theory" a few more times, I might actually enjoy these guys but that should 
not be any surprise. Sharon Osbourne herself, after all, said that the reason these boys are on the bill is for the ladies. Take that comment for what itís worth and take these guys as yet another suburban Southern California band on the bill. 

PSEUDONYMS... 
These bands all have like, well, pseudonyms, and between all of the members of the band listed bands and their pseudonyms there's about 48 names between four bands. Got that? I'm not sure I do either.

CrazyTown (Main Stage) 
I got to see these guys play live in a small club out in Lancaster in March. Was I impressed? No. Did I like their music? No. Can I figure out how or why they are on Ozzfest? No. Will you be able to say yes to any of the above? I sure as hell hope not. They are yet another California band on the bill representative of the rap/rock trend. Their album, "The Gift of the Game," is seeing heavy plug on pop stations with their hit "Butterfly." Rest  assured these guys should go away pretty soon but their presence on main stage is a thorn in my side and should be to the decent metal musicians  struggling to feed themselves. 

Slipknot (Main Stage) 
Slipknot put on a decent live show and that means a lot. Their Ď99 debut album went platinum and just as they won fans over along came the naysayers who were not happy with the sound, the number of band members, or visual antics. Basically, you either love these guys or hate them. I am not big on their sound but I know that they put on a decent live show and try to be entertaining. More than likely you have already caught these Ozzfest alumnus on the Ď99 tour but now they have a little more distinction because of the success of their debut CD. Iíll give them credit on the use of masks and pseudonyms - they claim it is to represent that they want anonymity for them as persons and want the focus to be on the music. 

Mudvayne (Second Stage) 
These guys are tearing up the second stage and bound to be one of the most anticipated performances of the tour. I have not had the privilege to see the live show yet but, through word of mouth, I have heard that their stage performance is entirely energetic and balls to the walls aggressive. The make-up and the double names are a smidge KISS-esque but if the musicís good, (and their debut L.D.50 proved that), who the hell cares? 

Otep (Second Stage) 
This is a five-piece ensemble headed by a talented-as-all-hell chick that goes by Otep. Their sound is obscure - a mix of metal gloom and dark poetry with a rap rockiní bitch leading the way. They have that whole twisted deep ambiance about them and that works for me even though I am not big into  rap/rock they are heavier than anything close to the rap/rock genre. Bottom line: Otep is going to be worth seeing and, as Bob Dole says in the Pepsi commercial, "Down, boys."  

DONíT MESS WITH TEXASS 
Here goes the batch of Texas metal bands. That state produces some of the best hard-rocking muthers ever and Ozzfest confirms that. 

Pure Rubbish (Second Stage) 
The wild thing about Pure Rubbish is that this Houston-based band is headed by 17 year old Derek Dunivan. The boy is like on summer break - how awesome would summer break be if you were touring on Ozzfest!? I cannot even imagine. Besides that, their album "Glamorous Youth" is just cool with its punky blues-rock sound. Pure Rubbish is a Divine Recordings band (Ozzyís label) with more musical potential than most of the main stage bands combined. 

Union Underground (Second Stage) 
This San Antonio quartet is awesome and just downright intense. Their 2000 release "An Education in Rebellion" is a severely aggressive album that is one of the most stimulating things the metal community has produced in a while. You must see this band

Drowning Pool (Second Stage) 
I love the album "Sinner" and play it constantly. These Dallas rockers are like total pop metal - you know the kind that can play on radio and make college boys happy but at the same time the kind that you cannot help but like. I have seen these guys live and front man Dave controls the crowd. The rest of the guys bounce all around and keep the energy flowing. The music is good and the live performance is awesome. Really, what more could you ask for? 

CALIFORNIA METAL 
Not to be unexpected, California is the prime spot for that nu metal boom. So it is no surprise that the bands in Ozzfest will be representing accordingly. 

Systematic (Second Stage) 
Northern California band on Lars "I have the worst fake accent" Ulrichís private label. The album "Somewhere In Between" gets tons of spin on college campuses across the land. I think most people like Systematic and they damn well should. The guys are great musicians and awesome live performers. 

Spineshank (Second Stage) 
Spineshank is an L.A. based Roadrunner band. Their album, "The Height of Callousness" is a total groove fest with these wide electronic overtones. Spineshank is a personal favorite and they have toured with some of my other favorites "Fear Factory" and "Static-X." Simply a must own album and a must-see band. 

Beautiful Creatures (Second Stage) 
Not my favorite but this L.A. band has something I adore- an anti rap/rock mentality. They are pretty L.A. boys working to bring good old rock'n'roll.  Amen to that! 

FUTURE OF METAL AS SEEN ON THE SECOND STAGE... 
Disturbed (Second Stage) 
Alumnus Disturbed is rightfully headlining the second stage. They are an all around metal favorite that almost all at the show will enjoy. They have crossover appealing music and the Ozzman himself has called them the future of heavy metal. 

Taproot (Second Stage) 
Their debut album "Gift" has circulated through the hands of many. The cool thing about Taproot is that instead of comparing them to other bands, they are the band others are compared to. Need I say more? 

Hatebreed (Second Stage) 
In June Hatebreedís "Perseverance" will be released on Victory Records. They are accessible enough to appeal to many and have toured with some mainstream rockers like Kid Rock, Offspring, and the Deftones. Never saw them live but have heard good things. Weíll see. 

Pressure 4-5 (Second Stage) 
Many people have not heard of P45. I love them and am awaiting their performance more than any other band. They have been compared to Snot and I would have to say are one of the few bands I have heard recently worthy of that comparison. Their self-released Ď99 album "Antechnology" blew me away and I cannot wait for their first major release in August- until then the Ozzfest performance will have to hold me over. 

Godhead (Second Stage) 
Godhead is a DC based band under Mansonís wing. Their January 2001 release on Mansonís Posthuman label "2000 Years of Human Error" was pretty substantial. They are freaky but what else would you expect? They are prominent in their use of electronics and have toured with the likes of Gwar and Genitorturers. 

NonPoint (Second Stage) 
What is so exciting about Nonpoint is that they are the band other bands are talking about wanting to see live. With Puerto Rican roots they explore the multi-cultural aspect of metal singing Spanish on track "Orgulla." They are easily going to be the highlight of the second stage. 

No One (Second Stage) 
Chicago band that blends old school with new school metal sounds. Thatís a smart idea. They pride themselves as a live band and are out to make the Ozzfest fans feel the same way. 

American Head Charge (Second Stage) 
These are seven guys and all seven are needed because their music is melodic and very technical. Their live show can and has been described as nothing short of chaotic, kind of like Ozzfest itself. 

Now you know who and what to see (and who and what to avoid). If you haven't got your tickets already, what are you waiting for?! Click here for tour dates now!


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Revised: 23 Aug 2016 22:57:10 -0400
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