Hyundai Pavilion; San Bernardino, CA; 08/20/05

Reviewed by Keith Guillotine & R. Scott Bolton

Keith Guillotine: San Bernardino, CA, mid-August. It was HOT! I say that because the temperature was about 90 degrees in the shade.

R. Scott Bolton: Yeah, and there was really no shade to be had. Even the meager shade that the beer booths created was taken up with some poor Ozzfest attendee taking a moment to catch a little shuteye.

KG: We arrived a little late due to traffic problems (and too much tequila the night before). 

RSB: Keith's being nice. Actually, we were late because I drove south instead of north. Duh!

KG: So I'm sorry to say that I didn't get to see a couple of bands that I was hoping to. My apologies to Gizmachi, Trivium, and The Haunted. In the future, I'll do my best to show up to see these bands.

RSB: He means he won't let me drive.

KG: We did arrive in time to check out three "second stage" bands that I thought did an awesome job. First off: As I Lay Dying. I personally never heard of these guys before, but after Saturday's show I'm definitely getting any CDs they have available. These guys were great! Check them out if you ever get a chance. Second: Killswitch Engage. I've listened to this band for about six months now. They have a serious future in the rock'n'roll business. And, finally: Rob Zombie. I've loved the sounds this guy has put out for years! It's hard to rate the band because they've already made a name for themselves, and it's a name well earned. Personally I'm surprised they weren't on the main stage. But I understand that they chose to be the last act on second stage. If that's the case, more power to 'em.

RSB: I was really disappointed that we missed Soilwork, The Haunted, and Arch Enemy. But we got there just in time to see Mastodon who put on one of the day's best sets. Mastodon's trademark ultra-heavy sound echoed through the Hyundai Pavilion like roaring thunder. The ground shook with their crushing sound and the pounding feet of the mosh pit before them. As I Lay Dying were up next and kept the crowd moving. As I Lay Dying delivered a razor sharp set that was also another of the day's highlights. Killswitch Engage was as brutal as expected but, please, let's come up with some different onstage banter guys. "I fucked all your mothers last night in a dumpster" is not what I call crowd-pleasing chit chat. Rob Zombie closed the Second Stage with a surprisingly so-so performance that almost sounded as if the band were tired or something. I've seen Zombie live before and the energy level was incredible. Although Zombie himself was running around the stage like the proverbial headless chicken, the music seemed almost lethargic. Still, it was great to see Rob in action, especially since he's probably going to limit his live performances to focus on his successful filmmaking career.

KG: One thing did piss me off about the show though (but it was NOT a Rob Zombie problem) was a scheduling glitch on the part of the producers/schedulers. They started the main stage lineup before the second stage show was over. Paying fans missed the opportunity to see all the bands because Rob was playing at the same time as In Flames (the opening band on the main stage). Next time let's hope that the second stage ends BEFORE the main stage starts. With In Flames playing at the same time as Rob Zombie, not only is it confusing to the audience, but it also makes everyone miss one of two great performances.

RSB: Keith's dead right. I'd say Zombie played another full 15 minutes or more after In Flames took the main stage. There was mass confusion everywhere. The entire day had been running about ten minutes ahead of schedule but when In Flames took the stage, it jumped to a full twenty. I realized that I'd been feeling that "hurry, hurry, hurry" attitude all day. It was as though the promoters told the bands that "we've got to hurry up and get out of here tonight." It was a feeling that never went away and it hurt the overall festival. Later, I was told there was a curfew and that the show had to be sewn up by a certain time but I was at the Hyundai Pavilion for Ozzfest last year and it didn't feel so rushed.

KG: The Main stage lineup was great, with the exception of Mudvayne. Sorry people, not a big fan here.

RSB: The Main stage never got better than its opening act, In Flames. Despite the fact they were playing over Rob Zombie (or perhaps because of it) the band ripped through their relatively short set with passion and energy. It was my first live In Flames experience and the band was nothing short of awesome. Black Label Society was up next and, as always, Zakk and company rocked hard. This band is one of the reasons that Ozzfest will succeed even if Ozzy steps down as the headliner next year. A band with the talent and fury of BLS will keep people coming for years. Shadows Fall, Mudvayne and Slipknot were the next three bands and, whether it was because I was so far away from the stage at this point (trying to escape the last dredges of brutal sunlight) or because their music is so similar, these three acts were just a blur. I would say that Shadows Fall was the audience favorite, although the audience was very much into the other two bands as well.

KG: Now comes the negativity: Being an Iron Maiden fan since the 80s, I'm sorry to say that I was disappointed with the show when they were playing. But I would like to add that it was not Iron Maiden that ruined the show. It was the "back stage asshole" who cut off the power to the stage numerous times during their performance. I've been to hundreds of concerts and I've never before seen such childish bullshit. If Sharon had a problem with any of the bands she should handle those grievances behind the scenes. Paying fans go to these shows to have a good time, party, and listen to great music. I think the whole "Osbourne/Maiden" conflict was uncalled for. I know that both sides have huge egos, but fans don't pay to see this. If we want this kind of bullshit we'll watch the WWF.

RSB: Maiden was a big draw on Ozzfest this year and for their set to be sabotaged was a slap in the face to the fans (for more on this, check out my commentary here). The band played through like (you should pardon the pun) troopers, but the frustration and anger was clear on their faces. Plus, I don't understand why they chose to play only songs from their first four albums. Sure, it was great to hear songs like "Phantom of the Opera" live but, guess what? I don't mind hearing "2 Minutes to Midnight" every time I see Iron Maiden. In fact, I can't wait to hear it. I just didn't get the whole "first four albums" concept, especially since Bruce Dickinson didn't even appear on the first two Maiden albums.

KG: We decided to get out of there before things got uglier and out of control so we didn't get a chance to see Ozzy perform. Maybe it was for the best ... maybe not. I do know that is was a full moon that night (just like last year's show). Coincidence?

RSB: Having seen Black Sabbath last year, and having been disappointed with the performance, I had no desire to see them again this year. At least Maiden has recorded two CDs of new music since Bruce re-joined the band. Sabbath has recorded, what? Two songs? There was no need for me to hear all the old tunes once again. That being said, I talked to a friend (Jeff Miller) who stayed to see Ozzy et al and he was impressed. Jeff told me in an e-mail message: "Ozzy was good but Black Sabbath kicked ass. It was too short. Ozzy actually sucked the first two songs but then the third song he was getting his voice warmed up and by the fourth song, "War Pigs," he was kicking ass. They did nothing but old Sabbath songs which was great."

KG: One last thing: What the fuck is up with $10.00 for an alcoholic beverage? Concessions pays about 10 cents a cup to the vendors and then turn around and charge $10! Is this to raise revenue for the show or to reduce crowd drunkenness?

RSB: I knew we were going to be gouged for beverages, etc. when we went to Ozzfest this year but $10 for a beer?! It was shocking. If Bruce Dickinson had bitched about that rather than the sound system, the Osbournes, etc., he would have been a hero!

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Copyright 2005 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 23 Aug 2016 22:57:15 -0400.