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OZZFEST In San Bernardino, CA With Photos!

By Charlie Steffens aka Gnarly Charlie, Writer/Photographer
Monday, October 3, 2016 @ 1:35 PM


Part Of OZZFEST MEETS KNOTFEST Weekend

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Photos By Charlie Steffens
BLACK SABBATH Photos By Ross Halfin

Ozzfest in San Bernardino, California, has been characterized by high temperatures, dust storms, and droves of black t-shirt-clad metalheads. Mostly, Ozzfest is known for its assemblage of hard rock and metal bands for patriarch Ozzy Osbourne.

This year, there was a merger dubbed “Ozzfest Meets Knotfest”, taking the two famous festivals and bringing them together for a weekend. The main stage lineups for both respective days were amazing, and a host of great bands played the auxiliary stages throughout the days as well.

Undeniably, the draw of Ozzfest, held on Saturday, was that headliner BLACK SABBATH would be playing their final California show, ever. With other mainstage acts such as DISTURBED, MEGADETH, OPETH, BLACK LABEL SOCIETY, and RIVAL SONS, the bill was decked with talent.

About a dozen other bands, representing metal’s different subgenres, played on the three smaller stages throughout the day. With the high winds, there was enough dust flying in the air to fuck things up. Imagine being covered with a heavy coat of sweat from the heat and then getting sandblasted: the equivalent of human Chick-O-Sticks abounded the San Manuel Amphitheater grounds. Thousands of people were walking around with bandanas around their faces to facilitate breathing.

The day’s bands cranked out sets, averaging 30 minutes long. Standouts included KATAKLYSM, BRULERIA, MUNICIPAL WASTE, ALLEGAEON, GOATWHORE, HATEBREED, HUNTRESS, DEVILDRIVER, and SUICIDAL TENDENCIES.

The Lemmy Stage acts began just before 4pm, starting with RIVAL SONS, a band out of Long Beach, CA that BLACK SABBATH chose as the opening act on its farewell tour. RIVAL SONS played impressively, showing the crowd exactly why SABBATH chose them.

BLACK LABEL SOCIETY kicked out “Bleed for Me”, “Suicide Messiah”, and “In This River”, Zakk Wylde’s dedication to late guitarist “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott.

Sweden’s doomy-progressive metal dealer, OPETH, played a rich set of songs, setting the mood deliciously dark for MEGADETH.

MEGADETH played a tight, furious set of classics, beginning with “Hangar 18”, followed by “The Threat Is Real” from the Dystopia album. Other Dystopia songs included the title track and “Fatal Illusion”. “Tornado”, “Sweating Bullets” and “Symphony Of Destruction” energized the hot and dusty crowd. “Holy Wars” was the closing song, and Kiko Loureiro’s guitar work was mindblowing. He and Dave Mustaine are an exceptionally tight duo. New drummer Dirk Verbeuren proved his mettle behind the kit as well.

DISTURBED played outstandingly well, and the crowd responded accordingly. They opened with “Ten Thousand Fists”, eliciting a powerful response from the audience. With great stage production and an outrageous pyro show, DISTURBED won more fans that night. After the closing number, “Down With The Sickness”, singer David Draiman expressed his gratitude to the Osbourne family, thanking them for benefitting bands through Ozzfest.

BLACK SABBATH took the stage, aptly opening with the title track to their 1970 debut album, Black Sabbath. The amphitheater and lawn section were filled to capacity. It was evident who the tens of thousands came to see. The ominous but familiar church bell intro chilled this reviewer to the bone. The air crackled with energy as Ozzy sang, “What is this that stands before me?”. Surreal. “Fairies Wear Boots” and “After Forever” were but two of everyone’s favorite SABBATH tunes played from a great set list of songs.

Ozzy, whose voice was hampered from an apparent head cold, told the audience, “I’m sick as fuck up here, but I’m doing the best I can.” Drummer Tommy Clufetos, looking like a tattooed Jesus, absolutely killed it behind the drum kit all night. His “Rat Salad” drum solo, clocking in at around six minutes, was not an appropriate time to get up for a beer. His drumming is just that good. Clufetos, together with bassist Geezer Butler on “Into The Void” (as one example), provided a crushing rhythm scape for Tony Iommi to unleash his guitar sorcery. Iommi’s playing has become even better over the years, adding tasty nuances to the songs he has played thousands of times. Despite Ozzy’s illness, he and the band gave the Ozzfest crowd a show that will long be remembered.

Set List

  • "Black Sabbath"
  • "Fairies Wear Boots"
  • "After Forever"
  • "Into The Void"
  • "Snowblind"
  • "War Pigs"
  • "Behind The Wall Of Sleep"
  • "N.I.B."
  • "Hand Of Doom"
  • "Rat Salad"
  • "Iron Man"
  • "Dirty Women"
  • "Children Of The Grave"
  • "Paranoid"
Check out some more photos from the show!
Photos By Charlie Steffens
BLACK SABBATH Photos By Ross Halfin


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