Ozzy Osbourne Toyota Center January 18, 2011
See pics from last night's show, featuring Ozzy and opener Slash, in our slideshow.
For metal fans like Aftermath, Ozzy Osbourne's now 42-year-long career represents a platinum standard of evil cool. You start with Black Sabbath, work your way through the band's first four indisputable albums - made in the tiny two-year period between 1970-72 - and swear your undying allegiance to all things dark forever.
You stick around for the lesser-known, but no less gratifying, albums and find your own secret gems to share. It's the first four that will always signify the roots of metal for us born with our hands curled into devil horns.
Ozzy's solo work is the sound of a man thumbing his nose at the detractors who were standing around saying he couldn't survive all alone without the Sabbath seal, but he ended up proving them wrong, taking the attitude of his former band and ratcheting up the fun of it all while still being able to shock and offend along the way.
Enter dead doves, The Alamo, ants, jails, feces, urine, a tanker truck of booze, a DEA footlocker full of drugs, an MTV reality show, the word "fuck," and one angry wife glaring in the corner and you find yourself a staggering rock legend shooting foam at the first 20 rows of a full arena, screaming that you are Iron Man.
Ozzy's set Tuesday night at the Toyota Center delivered everything you would have wanted from an Ozzy show. The hits, the jams, the cursing, the stammering, the who-the-fuck-cares attitude, and a whole mess of nostalgia. He shuffles and dodders a little bit more, but that howl is ferocious as ever.
We saw people who may have seen the band at the old Sam Houston Coliseum in the '70s holding the hand of a grandkid who was probably an infant when the Prince of Fucking Darkness was trying to program his TV on The Osbournes. Above all the shows we have covered, metal shows bridge the generations within families the most. You are metal, you teach your kid metal, they raise metal babies, and you are a metal family.
A quick parody video is a customary on Ozzy solo jaunts, and this one featured Osbourne as a Na'vi from Avatar, a Jersey Shore guido, a Hangover plot twist, Beyonce from Lady Gaga's "Telephone" video, Edward from Twilight, and finally Tony Stark's Iron Man. He made a good guido, we must say.
"Bark At The Moon" wasn't slam-bang opener that it could have been; the riff is great, but it's not a set opener. The new "Let Me Hear You Scream" from last year's appropriately named Scream got things flowing in the No. 2 slot, though.
New guitarist Gus G isn't Zakk Wylde, who was almost as much a draw as the Ozzman himself towards the end of their collab, but he does signal new ideas and blood in the Ozzy camp. Save Rob "Blasko" Nicholson on bass, this is an all-new backing band. Gus G, keyboardist Adam Wakeman (son of Rick), and brutalizing drummer Tommy Clufetos are all freshmen. They are playing Ozzy's catalogue harder and faster than you remember, keeping Ozzy on his toes.