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Concert Review: Ozzy Osbourne/ Halford – MTS Centre, Winnipeg, MB 11/20/10

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This was a better Ozzy show than his last show in October, 2007, when he was upstaged by then opener Rob Zombie. After that show, I blogged that I wouldn’t see Ozzy again unless I ended up within the first ten rows  or unless he released an excellent album. I ended up in the fifteenth row but could have been closer if I didn’t buy through the pre-sale. Still, I was curious to see Rob Halford without Judas Priest and I was intrigued by Ozzy’s setlist, which promised more classic Ozzy and Sabbath and less new-ish material.

Halford were mostly disappointing, not because of their musicianship, but due to their terribly simple and boring songs, complete with embarrassingly amateurish lyrics. They did play some decent material but overall, the songs just weren’t there. Rob Halford sounded fine, well past his peak but still able to perform to an acceptable level. The first five songs that they played just didn’t seem like anything anyone would want to cover. Things picked up with the more memorable “Fire and Ice,” and “Thunder and Lightning,” both from the new album Made of Metal. The fans perked up considerably with the next two songs, the Fleetwood Mac and Joan Baez covers and Priest classics, “The Green Manalishi (with the two-prong Crown) and “Diamonds and Rust.” The Priest non-cover tune that they performed was “Jawbreaker,” one of the better known tracks from 1984’s Defenders of the Faith.

 

 


photo: David Lipnowski/ Winnipeg Free Press 

 

Ozzy sort of surprised me with his longer than normal set. I read some other reviews of the Canadian tour and knew that he played over two hours elsewhere. Ozzy’s set began around 8:45 and ended at 11:15, about 2.5 hours, and included several Black Sabbath numbers. At one point, he wanted to talk about a “rumour” but decided not to go there. I think the rumour was that, with the death of Ronnie James Dio, there will be a reunion of the original Black Sabbath, as the Dio-led version, Heaven & Hell, are finished.

On at least three occasions, Ozzy sprayed people in the first several rows with foam from a gun. He couldn’t escape getting himself covered, as well, as this resulted in a tech running to the front of the stage to clean off the tele-prompter. Near the end of the show, he threw three buckets of water in the crowd. I wasn’t sure if this was just Ozzy being crazy and fun or if he meant to discourage fans from filming the show with their cameras. One of the local newspapers published a photo of the venue’s photographer displaying his foam-soaked gear.

I almost had this feeling that Ozzy was playing more Sabbath material than usual to see how it would go over with the fans, many of whom weren’t even born when he quit Sabbath in 1979. The Sabbath material was (for the most part) strongly received by the crowd, although some of the songs seemed to earn less applause, like “Into The Void.”

He never seems to have the same players in his band each time he tours. This time around, he had keyboardist/ guitarist Adam Wakeman (son of legendary keyboardist Rick Wakeman, of Yes fame) and new lead guitar whiz, Gus G. (Kostas Karamitroudis), from the band Greek power metal band, Firewind. Gus G. proved to be a more than adequate replacement for longtime guitarist Zakk Wylde, and played some of the fastest electric guitar that I’ve seen.

Towards the end of the show, Ozzy said that they would play one more song, but maybe one more in addition, if the crowd really went crazy or something like that. After playing “Paranoid,” the crowd seemed too subdued for the Prince of Darkness, perhaps due to the unexpected length of the show, so they were finished for the night. Besides, Ozzy appeared to move around the stage, in a geriatric manner, although this was most evident when he walked to and from the drum kit where he had water and a tea cup stashed.

It goes without saying that Ozzy is well past the point of no return with regards to his peak as a singer. The strange thing is, he sounded like he sang better this time than he did three years ago. His movements around the stage, which can best be described as “shuffling,” combined with his limp aerobic-styled clapping, just makes him seem like a likable old codger who has lost his marbles. A madman, if you will.

Setlist:

Bark at the Moon
Let Me Hear You Scream
Mr. Crowley
I Don’t Know

Fairies Wear Boots
Suicide Solution
Road to Nowhere
War Pigs
Fire in the Sky
Shot in the Dark
Iron Man
Killer of Giants
N.I.B.
I Don’t Want to Change the World
Crazy Train

Encore
Mama I’m Coming Home
Into the Void
Flying High Again
Believer
No More Tears
Paranoid

 

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About Triniman

Almost weekly, Triniman catches new movies, and adds one or two CDs to his collection. Due to time constraints, he blogs about only 5% of the CDs, books and DVDs that he purchases. Holed up in the geographic centre of North America, the cultural mecca of Canada, and the sunniest city north of the 49th, Winnipeg, Triniman blogs a bit when he's not swatting mosquitoes, shoveling snow or golfing.
  • charlie doherty

    That’s kind of surprising that “Into The Void” wouldn’t get much applause. It’s my all-time favorite Sabbath song!

    Great review.

  • http://trinimansblog.blogspot.com/ Triniman

    I’m not surprised given that a lot of audience were probably too young to be familiar with it.

  • http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=463156 JC Mosquito

    Y’know – I’m convinced that Ozzy has some kind of neurological disorder, but that information is being kept from the general public. I’m not trying to start a rumour here, but really now – his inability to speak clearly in interviews, his “shuffling” and his stiff body movements are all classic signs of neurological dysfunction. There’s lot of other guys his age touring their classic rock bands, and even if they don’t rock like they used to, they don’t look as badly off as Ozzy. I dunno – am I mistaken? I hope I am, but if there’s a problem, he ought to be getting some treatment or something.

  • JT

    I attended and thought the show was great!!
    Ozzy and his band put on a great show
    The crowd was a mixture of teenage to 50 plus but Ozzy got them rockin through almost every song

  • http://http://www.myspace.com/darkblade_us Arizona Darkblade

    JC Mosquito, Ozzy does have a neurological disorder, it’s called Parkins. He has been getting treatment for years. He also has had physical restrictions and atrophy (look at his gait, and at how he holds his hands) ever since his ATV accident. The best way to see what is going on with him is to view his video of John Lennon’s “How.”

    Ozzy did not quit when faced with all of the said debilitations, not even after years of being disrespected so horridly in the media by ignorant reporters. His escape into drug coma didn’t help, nor the lack of action from his wife and family during the filming of “the Osbournes.”

    Clearly Triniman is unaware of those limitations. Clearly the man is a cynic. So thank you Triniman. You may now take your bow for your city, because others like me will probably read your dribble and think the same thing I have, that this is a total insult to Ozzy and his legend, and he probably shouldn’t have bothered to step foot in your city.

    And yet “JT” came out with a very different opinion of the show. Interesting.

    Sounds like the one who is “tired” is this person Triniman. Doesn’t bother to do his research and counts on the “common dribble” passing for real reporting.

  • http://www.myspace.com/darkblade_us Arizona Darkblade

    Here’s a REAL article.

  • Dmitri

    Ozzy always brings great shows to the crowd. Was at one show at Saint-Petersburg and that was amazing!