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Live review: Ozzy Osbourne and Slash at the Gibson Amphitheatre

Kpf4fznc There’s something deeply admirable about the fact that when Ozzy Osbourne is after his signature drowned-rat look, he goes and finds a bucket filled with water and hoists it over his head. The 62-year-old heavy-metal pioneer doused himself at least a half a dozen times Tuesday night at the Gibson Amphitheatre, never mind the chilly weather or the recent illness that caused him to cancel a concert in Reno on Sunday. Ambling back onstage for his encore, he even appeared to be wearing the same soggy outfit he’d had on for the previous 90 minutes: sparkly crucifix-emblazoned top over black yoga-style pants.

Well into his fifth decade as an entertainer, Osbourne can do such a low-spectacle show because the singer has become spectacle enough: a gloriously unpretentious endurance machine whose appetite for ritual debasement complicates metal’s fixation with alpha-male dominance. Try to imagine another rocker opening his concert, as Osbourne did, with a goofy video package in which he inserts himself into scenes from “Jersey Shore” and Lady Gaga’s “Telephone” video. Or one as unworried by unflattering angles: At times Tuesday, the roving cameramen at the Gibson seemed determined to use the venue’s various screens to showcase Osbourne’s middle-aged paunch. Had “The Osbournes” not already revealed his physical liabilities six years ago, he might have cared. But probably not.

In terms of music, Tuesday’s show was fine: broad-stroke pop-metal with too many gloopy keyboard parts. Osbourne’s four-piece band comprised the capable young guys with whom he made last year’s “Scream,” but they sounded less committed to material from that album than they did to chestnuts by Osbourne’s old group Black Sabbath. (Unless your set list also includes “Whole Lotta Love” and “Black Dog,” this is likely to be the case.) Drummer Tommy Clufetos gave “Fairies Wear Boots,” from Sabbath’s 1970 benchmark “Paranoid,” a meaty swing, while the guitarist known as Gus G provided “War Pigs” with a fresh coat of sludge-rock slime. None of them could rescue “Fire in the Sky,” a grim late-’80s solo cut that sounded no more distinctive than anything former Guns N’ Roses member Slash played during his wan opening set.

Good or bad, though, Osbourne’s music served an ancillary function Tuesday to his cartoon-nuisance banter and his trembly, low-tech stage business. He was there to prove he’s still here.

-- Mikael Wood

Photo: Ozzy Osbourne. Credit: Kevin Winter / Getty Images

Comments () | Archives (9)

I was at the show last night, bringing my son for his first rock concert (though I still consider myself a rocker!). Clearly Ozzy is a bit of a caricature of himself, but the review above is far too dismissive of the band in my opinion. I thought they did a great job providing fresh hard rocking sound to the old tunes. Gus-G certainly does not disappoint for full-on heavy metal fretboard wizardry. There was massive stage energy and a great set list. I agree that the newer tunes were not as well played as the classics (and particularly not as well sung). Slash also put on a hard rocking show, but may always struggle when asked to stand up against the wall of GnR. If you're thinking about going to see this tour - I say go!

What show did this guy go to ???? It was Great and fire in the sky was a total gem!!! Gus G was just amazing and I have seen OZZY with Randy, Jake,and Zake. Take it from an old fan the show was well worth seeing and the reviewer is a typical LA Times Bozo who wouldnt know a metal show from Black Eyed Peas

With Slash about to tour South America, PERLA seems ill-prepared for the pressures that tour will certainly hold.

Slash may well spend the next decade on attorneys fees bailing out his insecure, sophmoric wife.

If the LA Times can't even provide a decent Rock and Roll review they are finished. Let me hear you scream as you are dragged down the tar pit of extinction.

I am very much like crazy Derek, the difference being I go back to 1970. This review in a word is just plain way off the mark. To watch Ozzy in toronto Nov 27th, well, if you had said that to me in say 1971, you would have been laughed out of the building.I took my Son, he still is lost for words. If this Mr Wood understood anything at all he would have simply closed his eyes and just listened, what he would have heard, would, and should have been something he would remember for the rest of his life.

As for you Ozzy, "you nailed it man", can you please come back "once again" to the Air Canada Center, as it is very plain that "you love us as well", Ozzy did 21 tunes for us, and ths has not been repeated anywhere else.

Love ya man

I knew that you were to big of a coward to post my review.

The review said it was for Ozzy Osbourne and Slash at the Gibson, Slash was only mentioned once towards the end... not a very good review of both artists the article claims to be reveiwing

I'm going to see Ozzy next tuesday when he comes t Jacksonville! i can't wait! i was just doing a little research to see if my money was well spent on these tickets, and by everyone's comments on here, i'd say it is! Rock n' Roll MotherTruckers! :)

My wife and I went to the Ozzy concert in Nashville on Feb, 16 and it kicked Ass. I have seen Oz a few times and this is by far was the best yet, he sounded awesome and the band was one of his best in a long time (their guitar and drum solos was just unbelievable). The crowd went crazy when he came out and was still screaming when he took his final bow. If your a Fan DONT miss this SHOW. 4 Stars P.S. Slash was awesome too, his band was great and the singer sounded a little like Axel so his show was an added bonus


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