Ozzy Osbourne / Halford
Save On Foods Memorial Centre
November 12, 2010
By Jen Warnock
Ozzy Osbourne, The Prince of Darkness is a jester in his own court. Kicking off the show with a video loop of Ozzy in character as various pop culture icons from Avatar, Jersey Shore, The Hangover, Twilight and Iron Man 2 was classic. He even dragged it up as Lady Gaga, in what was a side-splitting poke at entertainment trends and himself, reminding us that tonight is all about having fun, no matter what anyone thinks of you.
The 61-year-old metal legend struggled a bit, his voice giving way at some points, but the crowd cheered on; echoing back the chorus. Ozzy’s band was amazingly tight, providing superb musical accompaniment, remarkable for having been together for less than a year. Though that’s not entirely surprising. With a line up like Gus G (Guitar), Rob “Blasko” Nicholson (Bass), Adam Wakeman (Keyboards), and Tommy Clufetos (Drums), the talent they exude is merely highlighted by the bright lights and pyrotechnics.
Ozzy wasn’t sure if he’d ever been to Victoria before, but the crowd assured him that he had – and he assured the crowd that they were his "kind of people". A total of 7,260 of his people – the largest concert audience ever at the Save On Foods Memorial Arena – rocked and cheered for their favorites. And the Ozzman delivered. With a few Black Sabbath covers and a selection of older and new songs, Ozzy provided some nostalgia and some sonic eye openers for his adoring fans. If anyone had doubts that the aging rocker could pull off a good show, they were certainly convinced otherwise. After all, "Vampires are F#<%ing pussies, I am the Prince of Darkness!"
The band ripped through Black Sabbath’s War Pigs, a staple on every metal head’s play list. If you can’t do credit to Randy Rhodes playing this one, you should just get off the stage. This rendition was everything the crowd wanted, save for a few wavering vocals.
There was a sort of intermission in the show. Ozzy ran back stage, presumably to take a breather. During this pause the crowd was treated to a guitar solo and a drum solo that lasted about ten minutes, featuring a scissor lifted drum kit and a bit of pyro.
Ozzy also gave a tribute to his dear friend Ronnie James Dio. He mused for a moment about how great he was and how greatly he is missed.
All in all it was a great show. Actually it was a better Ozzy show than the last time I saw him fifteen years ago. Sure he’s older, but he seems in better health and definitely delivered all the Ozzy antics expected of him.
Halford, the opening act was really good. Rob Halford is a big man in every sense. Not only did he tower above the stacked amps on stage, but he also owned his performance with both his powerful energy and his showmanship. The singer, who also doubles as the frontman of metal legends Judas Priest, can still wail like a demon and make you want to go slay a dragon. He tried a few cover songs that I had not expected (Fleetwood Mac’s The Green Manalishi was excellent). Halford’s menu of old favorites lightly sprinkled with 70’s and 80’s covers was the perfect musical appetizer for the night.
With the tour headed for destinations east, the madness has begun, the Prince of Darkness and the Metal God have descended upon Canadian soil.
Ozzy’s Set List
1. Bark at the Moon
2. Let Me Hear You Scream
3. Mr. Crowley
4. I Don’t Know
5. Fairies Wear Boots (Black Sabbath)
6. Suicide Solution
7. War Pigs (Black Sabbath)
8. Killer of Giants
9. Shot in the Dark
10. Iron Man (Black Sabbath)
11. I Don’t Want to Change the World
12. Crazy Train
13. Mama, I’m Coming Home
14. Paranoid (Black Sabbath)
Halford’s Set List
2. Diamonds and Rust (Joan Baez cover)
3. The Green Manalishi (Fleetwood Mac cover)
4. Made in Hell
5. Locked and Loaded
6. Jawbreaker (Judas Priest)
7. Nailed to the Gun (Fight)
8. Made of Metal
9. Fire and Ice