Monday, August 23, 2010

Ozzfest Downpour

Well, yesterday was our trip to Ozzfest over in Camden, NJ.
It was an adventure, I'll give you that much.
In short, It rained, it was sunny, it poured, it was sunny, it rained and it cleared up.  The band was OK, the bands sucked, the bands were quite awesome.
I guess you'd like a little more to the story than that.  OK.  I'll give more details.
There were originally supposed to be 12 people going, but through one thing or another and the weather, only 9 people ended up showing up, one not until right before the main three acts started, but we knew he was going  to be late.  Luckily, the 8 of us heading from here were able to all pile into Jack's van so we only had to take one vehicle.
Amma showed up at our apartment around 9 and we met everyone at the parking lot around 10:30 or so.  It was just about 11 by the time we got underway after confirming that no one else was going to show.  The drive down was fairly uneventful.  We stopped at Billy's to drop off his ticket.  We make it to Camden with little trouble (although a couple of off ramps were a little exciting).  We even manage to park in the closest lot to the S Center on the side with little traffic.
It had stopped raining by the time we got there, but it was overcast.  We go in, people watch for a bit and head over to the B stage.  The first band we heard was decent enough.  There were some good riffs, but you couldn't hear or understand the lyrics and there was just too much of a "noise" component.  Unfortunately, they were the best of the B stage bands that we got to see.  At one point Jack and Stuart wander off, then Kat and Scott go another direction.  Eventually Steve and his girlfriend (who I can't remember her name to save my life, even though she's really nice) go looking for a drink and to do some people watching.  Right as they get back is when Gak and I decided we'd had enough of the garbage on the stage and went for a wander.  We eventually end up under the tent at the bar at the back of the lawn area.  Of course, it starts to rain.
Eventually Jack and Stuart find us and we decide to go inside and grab something to eat.  We decide to wait until 5:30 to see what the general plan is.
After some crowding and miscommunication, we catch up with Scott and Kat.  By now it has stopped raining and they're not going to cancel the show.  Which is good, because to have spent $20 on the ticket and another $25 on food (yeah, don't ask) I'd hate to not be able to see the headliners.  Especially since most of the B stage bands were crappy to lousy in my opinion.  So, once everything is cleared up, we head up to the lawn area to scope out some seats.  We find a good patch of lawn right by the first security pole on stage right, which is the side we need to be on in order to make a quick exit to our van at the end of the night.
Well, the last of the opening acts was playing and they weren't too bad.  Then the rain came (even though it was bright and sunny) and poured pretty hard for about 10 minutes.  Then it cleared up right as Halford was taking the stage.  He still sounds great.  We all thought it was kinda funny in an ironic way that a rainbow appeared right as he took the stage, being openly gay and all.
Anyhow, Halford really rocked it and then came Motly Crue.  They've still got it too.  They were sounding really good and put on a great show.  Of course, we didn't have anything dry to sit on (as my raincoat was now wet...) and it just wasn't all that comfortable.  I was up and down a lot for the remainder of the show.
While Halford was on stage I took a quick minute to call Amma to tuck in the boy and use the potty.  They had a great day together, which is very good.  I like when my boy and my mom get to spend time together.  (I just wish it was easier to get to see his Nana.)
After Crue was done with their set, there was a stage change and it was time for Ozzy.  Yes, he really was the highlight of the night.  He really does sound pretty good.  His voice is a bit rough in spots and he's pretty wobbly on his feet, but he's still got the presence and the attitude and the lungs to back it up.  He did some of his newer stuff, some older stuff and some Sabath stuff of course.  He was actually sounding better than the last time according to Kat and Steve.  He was also moving pretty well and actually moving up and down the stage, not just holding on to the mic stand for dear life.  He was moving much better than some of the press shots I've seen of him in recent history.  I guess he's getting used to being mostly sober and clean.  (I doubt he'll ever bee 100% clean and sober, it would probably kill him at this point.)
He did about 3 or 4 encores, which were great.  (Well, we actually left after the 3rd... but I think he was about to start up another song as we were leaving...)  This year he'd been on a quest for a new guitar player (and the new guy really rocks).  He'd found this 9-year-old boy in Japan, and has brought him along for a bit. He came out to do the 2nd encore and that boy could seriously rock!  He blew the pants off of about 95% of the guitars I heard that day, and the instrument was just about as big as he was!
So, we beat a hasty retreat and get back to the van.  We manage to get to the van, out of the parking lot and on the way home in record time.  I'm so thankful that we parked where we did and left when we did.  You could tell the rain kept a lot of people away.
But speaking of people, boy was the day prime for people watching.  And most of it was in the scary bad category.  I saw lots of ink, most of it bad.  I saw lots of flesh, most of which should never have seen the light of day (or you'd think the owners would want to work on shedding...) I saw a landmass that looked like he could have been twice the weight of my husband.  Well, maybe not, but at least me and Gak put together, and that's a lot.  There was very little eye candy for either the men or the women yesterday.  Oh well, I'm sure the rain kept most of the people away.
I did learn a few key lessons yesterday.
1. Grab the tarp out of the back of the truck, even if you don't think you'll need it.  You will.
2. Even if you just had a big breakfast, bring something to eat when you get to the parking lot and before you go into the gates, you'll be sorry both financially and caloricaly if you don't.
3. Bring a tank top even if the weather says it's only supposed to get to 80.  If nothing else, it will give you another layer in the evening or something dry to sit on.
4. Make sure to bring earplugs.  You're not getting older by doing this, you're getting wiser.  Some of the bands actually had a hope of sounding almost halfway decent if you could filter the extra "noise" created.
5. Bring as many of your best and most fun friends as possible.  This event is not for the weak of heart or stomach.  It will never be perfect, but if you've got the right people with you, it'll be a lot of fun anyhow.

Well, that just about wraps it up.  I was so thankful that I took a vacation day today.  We got home about 12:30 and 6:30 rolled around way too early.  I actually went back to bed after dropping the boys off and slept for almost 2 hours.  I fiddled around a bit and got the laundry and some errands done.  Overall, it was a good day.  It wasn't that weird being childless, as I deal with that every week day at work, but it was weird to be home and childless.  (Although, I did get some things done that I never could have with him around.)

I'm going to finish this off and go play with yarn a bit.  I've got about 4 projects that I want to be working on all at once, but only one set of hands and a very limited amount of time each day for them.

Peace to all and may your adventures be dry and the music good.

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