just ain’t what he used to be
By Karen Strawn
Special to The Pantagraph
communication between Ozzy
and the audience was as
dry and boring as dog food.”
Ozzy Osbourne fans enjoyed themselves at Monday night’s concert
at Illinois State University’s Redbird Arena for one reason:
Old stuff from the Black Sabbath days.
If you didn’t know it, Ozzy (his real name
is John), began his career as lead singer (that is all he does,
no instruments) for the group Black Sabbath, which became the unchallenged
king of ‘70’s heavy metal.
An early collaboration with guitar virtuoso Randy
Rhoads (who died in a tragic 1982 plane crash) established Ozzy
as a classic among aggressive masters of full-throttle, no-holds-barred
rock ‘n’ roll.
stuff” is the key word here, because Ozzy is in his late 40s,
and he looked awkward jumping around on stage with nothing on but
his black sweat pants.
Also, he is clearly clean and sober (which isn’t
awkward, it’s just not the same chicken-eating Ozzy). Osbourne
looks healthy with “love handles” on each side and plenty
of meat around his bones. His attempts at being the “old Ozzy”
by using the F-word in every sentence just doesn’t seem to
work now that he is obviously clean and sober.
The communication between Ozzy and the audience
was as dry and boring as dog food.
the audience loved singing along to the old songs like “Goodbye
To Romance: and “Flying High Again,” the only thing
Ozzy would say between songs is: “I love each and every one
of you.” But throughout the entire concert, his main objective
seemed to be getting the audience to be louder and crazier. He would
do this by saying, “You’re not loud enough, I need to
hear you louder!”
In reality, the audience was plenty loud, and
so was the music. I found out how valuable ear plugs can be. I also
discovered that Ozzy fans wear ear plugs too! That made me feel
better, not being the only one with ear plugs in.
When Ozzy appeared on stage, he mentioned that
he promised he’d be here and he said, “Here I am!”
(referring to the last two concerts he canceled at ISU). Osbourne
opened up with an old song from the Black Sabbath days called “Paranoid,”
which made the crowd roar with excitement. Then he challenged the
audience by sharing his motto: “The crazier you go, the f—–
crazier I go!”
He used a high-power water gun to spray at the
audience. This was rather fun, kind of like a little kid with a
Nerf spray gun.
The audience threw several articles of clothing
at Ozzy (a tennis shoe and several T-shirts) which Ozzy completely
ignored, although he did have someone come out on stage and pick
up whatever was thrown and take it away, similar to a ball boy during
a tennis match.
The show started on time with two opening acts—Sepultura
(which means “grave” in Portuguese), and Type O’Negative.
Type O’Negative was tolerable because they
were polite and the lead singer had a beautiful baritone sound.
But Sepultura was like the worst nightmare you’ve ever had.
They were rude and apparently very angry with the audience because
the lead singer kept referring to the audience with expletives,
and on and on. It didn’t appeal to me.
Ozzy also did a medley of Black Sabbath songs
with included, “Sabbath, Bloody Sabbath,” “Iron
Man” and “Children of the Grave.”