Ozzy Osbourne & Slash at BankAtlantic Center, February 20

Ozzy 182.jpg
Photo by Sayre Berman
Ozzy Osbourne
With Slash
BankAtlantic Center, Sunrise
Sunday, February 20, 2011

Ozzy Osbourne has come a long way from being the devil-worshipping, suicide-inducing, bat-head-eating madman he was labeled as in the '70s and '80s. Over a decade spent on reality TV and advertisements is just enough time to erase the Ozzy's satanic memories from the American collective subconscious.

We'd like to say the Blizzard of Oz was in full force Sunday and that we're just as freaked out and mesmerized by him when we discovered Black Sabbath and why stoner rock is called stoner rock. But, you know, Ozzy's really old and it seems his heart isn't as black as it used to be -- Jesus, he must have said "I fucking love you" to the crowd at least 20 times.

Is it a bad thing that a man way past his prime is pushing himself as hard as he can to do the only thing he loves? He's 62 years old and he is not going to age gracefully -- that ain't Ozzy. He got up there -- despite his aches, despite the damage done by years of hard drinking and snorting -- and gave more than seem physically possible. The crowd ate every pyrotechnic bit up.

Opener Slash played a sweet set of Guns N' Roses hits, Velvet Revolver hits and a couple of new Slash originals. Watching Slash play "Sweet Child O' Mine" on his gold-top Les Paul with his legs in rock stance, is definitely a rock and roll must-see. At times, the group seemed like the GNR reenactment society -- we'd love to see Axl's reenactment band and Slash's battle it out in a little civil war.
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Photo by Sayre Berman
Singer Myles Kennedy did a great job at recreating Axl's shrieking melodies and Weiland's marbled vocal delivery. Although the originals sounded like Slash was listening to Exile On Main Street and Siamese Dream when he was coming up with the riffs, Slash is unapologetically Slash: from his simplest lead to his most shredding solo his guitar's voice is as aggressive, melodic and catchy.

At the ending of "Paradise City," he milked the song's last note for an extra minute, just so he could bask in the glory of the song and crowd's standing ovation. With eyes focused on Slash and the band playing so well, it wasn't so hard to imagine what it was like to watch Guns N Roses in 1980s L.A.

Right before Ozzy graced the stage, we were treated to a five-minute video montage straight out of the MTV Movie Awards. Ozzy was spliced into scenes from Avatar, Jersey Shore, The Hangover, Lady Gaga's "Telephone" video, Twilight and, of course, Iron Man. From Ozzy attempting to perform oral sex on himself as one of the gross aliens from Avatar to Ozzy in full Ed Hardy gear and Ozzy's fake tits in "Telephone" and Twilight, it was confusing and amusing.
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Photo by Sayre Berman

When the band materialized on stage, a giant fireball went off and Ozzy screamed, "Let the madness begin!" It looked like we were in for a hell of a show. The show's over the top start set the bar pretty high for itself, and they never really reached the level of intensity of the first couple of minutes of "Bark At The Moon."

Sure, Ozzy was dunking his head in a bucket of water the whole night. He sprayed the first few rows with some kind of Army-grade fire extinguisher and yeah, the drummer's kit went up 20 feet into the air like a rocket. All of these amenities were thrown on to keep us from noticing that Ozzy was kind of fumbling through a lot of the lyrics and phrasing -- and to help him catch his breath.

His new lead guitarist, Gus G. and his wind-swept hair, was definitely up there with axe gods that have partnered with Ozzy in the past. His fast and furious fretwork was reminiscent of Randy Rhodes. His squealing leads rivaled those of Zack Wylde, and he's conquered the heavy riffing of Dio.

Ozzy going on stage and giving it his all, despite his life's wear and tear was the point of the set. We're pretty sure when any stoner with an Ozzy patch on his jean jacket was caught etching "Sabbath Rules" into his desk top was asked by his parents "When are you going to grow out of this phase?" his reply was either "Fuck you!" or "Never!" Even though that kid is now an SUV-driving dad, we're sure he's happy to see that old man is still playing music written for him and his delinquent friends.

Critic's Notebook

The Crowd: Head banging moms and dads, Goths, glam rock dudes, older strippers and a fair amount of teenagers that appreciate hard and heavy rock.

Random Detail: Lead guitarist Gus G. and drummer Tommy Clueftos' solos went on for about 20 minutes with Ozzy offstage. Was he taking a nap or getting some vitamin shots for extra energy?

Slash's Setlist:

Night Train
Mr. Brownstone
Rocket Queen
Back From The Valley
Sweet Child O' Mine
Paradise City

Ozzy's Setlist:

Bark at the Moon
Mr Crowley
I Don't Know
Fairies Wear Boots
Suicide Solution
Road To Nowhere
War Pigs
Shot In The Dark

Guitar Solo
Drum Solo

Iron Man
I Wanna Change The World
Crazy Train

Mama, I'm Coming Home

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Location Info


BB&T Center

1 Panther Parkway, Sunrise, FL

Category: Music

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"Back from the valley"? Lol. It's Back from Cali. The whole show was great. Both acts were amazing and Ozzy is in way better shape that he was years ago.

Stephen Feller
Stephen Feller

Ozzy did "Mama I'm Coming Home" and "Paranoid" after "Crazy Train." Rather than leave the stage and make the crowd demand an encore, he just led us in chants of "one more time." Despite his age, it's clear he's having fun up there, which makes it even more fun to watch. Definitely a great show!

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