|Review: Ozzy Osbourne - Live in Quebec City|
|Live in Quebec City|
Venue: Colisée Pepsi
City: Quebec City, Canada
Show date: June 16, 2003
Guests: Voïvod and Finger Eleven
Review online: July 11, 2003
Reviewed by: Pierre Bégin
for:Live in Quebec City
Rated 4.5/5 (90%) (2 Votes)
Ozzy Osbourne was back in town yesterday (that's June 16-Ed.). The last time I saw Ozzy live was on his first Ozzfest tour in 1996 and his performance was pretty awful (no joke, he was out of tune on every song and he was on stage only for about 45 minutes). I think that Ozzy should retire definitely. I almost completely lost interest in his band. Moreover, since then, Ozzy has always been on tour with a lot of crappy bands as opening acts under the tour name Ozzfest (most bands chosen by his son Jack). What convinced me to go to see again the prince of darkness were the very good DVD "Live At Budokan" and some comments I heard about his last gig that he was now in better shape. So I was there yesterday at the Colisée Pepsi along with 8,000 die-hard fans. A very good number since Ozzy does not have a new album on the shelves and he played here last year before 12,000 fans.
Voïvod was, -once again-, there in the opening slot (this band has a very good manager)! They started 10 minutes before the time posted on the ticket and did a fair 30 minutes long set with songs like "Voïvod" (gosh, last time I heard this song, I was in high school!) and "Astronomy Domine", their Pink Floyd cover, which got a very good reaction from the crowd. They were very happy to be here, playing near their native town. (Quebec City is about an hour and a half from the band's native town of Jonquière-Ed.) Singer Denis "Snake" Bélanger took some shots of the crowd and told us in French to welcome their new bandmate, Jason Newsted. Speaking of the ex-Metallica bassist, he has a double duty on this tour; he is now a full member of Voïvod AND Ozzy Osbourne! He was awesome, headbanging and giving his 100% with both bands. What a great performance! He made a good decision quitting Metallica considering what they have become. He seems very happy to be in bands that respect him. <-;
Finger Eleven was next. This band has nothing to do here. Their music has nothing in common with Ozzy Osbourne (like most of the Ozzfest bands). One good point, the singer has a good voice. The two guitarists play sloppily, downtuned, and all the songs are too similar. Zakk must laugh in his beard(!) hearing such poor and laughable lead guitar solo! One moment, one of the guitarists broke a string and we didn’t hear any difference in the blurry distorted riff. Anyway, they received a polite acclaim by the crowd.
Ozzy! Ozzy! Ozzy! Screams the crowd as the lights went off and our favorite madman enters the scene. He received a huge ovation and suddenly the lights became red and we heard the siren of "War Pigs" echoed through the building.
Next is the intro of Mr. Crowley and the crowd went mad! Wow, I got a shiver when he started singing this awesome song. Zakk nailed the two memorable guitar solo made by Randy Rhoads. In fact, Zakk really impressed me throughout the whole show; he’s a beast on stage and plays with accuracy and respects solos made by former Ozzy guitarists. He later did a very good guitar solo (the only pause Ozzy took during the entire gig).
One thing that stunned me and also probably long time fans, is the length of Ozzy's performance. The madman usually plays for about 60 to 75. Yesterday, he played more than two hours and a half! Wow, I couldn’t believe my ears (and they're still ringing as I write this review)! (-; The prince of darkness was in a very good shape (well, I don’t mean that he runs onstage like Steve Harris) (-: and especially sings very well, loud and in tune on each and every song. His voice cracks just a little bit on a few songs (what I call a typical Ozzy peak!) This is a long outstanding performance and not comparable to what I heard in 1996. Ozzy and his bandmates seemed pleased by the overall excellent reaction of the crowd throughout the concert.
One of the highlights of the evening was during the Black Sabbath song "The Wizard"; Ozzy played the harmonica parts and did it very well. He finished the song by throwing his harmonica into the audience. They played a lot of Black Sabbath songs (about almost half of the set-list). Their Black Sabbath medley was very long and excellent (even if I call it a medley, they played almost every song in their entirety). In fact, they played an excellent playlist with songs rarely or never heard before live, like "Fire In The Sky" from the "No Rest For The Wicked" album and many old Black Sabbath material. They only played "Gets Me Through" from the last album "Down To Earth" which is an excellent move. They played five great songs from the first album "Blizzard Of Ozz". My only slight complaint is that I would personally like to hear more from the Jake E. Lee era ("Bark At The Moon" and "The Utimate Sin" albums).
There were good lighting effects and big screens on each side where the musicians were filmed in close-up and showing animations, and typical Ozzy lines like: "I can’t fucking hear you". However, the stage design was a little bit too sober, I mean, neither steps nor decors, just a black and white psychedelic curtain with a cartoonish Ozzy holding a cross. The sound was loud but very good. The complicity between the musicians is excellent, especially Ozzy and Zakk.
Ozzy Osbourne version 2003 is an all-star band: Zakk Wylde on guitar, Jason Newsted on bass, Michael Bordin on drums and John Sinclair on keyboards. It was a real nice surprise to hear the latter play with the band live on stage. I write "hear" because he plays in the background of the scene. I saw him because I was on the left side before the stage and Ozzy presented him at the end of the gig. On the last tours, Ozzy didn’t bring any keyboard player with him. John Sinclair is a must live because many Ozzy songs need some keyboard parts to be more effective like, for instance, "Mr. Crowley" and "No More Tears" and the intro of "Gets Me Through".
It was a memorable gig. I saw an Ozzy a lot more in shape vocally and physically, Jason Newsted, like a child in a playground being in two of his favourite bands, and Zakk Wylde at the top of his art. I never thought that I would see an Ozzy gig last two hours and half. Now, I really hope that this all-star band will go to studio to make a great Ozzy Osbourne album, better than the last two. With this line-up and Ozzy in shape, everything’s possible!
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