Sunday, August 21, 2005

Phoenix OzzFest 2005

I went to the tail end of Ozzfest with my friend Chris on Thursday night. We saw sets by Mudvayne, Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath. I wasn't familiar with Mudvayne; they sounded good and I'd like to hear more. Iron Maiden I was familiar with, of course, but to my surprise I didn't have any Iron Maiden on the computer. Now I do, having downloaded the greatest hits Edward the Great album, which is playing as I type, Apple having received some money from me via this marvel of modernity, iTunes.

Wow! What a show! What a crowd!!

A couple of weeks ago I went to see Queensryche and Judas Priest at the same place, Cricket Pavillion (west side Phoenix area). That crowd was a third the size of this one. The demographics were markedly different, too. This was a surprise because, after all, the four bands, Judas Priest, Queensryche, Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath, all hail from similar times and climes.

This event had been going on all day though. I suppose that make some difference. Had we come to Ozzfest earlier we would have seen Rob Zombie and some others I wasn't familiar with. Oh, well, work you know.

At the Priestryche show I had no problem spotting people my age or older, but at Ozzfest I must have been the oldest guy there. In addition to a much larger and quite younger crowd at Ozzfest, they were more aggressive! There were as many as five different bonfires going simultaneously after dark. Trash fire bonfires. I saw several attractive young ladies topless, having had their breasts and torsos artistically painted. They looked good! Toward the end of the show we headed to the top of the grass to better walk over toward the exit (Friday being a work day for Chris). From the top the view was pretty impressive. Some great song was blasting its way through the air, lit by what seemed like one lighter in every other attendee's fist. A LOT of people had lighters going, and it was a cool sight. Great music. Ozzy was great. Looked great. Sounded like Ozzy.

Ozzy and Black Sabbath put on a great follow to Iron Maiden, who'd also put on a great set. Iron Maiden set a great stage for Black Sabbath! It was all just great. Great show.

I could have done without the fires. Burning plastic's aroma is not particularly pleasant. Might even be toxic. Anyway, people wanted their fires to dance around. Participants at one particular fire as we were headed out had apparently just run off a group of security people, who were headed the other way with angry young men yelling unpleasantries after their retreating asses. Apparently the fire dancers just wanted to be left alone - they weren't messing with people that I noticed.

I studied my hearing aids for a while. They are definitely providing some protection from loud concert sound levels. If I turn off the hearing aids it's like wearing some hearing protection. Not industrial grade hearing protection, but some. When I would take off the hearing aids it allowed some very high intensity higher-frequencies to come through that were actually uncomfortable for me. With the hearing aids turned on, I still got some protection from those high-intensity -higher frequency sounds, but I could hear the lower frequency stuff almost as well as without the hearing aids, during which I thought the automatic dynamic range compression was doing what I'd like it to do.

Anyway... Jolly good shew!

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