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  • Live Review: Camp Freddy - The Roxy, West Hollywood

    Mon, 29 Dec 2008 18:54:52

    Live Review: Camp Freddy - The Roxy, West Hollywood - Summer camp in December...

    Santa came early this year for rock fans attending Camp Freddy's fourth and final residency show at The Roxy. He brought some very special presents too. After a month of unforgettable rock n' roll shows, Camp Freddy did what they do best—surprise the hell out of everybody. Not only was Camp Freddy's final Roxy show the most star-studded of the four, it was also one of the most down and dirty displays of raw rock that the Sunset Strip has seen in decades.

    That's right. Santa was very good to the fans. He brought them the "Prince of Darkness" himself, Ozzy "Fucking" Osbourne. Seeing Ozzy in such a small space is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The Roxy's tiny walls illuminated how nefariously catchy Ozzy's voice remains after all these years. Of course, Ozzy's appearance provided the climax for the evening, and it had been hinted all over the net prior to the show. However, once Ozzy strutted across the stage, it was hard not to feel the chills. Yes, it was cold that night, but this was a different kind of chill. It's the chill of witnessing an icon transport an audience somewhere else. It's an irreplaceable feeling. It's something only Ozzy can do. Clad in black with shades over his eyes, Ozzy screamed, "I wanna see you go fucking crazy!" The packed house roared, and Dave Navarro ripped right into the classic intro for "Crazy Train." He imbued the song with a new swagger, scorching his fret board on the solo and bending the chorus into pure sonic ecstasy. Osbourne sounded pristine on stage, and he bounced around with an energy few frontmen could match. Matt Sorum bashed out the song's bombastic beat with a percussive panache and flair, while Chris Chaney kept the low end bolted down. The song went off the rails in the best way possible.

    Immediately after "Crazy Train," Navarro began the satanically enchanting feedback swell at the beginning of "Iron Man." He conjured a six-string darkness, launching into a groove that sent Ozzy into full-on war mode. Ozzy carried the song's refrain, and the solo served as a battle cry. Finally, after Ozzy insisted on doing one more song, Camp Freddy ended the set with a super-charged "Paranoid." The crowd had received their best Christmas present, no doubt.

    However, the rest of the show certainly didn't consist of lowly stocking stuffers. It was quite the opposite. Everyone was wishlist-worthy. Linda Perry may very well be the best candidate for a Led Zeppelin tour, if Robert Plant remains uninterested. She nailed the vocals on Zep-tastic renditions of "Rock and Roll" and "Whole Lotta Love." Navarro channeled Jimmy Page with reverence, while adding his own twists. Meanwhile, Sorum mastered the kit, doing the Bonham beat proud. Also, Lost's Naveen Andrews showed his rawk side on fantastic renditions of "Born to Lose" and "Holidays in the Sun." Mark McGrath rocked "Jailbreak" and "Hello There," and he also served as the night's MC. He made one remark that foreshadowed everything. "Merry Christmas, Camp Freddy heads! You've been very good this year, and you'll get the greatest fucking present ever tonight!"

    There was more than just one great present though, and rounding out the all-star guest list was Juliette Lewis. She rocked firecracker versions of "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" and "Ain't Talkin' Bout Love," diving into the audience for some crowd surfing.

    Ultimately, Camp Freddy's fourth December residency gig will go down in Sunset Strip history. How often do you get to see Ozzy Osbourne in a venue that small? Be good this coming year because Camp Freddy's taking note, and their presents definitely don't suck.

    —Rick Florino

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