Live Review: Ozzy Osbourne and Slash - The Gibson Ampitheatre
Wed, 02 Feb 2011 11:04:24
Ozzy Osbourne and Slash's tour signifies something of a crossroads for heavy metal.
Ozzy represents the genre's genesis in the late '60s and early '70s, while remaining its Godfather through the present day. Slash is emblematic of metal's evolution in the '80s, seamlessly forging instrumental virtuosity to unforgettable showmanship. Meanwhile, Slash's vocalist, the one and only Myles Kennedy [Alter Bridge, The Mayfield Four], embodies everything that's right in modern hard rock. Like Slash and Ozzy, Kennedy is also at the forefront of his generation in terms of talent, soul, and spirit—just do yourself a favor and spin Alter Bridge's latest album AB III for proof! Given that pedigree across the board, the road pairing of Ozzy Osbourne and Slash is one that will certainly go down in history—as evinced by last night's stellar, stunning, and supreme showing at Gibson Amphitheatre.
Slash started the evening right. "Been There Lately" blazed from a swaggered-out punk riff into an earth shattering solo. Slash locked down the groove flawlessly before igniting his fretboard on the lead. Smoke practically billowed from the wood of Slash's guitar his playing was so incendiary. Right before Guns N' Roses classic "Night Train," Kennedy asked, "Are you ready to ride the 'Night Train?'"
The crowd responded with resounding screams. Kennedy preserved the integrity of the track, while adding his own flare and fire. The singer hit every note in pristine fashion and gave it a raw, real, and raging sense of soul that was decidedly his. Kennedy and Slash share a chemistry that's simply magical. Before "Back To Cali," Slash announced, "This is real appropriate for this town."
After a bluesy lick, Slash snapped into slick, smooth intro. The song's underlying fretwork stands alongside the guitarist's best, brightest, and most brilliant playing on Appetite For Destruction and Use Your Illusion Vol. 1 & 2. However, Slash's evolution into an all-encompassing master of the instrument was easy to feel during the lead. Kennedy and Slash engaged in a magnetic push and pull that's unique and unforgettable. That classic singer-guitarist dynamic drives the two of them live, and it's on par with Jimmy Page and Robert Plant. Yet, what they have is inimitable…
A bass thump sparked "Rocket Queen" as Slash conducted his own orchestra of heavy metal riffs and entrancing falsetto from Kennedy. During the bridge, there was more fist-pumping from the crowd than an episode of Jersey Shore (TV Series). "Starlight" soared on a hypnotic vapors of vocals and guitar, while "Sweet Child O' Mine" and Velvet Revolver jam "Slither" ripped and roared. Slash and Kennedy closed everything out fittingly with "Paradise City."
Ozzy's set proved equally explosive. Staring out at the crowd mid-show, he declared, "There's one thing I can say. I'm still fucking crazy after all these years."
The fans wouldn't have it any other way either. "Bark At The Moon" began with a bang of indoor fireworks. Gus G. injected the timeless opening riff with a personal sense of bravado, ripping through each and every note deftly. Blasko's thunderous bass remained in impressive sync with Tommy Clufetos's bombastically heartfelt drumming. At the center, Ozzy's voice captivated everyone ear in the house more than ever. "Bark At The Moon" howled like never before.
"Let Me Hear You Scream," from the Prince of Darkness's latest offering, Scream, sounded just as anthemic as "I Don't Know" and any of the other staples. "Mr. Crowley" treaded psychedelic territory during the keyboard intro as Ozzy wailed with a power that can never be matched.
Ozzy still belts out the Black Sabbath fare with the same dangerous tenacity that made him a legend. "Fairies Wear Boots," "War Pigs," and "Into The Void" instantly transported the show back to Birmingham and into the darkest, deepest recesses of heavy metal's birth. It was utterly chilling to hear those tunes so passionately played now.
The set's highlight was "Road To Nowhere" though. In many ways, the No More Tears closing cut illuminates everything Ozzy can do. It's poignant and poetic vocally and lyrically, while wielding some of the most potent instrumental delivery of his career. The crowd sang along to every word as Ozzy went "fucking crazy."
Some things will never change. Slash will always be one of the gods of the six-string. Kennedy will continue to be hard rock's most dynamic voice. Ozzy will stay the Godfather of it all—craziness in tact, of course…
Were you there?
For our most recent interview with Myles Kennedy click here!
For our most recent interview with Slash click here!
For photos from the show by Kevin Estrada click here!