OZZFest '99

Starplex Amphitheatre

OZZFest '99

A few weeks ago, I ventured to the June 4 installment of OZZFest '99 at the Nissan Amphitheatre in Washington, D.C. To the best of my recollection, this is how it all went down. Most of it, anyway.


With Ozzy Osbourne, Black Sabbath, Deftones, Primus, Slayer, Rob Zombie, Pushmonkey, Godsmack, Drain sth, Flashpoint, Puya, Slipknot, Static X, System of a Down, Fear Factory, Apartment 26, and (hed)pe

July 13

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11:05 a.m. Denied entrance into the Nissan Amphitheatre's parking facility until I assure the lot's attendant I will be removing my shirt at some point.

11:10 a.m. One hour prior to the gates opening, the first mosh pit of the day breaks out, to the tune of three guys arguing. A 15-year-old kid attempts a "stage dive" off the box office. After landing face-first on the asphalt, he is soundly beaten by the security staff. Pit resumes.

12:10 p.m. First topless female spotted.

12:11 p.m. Second through 32nd topless females spotted.

1:15 p.m. The first band, Flashpoint, takes the main stage. A pair of 15-year-old boys begins screaming in unison, "Godsmack fucking rocks!"

1:20 p.m. The 15-year-olds, after realizing the band onstage is not, in fact, Godsmack, decide to check out the T-shirts.

4:15 p.m. Primus begins its set, which turns out to be 40 minutes filled almost exclusively with Metallica covers on bass.

4:17 p.m. First request for Les Claypool and company to play the theme from South Park.

4:56 p.m. Primus leaves the stage under a barrage of South Park merchandise, and much to the dismay of the audience members in the first few rows, a cameo appearance by the show's Mr. Hanky.

5:10 p.m.-7:45 p.m. Indecipherable. Both my notes and the bands'.

7:59 p.m. Rob Zombie's set is delayed until stagehands can locate a misplaced microphone in Zombie's dreadlocks. The situation is exacerbated minutes later when one of them also loses his keys, a flashlight, a candy bar, and his 5-year-old son in Zombie's tangled hair.

9:20 p.m. Ozzy Osbourne and Black Sabbath begin the final set of the day. The group immediately launches into a string-laden update of "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath," backed by the London Symphony Orchestra.

9:24 p.m. Four violinists receive medical attention after being pelted by: three shoes, a water bottle, one set of car keys, and a bong.

9:35 p.m. Nissan Amphitheatre begins emptying out.

9:46 p.m. Amphitheatre is completely deserted, save for five sleeping kids, and a bearded, disheveled man in a faded Sabbath T-shirt screaming "'War Pigs!'" The man soon changes his request to "any change you can spare." He turns out to be Ronnie James Dio.

9:50 p.m. Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler begins having trouble breathing and passes out during the band's last song, "Paranoid."

9:52 p.m. Sabbath drummer Bill Ward briefly loses consciousness after attempting to revive Butler with mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

9:54 p.m. Ward regains consciousness. Immediately asks for a toothbrush.

10:01 p.m. A discouraged Osbourne vows to "never tour this fuckin' country again."

10:05 p.m. Osbourne announces the lineup for OZZFest 2000, featuring himself as headliner.

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