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.

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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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