No Place Like Ozzfest

It was hot that afternoon. Combust-into-flames hot. And yet the kids came anyway--in their black concert T-shirts and wide-mouthed black jeans. Shame the color of rawk isn't a cool lime or a crisp summer white. Shame to see all those fat dudes a shade shy of heatstroke. Some in the audience took off their tops, and some weren't even guys. Girls with no shirts, no bras, wearing nothing but the swirls and flowers of an airbrushed bikini around their bouncing areolae. Like the beaches of France. Like, without the class.

"I will not look at boobies," read one guy's (black) T-shirt. But that's like trying to read at a strip club. Boobies paraded around at all times--stingy and voluminous, young and old. Did we mention that? Middle-aged women. Topless moms. Ozzfest, bless its heart, is a family event.

"What's goin' on?" asked a little shirtless kid with shaggy blond hair, nudging me aside to get to the action. We were waiting for Slipknot--what a mistake that turned out to be--and policemen had mobilized to cuff a drunk guy on the ground.

"Hey, look over there," said his dad, perhaps trying to distract him from the ruckus. "Those are them nekked women you took a photo with."

"Oh, yeah," said the kid, straining for a better look.

"You still have makeup on your face from where you kissed them boobies."

"Aw, dad," the kid said, swiping off his lips, embarrassed.

With headliners Judas Priest and Black Sabbath having peaked more than a quarter-century ago, Ozzfest became that rare, truly all-ages concert. Finally, a place where all generations can get drunk, listen to bad music and ogle women. Who needs fraternities when there's Ozzfest?

Sadly, because of some odd media stipulation never fully articulated to me, I was not allowed to take press photos at the show. Instead, to occupy myself while trying not to burst into flames, I drew pictures of the day's events. Sadly, I am not much of an artist. In fact, you might say I'm flat-out bad. Of course, that's par for the course here at Ozzfest.

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Sarah Hepola