January 20, 2011
American Airlines Center
Dallas, TX USA
Review by Andy Laudano
Photos by Vernon L. Gowdy, III
Ozzy Osbourne - Ozzy Osbourne, Slash
Ozzy's "Scream" World Tour
Congratulations to guitarist Saul Hudson, aka Slash, not only for a successful debut record, but for finally finding a vocalist equal to his tremendous playing abilities. Vocalist Myles Kennedy, the "on loan" front man from Alter Bridge, is without a doubt the most talented, versatile and unassuming singer the stove-pipe axe man has ever worked with. And it showed in his playing. With Kennedy behind the mic, Slash & Co. ripped through five Guns N'Roses tunes, the Velvet Revolver hit "Slither", as well as a few selections from his solo disc.
The post G-N-R days for Slash have been inconsistent at best. The problem has been singers. Though Kennedy is firmly committed to Alter Bridge, his smooth transition into Slash's band was apparent from the moment he opened his mouth and started singing. With an ever revolving Slash logo spinning in the background, the band was on top of its game from the first note to the last. With Kennedy wailing away on the tunes, it became 'Axl who?' or 'Scott what!' with the crowd as the evening wore on. Overall, a great opening act for the Blizzard of Oz.
Kudos to whoever came up with the brilliant short film Ozzy starred in to open his show. Thanks to some clever editing and special Oz effects, the legendary front man had starring roles in spoofs with Lady Gaga, Snookie from The Jersey Shore, the films Avatar, Iron Man and the Twilight movie franchise that kept the audience laughing throughout the five-minute showing. The funniest scene came during the Twilight segment when Bella calls Ozzy a vampire. His response, "Vampires are pussies! I'm the fuckin' Prince of Darkness!" With the audience cheering, the band broke into "Bark at the Moon".
The Wizard of Oz was on top of his game as he took the audience down his own mercurial 'yellow brick road'. The 62-year old singer paid homage to his considerable past, singing Black Sabbath classics "Fairies Wear Boots," "War Pigs," "Iron Man" and the final song of the evening, "Paranoid." He didn't shy away from "Suicide Solutions" either, the song he was sued for in the '80s for supposedly inducing a teen to his own life. Ozzy won the court case then, and 25 years later, he was belting out the tune again in front of a crowd that by all appearances had literally grown up with him over the years.
Ozzy's latest find at guitar, Greek guitarist Gus G, did Randy Rhoads, Jake E. Lee, Zakk Wylde and Toni Iommi proud. He effortlessly tore through "Flying High Again", "Crazy Train", "Shot in the Dark", "Road to Nowhere" and "Mama I'm Coming Home". The guitarist was accompanied onstage by Rob Zombie's former rhythm section of drummer Tommy Clufetos and Rob "Blasko" Nicholson on bass, as well as keyboardist Chris Wakeman, son of legendary Yes master Rick Wakeman. Their jam session on the instrumental "Rat Salad" was another highlight of the show.
IIn the end, it's all about Ozzy. From the chanting of his name throughout the night, to the constant pleas from Oz for the crowd to literally go nuts, the capacity crowd enjoyed the crazy train the conductor of chaos was taking them on. Even when the rock God said the name of the wrong city he was in, Ozzy quickly turned the crowd boos into cheers with a simple "Ah fuck you if you don't like it! Don't you ever forget where you're at sometimes?" Yeah, it was indeed a great night for rock and roll, no matter what state of mind, or town, Ozzy was performing in.