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August 09, 2007

Ozzfest July 28, 2007 Coors Ampitheater Englewood Colorado

Oh Lordi

As I walk up to the venue, I smell cheap marajuana and notice a Shotgun Willy's Convetable Car advertising for the Local Strip Joint. The parking lot is filled with kids in black concert shirts and scalpers. This takes me back years; my first concert was Motley Crue opening for Ozzy when I was in 6th Grade. I am excited to photograph Ozzy, it's like coming full circle. Getting to photograph the first band you ever saw in concert.
I pick up my photo pass and am told that no one gets to photograph Ozzy, which is a total buzzkill. Okay, I was hired to photograph the band Lordi and that's what I am going to do , I have heard some cool things about them. They are kinda like the European version of GWAR, so they should be pretty cool.
First thing I head to the 2nd stage which is sponsered by Jagermeister this year, the only band on the second stage who's name I recognize is Hatebreed. I had photographed them at the Ogden Theatre opening for someone over the years.

The first band I catch is Ankla, I like that they have lot of percussion in their sound. They have a Conga player and the singer plays a big shaker. They have a heavy sound , but it stands out from the typical screaming metal. It has a good rythm , with a latin mix.
Next is a band called Chthonic I am skeptical when I see them warming up wearing make up , When they come on I realize that they are Asian . I find out they are Chinese from Taiwan , so I cut them slack for wearing make up. They actually have a cool sound and get a great response from the crowd. They even have a guy who plays a tradition asian instrument. They have a really raw energy , which is what I look for in a live band. If they are giving it their all then they get my respect .
Next is a band called Behemoth , they also come out wearing make up , and huge metal spikes and lots of leather. It's fricking 100 degrees out are you kidding me. It turns out they are from Europe , so I cut them a little bit of a break , they had a fast pounding sound but I still find it odd with the whole make up thing at 2pm in the afternoon. It would be more effective in a dingy dark club, in the day it is kind of laughable. They are shreding on the guitars and , I think that is what should define your music. I notice that their guitar techs are wearing punk rock band on their clothes, which isn't a good sign. One has a Suicidal Tendencies Hat , the others is wearing The Explosion on his T-Shirt. Don't get me wrong I lived KISS in first and second grade , when I moved to Denver it was no longer cool at my new school. Is this what metal has become? Is it a dying breed , I grew up as a Metalhead and have great memories and consider it my roots. But After Slayer and Napalm Death , can metal survive if doesn't try to evolve?
Next is Hatebreed , they totally kill it. They have more of a Hard Core/Punk sound , the fans love them. They don't have to wear some goofy costumes to get respect , they play hard and drive it home. No BS just straight up in your face.
Okay now time to head to the Main Stage , I stop for a Moster Energy Drink. I notice a long line forming next to the Monster tent, I guess there are some girls from Huster Magazine signing Autographs and selling mech. I laught at the fact that guys are lining up to get autographs of women that appear in Hustler. I am not knocking their job , but why would you want their autograph? Why not instead go talk to one of the 23 women at the show ?
Okay so enough time exploring the grounds , time to see Lordi on the Main Stage. I get herded along with the other photographers to the press area to wait until Lordi goes on. We all BS about some of the great metal concerts we have seen over the years and how the scene has changed .
Lordi comes in full costume , not some cheesy ass make up , but Full on Costumes that probably weigh 30 pounds. They are serious and they have a tight sound , and know how to pull in the audience. Unlike GWAR ,they let the music do the talking and the stage antics are seconday. I find myself getting into it and enjoy photographing their show. They are the reason I am here after all , and they lived up to the hype I heard going into the show.
Next is Static X and Lamb of God , followed by Ozzy. I have seen Static X and they are Good , Lamb of God is probably the best new Metal band on tour these days. But since I can't photograph Ozzy ,besides I have seen Ozzy over the years and he is now a Cartoon of himself. It really is a shame , beacuse he really influenced me when I was younger and it has always been a dream of mine to photograph him . When I was young and music was full of magic. He was the start of my live music lifestyle. Now I get paid to photograph rock bands for a living. He was this dark prince and full of mystery , but them he went and decided to allow his every embarassing moment to be filmed for our pleasure. I just couldn't stand to watch Ozzy and know that he counld deliver the way he once did.
I decide to bail, because I got hired to photograph a show at Red Rocks , where music is still magic ever night.
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