Ozzfest was pretty great. I got there around 2 PM, just missing Mastodon (and missing Trivium and The Black Dahlia Murder by hours, which kinda pisses me off because TBDM's Miasma has been growing on me a lot - initially, it seemed like a disappointingly metalcore-ish follow-up to their death-metal's-future-is-now debut, Unhallowed, but the more I listen to it, the more I like it). I got to see As I Lay Dying (dull), Killswitch Engage (duller) and Rob Zombie (pretty good, and very funny.)
Zombie's between-song banter was almost more entertaining than his thumping disco-metal songs, but he ended his set brilliantly, probably inspired by the late-Seventies setting of his movie The Devil's Rejects: he played a medley of the James Gang's "Funk #49," White Zombie's "Thunder Kiss '65," and Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama." (The band probably dug this part, as it was their only chance to play solos.)
As far as the main stage was concerned, Black Sabbath didn't play because Ozzy was sick, which was fine with me because I saw them last year and they probably would have done the exact same set, which would have sullied my 2004 memories. Plus, this meant an extra 20 minutes or so of Iron Maiden, and Maiden totally kicked ass live. The buddy I attended with had never seen them (it was my third time since 2003), and was blown away by Dickinson's energy and lungpower, not to mention the way the three guitarists and the bassist hugged the lip of the stage, really playing to the crowd, without ever missing a note.
Some of the other acts were really good (Mudvayne), and others were just acceptable (Shadows Fall, In Flames). Black Label Society's set was when I took my dinner break. Their music is nothing but a slightly heavier Alice In Chains, but their position in the metal scene is what pisses me off. Wylde gets on every Ozzfest bill because he's Ozzy's guitar player, and the crowd cheers for him (when I'm there) because he's from Jersey. He doesn't sell worth a shit, and would be second stage material, if that, without the nepotism. Grr.
In general, though, it was a very good show, despite the rain. I doubt I'll go back next year, unless they get Metallica to (like Maiden did this year) promise to play only songs from the first four albums. (Maiden could've gone with material all the way up to Powerslave, if it was up to me, but what the hell.)
In non-Ozzfest news, I wrote more about Mudvayne, Shadows Fall and In Flames here.
Oh yeah, you should go buy the new Stinking Lizaveta album. Instrumental heaviosity doesn't begin or end with Pelican, y'know.