OZZY OSBOURNE PUTS YOUNGSTERS TO SHAME IN POLAND
Show Date: August 9, 2011
Location: Gdansk, Poland
Venue: Ergo Arena
Reviewer: Fat Peter
Band Website: www.ozzy.com
Ozzy Osbourne should have visited us about eight years ago, but the thing with the ‘Prince Of Darkness’ however is that you never know what to expect of him. At that time, back in 2003, Ozzy suffered an accident while riding his all-terrain vehicle too recklessly and had to cancel some shows. Even though everyone was pissed at the time, people acknowledged that it wasn’t so bad for a 60 year old to be riding a quad.
Anyway, it took several years to get Ozzy Osbourne back to Gdansk, Poland, and meanwhile he had managed to record a stunning new CD, split with his long-time iconic guitar player Zakk Wylde in favor of a younger gun, and aged a bit.
When the intro to his gig at Ergo Arena in the city of Gdansk came to a close and the first riffs of the opening cut “I Don’t Know” came roaring out, the 60 something legend who almost killed himself by breaking several bones in the afore-mentioned accident, literally came running to the microphone and exhibited to all the fans in attendance a monster of a show. At this moment, the very beginning of the gig, I knew that the elderly gentlemen from Britain is, despite his advancing age and history of substance abuse, still THE ‘Prince Of Darkness’.
The setlist was a ride throughout Ozzy Osbourne‘s career, from his early beginnings with Black Sabbath — “War Pigs”, “Fairies Wear Boots”, “Iron Man” — to his solo material heyday — “Crazy Train”, “Mama, I’m Coming Home”. Notable was that the band didn’t play a single song from any of his new alums, including his most recent delivery, the very solid ‘Scream’.
Speaking of the band, Ozzy‘s players were very tight. The rhythm section was great and the new guitar player Gus G handled all the songs very well. One thing that caught my attention was that Gus had invented his own style with his former band Firewind yet he didn’t bring anything new to the Ozzy table really. He sounded almost exactly like Zakk Wylde, and if you closed your eyes you would almost think that the band’s line-up hadn’t change at all. Now don’t get me wrong, Gus‘ solos were spot on, but one might ask them self why Ozzy would fire Wylde if the new guy was going to sound almost exactly like him?
All in all this gig was a very cool experience, albeit a bit short. The strange thing about it though was that there were no songs played from the album the tour was suppose to support– and the newest songs he played were from 1991’s ‘No More Tears’. But apart from that the set list was a great choice, mixing Osbourne‘s greatest hits with the best bits from his Black Sabbath days.
The gig’s high point though was the performance of Ozzy Osbourne himself. It was beyond cool to see a man well into his 60s perform with such energy and flare like he did that evening. If anybody onboard the ‘crazy train’ that night in Poland ever thought John Osbourne should give it up, hang his hat, and enjoy rocking-chair retirement, they surely changed their minds after this performance.
It was a great gig… enough said.