ROCK2WGTN FESTIVAL DAY TWO – OZZY OSBOURNE, WHITESNAKE AND POISON
Show Date: March 23, 2008
Location: Wellington, New Zealand
Venue: Westpac Stadium
Festival Website: www.rock2wgtn.co.nz
I’ve always been a Poison fan and have waited to see them for 20 odd years.
We decided to go a bit later to day two after having to sit through that tedious guitar solo competition on day one, before it got dark and a band came on. As asshole’s law would have it Poison was on stage when we arrived! In broad daylight!! The night before the first band didn’t come on until it was dark! Shane says, “I think they are on”, and I’m, “NO THEY CAN’T BE”!!! But yep they were, so we missed the first couple of songs. I could still cry thinking about missing ‘Look What The Cat Dragged In’. But anyway, Poison rocked.
I guess I was hoping it was going to be a show like the ‘Nothin But a Good Time’ video with all the poofy hair, makeup and glam synchronized dance moves, but of course it’s 2008 so it wasn’t. The show was pretty basic – no big pyros, although being on in daylight it probably wouldn’t have been worth it anyway.
Poison proved themselves seasoned professionals as they cranked through their hits. The crowd was pretty thin on the ground – maybe because like us, people didn’t expect anything to happen so early, or possibly because they weren’t the main draw card for day two and a lot of people (especially guys) just don’t like Poison (apparently because its considered bubble-gum glam), but I reckon it’s because they always looked prettier than them back in the day and chicks fancied them. Probably a jealously thing.
Vocalist Bret Michaels knows how to work the crowd and was thankful after every song and seemed genuine about it. Although I sooo wanted to see his abs, he didn’t take off his top off (or strangely enough his hat and bandana). C.C. DeVille was his usual energetic self, and I couldn’t help but notice he had a very fake tan verging on orange this particular day – but again if it was dark he wouldn’t have looked so orange. Shane hates Poison, but even he admitted they sounded pretty good. All and all it was a fun party set, I was pretty happy.
Next up was Whitesnake who had the advantage of playing in the dark. It seemed like a lot of people didn’t know half the songs (myself included), but you can’t fault the sound quality of Whitesnake. They are probably one of the best bands skill wise and live sound quality wise that I’ve ever heard. David Coverdale is one of the most charismatic frontmen ever and has one of the best rock voices on Earth. Even if you don’t like Whitesnake, there was no denying Coverdale and the band sounded close to perfect.
Naturally ‘Here I go Again’ was a highlight and positively anthem like. Everyone totally got into this and nearly drowned the band out. Great stuff.
The Prince of Darkness, Ozzy Osbourne, was the headliner. Ozzy mumbles and stumbles all over the stage incoherently although I did hear him say “I can’t fucking hear you” so often I actually wondered if he was really going deaf in his old age. I’m amazed he can still sing yet can’t string a sentence together.
I don’t mind Ozzy, but he kind of bores me after a while, although I’m probably one of the few who felt that way. Highlights were when he performed ‘Bark at the Moon’ and ‘Mr. Crowley’ which were good, but ‘War Pigs’ was easily the most epic. This is fantastic to hear live and in a huge stadium with everyone screaming along to it and all thinking we can sing. Ozzy had the crowd in the palm of his hand and the hardcore fans clearly loved it.
It was a tragic shame when I turned around at one point during the Ozzy performance and I felt something tear in my back. Yes, I had put my back out and the pain was terrible. So I was kind of in agony and had to sit down on the grass whereupon a cop comes along and asks if I was OK. I said, “I’ve done something to my back”, but of course he assumed I was legless and drunk because I admit ‘I’ve done something to my back’ doesn’t sound that plausible. But he left me alone after asking Shane if I was alright, but I really didn’t need to get arrested, so we left. The only thing I’m thankful for about my premature hobbling out was we missed most of Zakk Wylde‘s 20 minute (yes 20 minutes) guitar solo. I don’t mind a guitar solo but this is way too long and would have sent me to sleep, but I guess old Ozzy needed a rest. We also missed the encore of ‘No More Tears’ and ‘Paranoid’, probably the best songs to miss. Asshole’s law again.
I had a pretty big build up to this festival just waiting and waiting for it for months (as a lot of my long suffering friends got sick of hearing about). New Zealand is pretty much starved for concerts so a lot of us Kiwis were excited about this. It was worth the wait, and it was fantastic.
Promoters have suffered a $750,000 loss which is probably what you get bringing relatively huge bands to the bottom of the world without the population to cover the costs, so I doubt there will be a “next time” but if there is, I’m getting seating. I’ve had the sad realization I’m too old to stand for 6 hours and too old for getting pushed about in the mosh pit.
Click here to read about Day One, with Kiss, Alice Cooper and Lordi