Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Biggest Surprise of the Weekend and the Prince of Darkness - Rock2Wellington Night Two Review

After such an explosive first night it the line-up for the second night wasn't looking too flash: on the one hand you had two one hit wonder bands Poison and Whitesnake, but on the other you had Ozzy Osbourne who is the one and only Prince of Darkness. And what would they do to get the whole Crazy Train rolling? What would they do to replace the guitarist battle, and would they keep the same local bands from the night before? I knew this night would be interesting but not so much as it turned out to be. I've got to say my night didn't exactly start off too great.

I pick up my ticket giddy like a little kid going to the candy shop and enter through the gates still excited as hell, but then I heard it. That music sounds live, I thought, why do I recognise it? And then it hits me like a ton of sloppy shit: THE VALVES. I saw these guys for the first time last year at UC Orientation '07 and they pissed me off, I happened to see em again this year because they were supporting a band I wanted to see, and now I saw them at possibly the best gig of my entire life - I'm still pissed off. Why? Because their frontman tries to be John Toogood: he sings like him, he acts like him, he climbs the stage like him and he even gets naked like him. I'm going to have to stop myself now before I go too off-topic and this turns into a rant about crap musicians.
The Valves *1 star - killed the beginning of my night I've got to say.

Salvation came in the form of POISON cracking into it soon after. Now you've all seen Bret Michaels wear that cowboy hat on his show on C4 right? Well you'd think for an entire set he'd take it off right? Wrong, he kept up the Hollywood cowboy image for the entire time he was on stage. It wasn't just Bret Michaels who looked odd, it was the entire band that looked washed up. Before they came on stage I tried picturing what a glam metal band would look like today, and when they emerged I wasn't all too surprised, think Hollywood but sold out: designer clothes, $500 haircuts, jewlery, overly tanned skin - yeah not nice. But it was quite funny to stand there and watch as they tried to get the crowd to get into their songs by clapping and even repeating a few lines. All of this failed pretty heroically. They put up a good fight but it really came down to the fact that close to the entire stadium only knew one Poison song. And oh boy was everyone in good spirits when 'Every Rose Has It's Thorn' came on, I swear the crowd came close to drowning out Bret Michael's voice. Special mention to the fucking ass hole behind me and my mates who decided to start a circle of death to Poison: good effort, but not for glam metal. Hope you enjoyed everyone taking a swing at ya!
Poison **.5Two and a half stars - they were interesting but not special, sorry guys.

Oh and there really is no point in mentioning the entertainment between the mainstage bands because it was all the same, but at least the dragon was back!

WHITESNAKE were another one of these bands that had a one hit wonder and were at Rock2Wellington and after Poison I was dreading their performance, but they actually turned out to be the biggest surprise out of the entire two night experience. As were Poison, Whitesnake in their prime (well, when they had their one hit wonder) were also a glam band, but shit those boys are talented. Their frontman David Cloverdale (formerly of Deep Purple) had an amazing voice and was a cheeky bastard hitting on girls in the front row: "Are those real? I got feed myself for a week off those!", and their guitarists Doug Aldrich and Reb Beach really set the musical standard for the night flicking out some amazing licks with such ease. But, like Poison before them, attempts to get the crowd into the music failed simply because no one except a few die hard fans were familiar with it, because of this I couldn't help but feel that David Cloverdale was getting a bit frustrated with us. However this all changed when 'Here I Go Again' was performed, just like with Poison, every person in the stadium got into it like nothing else mattered, and the solo live was wicked.
Whitesnake ****4 stars - sooooo goddamn cool, do you best to listen to their music!

As it came to the Ozman's time the crowd were treated to an arrangement of cheeky clips involving OZZY OSBOURNE taking the piss out of Lost and the Queen among others. This was just a taster of how much of a kid Ozzy is at heart. Before he finally appeared on stage he kept on teasing the crowd yelling into a microphone "Are you fucking crazy Wellington?" and halfway into his set he mooned the crowd and threw buckets of water. When he did hit the stage it as a true Crazytrain (yes he played that) with no end in forseeable sight. He played all his classics including 'Paranoid', 'Flying High Again', 'Goodbye to Romance' and 'Bark at the Moon', including two of his newer songs which were fucking awesome: 'I Don't Wanna Stop' and 'Road To Nowhere'. To call his set just an Ozzy show is an understatement, his guitarist Zakk Wylde (a favourite of mine) was going off ripping out some incredible solos and squealing harmonics. At one stage Ozzy and the rest of the band left him on stage and for about 5 to 10 minutes it became the Zakk Wylde solo show consisting of some of the best examples of how to play a guitar and immense talent. And special mention to his new bassist Rob 'Blasko' Nicholson who looks so goddamn badass it even rivals Zakk Wylde. The only dissapointment with the entire set was that after during the encore 'No More Tears' wasn't performed - this song is one of my favourites of Ozzy's and for him not to play it was a shock, and I'm sure I wasn't the only one.
Ozzy Osbourne *****5 stars - The Prince of Darkness still has it. Well worth the price of the ticket just to see him alone.

ROCK2WELLINGTON was possibly the best concert/event I have ever been to, and I doubt any Big Day Out could top it. Here's hoping that this will become an annual event despite organisers announcing a loss of over $100,000 through not selling enough tickets and shoddy advertising (apparently).With the combination of Rock2Wellington and seeing Queens of the Stoneage and Smashing Pumpkins Easter weekend was the best weekend I think I will ever have.

Over and out, Maximus

No comments: