“Revolution in their minds, the children start to march, against the world in which they have to live and all the hate that’s in their hearts.”
It’s a familiar sight, but one that never ceases to amaze me. The sight of 60,000 fish net, studs, denim, worn-down concert T-shirt wearing, tried and true metal heads flooded the gates. The smell of burgers cooking in the parking lot and cheap weed lingered in the air, and it felt like home. Thousands upon thousands of people gathered for the same reason, METAL. The line moved quick an opened up into a boulevard of merchant stands, food trucks and ATM machines. The main stage was still being set up as myself and a close friend made our way across the field toward the lower stages. I talked to him about how much I was looking forward to seeing Brujeria play live, and he talked to me about how much he wanted to see Devil Driver.
We stopped by the Musician’s Institute/ ESP booth and got to demo a few guitars before I headed to the Nuclear Blast records tent and spent a small fortune on death metal merch. My buddy and I split up so that I was able to snag a spot up front at the nuclear blast stage. The crowd was still small during one of the local acts, a band called The Shrine out of Venice Beach, CA. It was an awesome show, they looked like something straight out of the 70’s. They were a three-member band wearing John Lennon glasses, epic sideburns, and beat to hell Marshall amps and did not fail to impress. Their music was reminiscent of bands like Deep Purple and AC/DC with a violent twist. Security had no idea what the hell to do when people started jumping off the barrier to crowd surf and had even less of an idea when the lead singer/guitarist jumped into the crowd during a solo, running a cabled guitar setup. He had some serious balls.
Afterwards the bands I came to see at that stage, Kataklysm and Brujeria came on. I managed to get some decent shots of Jean and Stephane from Kataklysm since they were pretty much staring me in the eyes through the whole act, but none of Juan Brujo like I had hoped. The crowd was
amazing, the circle pit was HUGE and everyone was pretty much on their best behavior (Other than the fuckhead that I punched in the kidney for groping on female crowd surfers). Pure head banging awesomeness was afoot when Brujeria played “Brujerismo” and “Matando Gueros” to a crowd that had grown considerably. As all things must, the show came to an end and I linked back up with my buddy to charge my phone for a while and interact with people. A charming young lady running the Rock N Roll industries tent was kind enough to let us hang out in the tent while it charged up, at the behest of what seemed to be her boss who came out of nowhere cussing, spitting and making a scene in front of hundreds of concert goers passing by over some incomprehensible slight. Seriously, fuck that guy. After he stormed off we made our way to the main stage and waited….
“They’re tired of being pushed around, and told just what to do. They’ll fight the world until they’ve won and love comes flowing through.”
I got a beer and pretzel from the concessions stand just in time to catch Black Label society as they started their show. Got to meet a bunch of awesome people in the field that was the general admission section all throughout the rest of the night. Megadeth started their act just as the sun was setting over the mountains and seemingly out of nowhere fires started erupting all over the field with hundreds of crazy fucks dancing around them to the tune of “Tornado of Souls” and persisting for the rest of the night. the crowd was illuminated by massive pyrotechnic displays and cellphone screens swaying to the rhythm. Before we knew it, Black Sabbath was getting ready to start their act for the last time in California. With the company of 3 strangers that we met in the beer line (One of which was an older man who had never missed an Ozzfest since it started with his son and daughter who were my age.) we watched history unfold before our eyes as though we were in the company of the best of friends. I summoned up what little was left of my voice as we all sang at the top of our lungs to Figure in Black, War Pigs, Children of the Grave, and Paranoid among others during their nearly 2 hour set. And then it was over. We walked the mile or so back to the car through the hoard of people. We were tired, sore, and hoarse from the 12 hours we had spent banging our heads and soaking it all in, but nothing came close to the feeling of satisfaction that we had for being there to bear witness to the events that unfolded before us that day. People say that all good things will come to an end, but when good things come to a GREAT end, it doesn’t sting as much. \m/CRB
“Children of tomorrow live in tears that fall today. Will the sun rise up tomorrow, bringing peace in any way?”