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Last post 7 weeks ago by frankj1. 10 replies replies.
Storytime: #2 Anniversary This Week
Sunoverbeach Offline
#1 Posted:
Joined: 08-11-2017
Posts: 11,826
So, I’ve alluded to this event previously, but today is the 25th anniversary of the most exciting concert I’ve ever attended. Not necessarily the best, though there were some high points, but most exciting hands down. This is the full story to the best of my feeble recollection.

The year was 1997 and the Polaris Amphitheater in Columbus was a relatively new, outdoor venue on the north end of the city. The 2nd iteration of Ozzfest was coming to town. I, a fresh faced 21 year old child was beyond excited. Not only would this be my first occasion to see the Prince of Darkness in person, but it would be the first tour in almost 20 years that the original Black Sabbath had played together… most of them anyway. Bill Ward was not included, and I don’t recall who they got to play the drums for that tour.

Personnel discrepancies aside, I was determined to go and coerced my buddy from next door into attending. He wasn’t the biggest hard rock/metal fan, but I explained the likelihood of scantily clad rocker chicks being present and he was in. So, we plunked down our $25 a piece for an estimated 10-12hrs of live music (God bless the 90s and for those about to chime in with 60s-70s era ticket prices, bite me), and off we went.

We arrived to the spectacle of protesters, not for Ozzy for the record. Rather Marylin Manson was on the bill, Antichrist Superstar was getting some significant radio play, and several religious parents were outraged he would be allowed to play in the heartland of Ohio. They politely expressed their view that Manson fans were bound for hellish torment, while across from them a variety of hair colors dressed in glossy leather, politely rebutted that view. Us denim and t-shirt clad concert goers scooted right past, because who gives a chit? Sabbath (mostly) was coming to town.

We found our seats in the back 3rd of the seated section, not like those plebians on the lawn. We met a group of guys from Kentucky who had a stash of home rolled “cigarettes,” and they were quite generous in their distribution of them to nearby strangers. The atmosphere was quite relaxed for the moment.
The show proceeded as you would expect any music festival type of setup. We drank cheap beer at exorbitant prices, I believe it was like $3.50-$4 at the time. We bounced back and forth from the main to the 2nd stage, ‘cause dammit, we were gonna get our money’s worth. I don’t recall anyone notable from the 2nd stage. On the main, I enjoyed my introduction to Powerman 5000 & Fear Factory. Type O Negative I could take or leave.

Then came Pantera. Now I had a passing familiarity with the bigger Pantera songs from Cowboys and Vulgar Display, but wasn’t a diehard fan at that time. Those guys FUGGIN ROCKED!!! A sheer wall of solid sound smacked me right in the brain stem. I needed albums… all of the albums. I was disappointed to see the set end. I wanted to see Dimebag Darrel shred for the rest of my life. As it turned out, Columbus was not a good city for him to visit on tour.

Next came Manson and along with him, the first sign that things might go a wee bit off the rails. I was optimistic. I’d found some new groups through the day, maybe I never gave Marilyn Manson a proper chance. So they were off to a decent start with a tune I didn’t recognize. I recall Sweet Dreams came into play somewhere. Then, a couple minutes into the 3rd song, he stopped singing and started babbling. He continued babbling until the band stopped playing and he kept going. I don’t recall the details exactly. Something about anti-government, anti-God, pro-Satan, blah, blah, blah.

The majority of the crowd wasn’t having it. We were there for Ozzy & Co., and while we could pass the time listening to other bands, listening to someone’s freestyle rant just wasn’t going to cut it. The day was long. It had been hot. Much beer and very little water had been consumed. F#$k this guy. The chant started. OZZY! OZZY! OZZY! The chant gained traction. OZZY! OZZY! OZZY! The chant swelled to the point I couldn’t even make out the words coming from the speakers anymore. OZZY! OZZY! OZZY! That’s when the MM announced, “I’m never playing in this f%^king town again.” Immediate standing ovation from the crowd… most of the crowd. The band reacted to that by trashing the equipment and storming off the stage. The non chanting, non ovating portion of the crowd, wanted to fight. There was some shoving, and few swings, but cooler rainbow colored heads prevailed, realizing the Sabbath fans outnumbered them probably 5 to 1 at least. I remember a purple haired girl being dragged up the aisle by four of her friends while she spit curses at the crowd as she passed. Too bad. She would’ve been cute if she didn’t look so damn angry.

Ok, then. Excitement passed. On with the show. The Ozzy chant resumed. It quieted again when activity took place on the stage. It wasn’t Ozzy though. It was an impromptu cover band headed by Phil Anselmo. He announced Ozzy was running late and the group started playing Ozzy and Sabbath covers. I don’t remember how many nor which ones. It was entertaining for a bit, but we came to see the real deal. The chant began again. OZZY! OZZY! OZZY! The band faded to the wings and Phil was left out front and made an announcement that Ozzy wasn’t going to make it. The chant shifted. BULLCHIT! BULLCHIT! BULLCHIT!. Phil left and the original chant resumed. They had to be lying. The house lights weren’t up. That Ozzy’s such a joker. He just wants to test our dedication. Then the house lights came up.

I can’t tell you at this point, exactly what happened when. From my incredibly relaxed point of view, insanity spontaneously erupted. We weren’t being harmed, so my buddy and I just sat back and watched. Whole sections of the back fence on the lawn were torn down by the crowd. They piled the pieces together and set them on fire. The crowd moved out from there and attacked landscaping, uprooting small trees and bushes. Concession stand windows were knocked out. Tents were violently deconstructed. Some company had a car near the entrance for advertising, and it was flipped onto its roof. Somebody else made an effort to set it on fire though they weren’t overly successful. I looked to my buddy and deduced, “Dude, we’re in a riot!” The next thing I knew, a police chopper was flying overhead, cops were crowding through the side entrances with helmets and shields, and what appeared to be tear gas was being deployed on the lawn. I looked to my buddy again. “Dude, we gotta get out of here!” So we exited post haste, without incident to ourselves happily, overhearing one of the Manson fans lament, “This is all the Christians’ fault.”

The bright side that day, aside from lack of bodily harm to myself, was there was oddly a near total news blackout on the event, so I was able to break the story to my parents in a non-panic inducing manner. The happy ending overall was Ozzy heard about the crowd’s reaction and came back to Columbus after the tour was over and honored the original ticket stubs. We were treated to 3+ hours of solo Ozzy and Black Sabbath. Plus, our KY buddies returned with more goodies. Dam good show in the end!

TL/DR: SOB paid $25 for front row seats to a riot.
MACS Offline
#2 Posted:
Joined: 02-26-2004
Posts: 75,480
Cool story, bro... I think I was in Crete, Greece at the time.
Jakethesnake86 Offline
#3 Posted:
Joined: 12-29-2020
Posts: 1,998
I actually quite thoroughly enjoyed that story.
Gene363 Offline
#4 Posted:
Joined: 01-24-2003
Posts: 28,234
What a prelude to Ozzy, great story.
Speyside2 Offline
#5 Posted:
Joined: 11-11-2021
Posts: 2,049
In 1982 I had tickets to see Ozzy right after Crazy Train came out. He never made it to the stage, probably to stoned. This was the worst concert experience ever for me.

And now the rest of the story. I had bought these tickets as a birthday present for my then girlfriend. I said hey babe, I will get a refund pick any other concert you want to go to. 2 and 1/2 hours of Barry Manilow could be my personal hell. I could even get drunk because I knew the sex would be awesome.
Palama Offline
#6 Posted:
Joined: 02-05-2013
Posts: 19,768
Great remembrance story!

Considering the youthful activities, it’s amazing you recalled all those details. Nonetheless, thoroughly enjoyed it and hope to see a few more. Herfing
HockeyDad Offline
#7 Posted:
Joined: 09-20-2000
Posts: 43,503
Spey is not ready to take a chance again on Barry Manilow.
Sunoverbeach Offline
#8 Posted:
Joined: 08-11-2017
Posts: 11,826
Hope the sex was in fact awesome.

The early part of the concert is actually pretty fuzzy other than knowing I liked or didn't. Pantera onwards dumped so much adrenaline in my system it precluded the effects of youthful activities
mjrburn Offline
#9 Posted:
Joined: 02-28-2016
Posts: 1,439
Nice story, tell it to Reader's Digest!!! Whistle
Very cool memory, wish I could remember more about some of my escapades. I do recall seeing Pantera open for Skid Row in 1992 at the Greenville Memorial Auditorium. The place maxed out at around 6k tickets and it was packed. The music was so loud it made me sick to my stomach but I stayed for the entire show... seen a lot of great bands in that little auditorium.
frankj1 Offline
#10 Posted:
Joined: 02-08-2007
Posts: 41,993
great story
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