Ozzy barks at the moon, rocks Tel Aviv Fairgrounds

Legendary heavy metal rocker Ozzy Osbourne headlines in an ear-splitting concert that features seven bands.

Sharon Ozzy Osbourne 311 (photo credit: Sasson Tiram)
Sharon Ozzy Osbourne 311
(photo credit: Sasson Tiram)
Ozzy Osbourne performed in Israel for the first time on Tuesday, hitting the Tel Aviv Fairgrounds in Hayarkon Park like a long-range missile but leaving no casualties, save some busted eardrums and about a dozen cameramen doused headto- toe by a foam cannon wielded by the former Black Sabbath frontman.
The 62-year-old heavy metal great and reality TV pioneer started the night off right with the title track from his 1983 album Bark at the Moon, before launching into “Let Me Hear You Scream,” from his latest album Scream.
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Proving his metal
With the crowd in a frenzy and apparently heeding the scream commandment, Ozzy launched into “Mr.
Crowley,” a single from his first solo project, 1980’s Blizzard of Oz. During the song’s guitar solo, considered one of the greatest in metal history, Osbourne began firing a high-powered foam cannon toward the front of the stage, jeopardizing thousands of dollars worth of camera equipment in an act that would have surely been condemned by the famous British occultist he saluted in the metal classic.
Ozzy’s performance was the headliner of the Tel Aviv stop on the “Ozzfest” tour, the first time that the legendary musican has visited Israel.
Around 10,000 tickets were sold for the concert at the fairgrounds, which featured two stages and seven acts, including the Israeli metal group Betzefer as well as the bands Korn and Soulfly. For their part, Korn put on a show-stopping performance ahead of Ozzy, making it clear why only a few years ago they were headlining arena gigs across the United States.
The sound was tight and bone-rattling throughout the open-air venue during both Ozzy and Korn’s performances.
Neither was struck by the hitches and technical malfunctions that plagued the beginning of the Metallica concert in May .
Halfway into his two-hour set, Ozzy took a break and made it clear, in terms that can’t be printed in a family newspaper, that he has no tolerance for politics, politicians or those who have thrown art and music into the arena of global conflict.
Ozzy said he was having an amazing time before an amazing crowd and commented that he didn’t “understand why anyone wouldn’t want to come here.” He also seemed a bit puzzled and admitted “I have no idea why it took me so long to come here.”
Osbourne gave the people what they want, especially if those people were bigger Black Sabbath than Ozzy fans. Such sentiments can be forgiven, and Ozzy seemed to be in a forgiving mood, playing Sabbath favorites and classic metal anthems like “Iron Man,” “War Pigs,” and “Fairies Wear Boots,” among others.
No Ozzy concert would be complete without the Randy Rhoads era classic “Crazy Train,” and Osbourne didn’t disappoint, though he did seem to forget about those hoping to hear “Flying High Again,” which was left off of the set list.
After “Crazy Train,” Ozzy launched into the ballad “Mama, I’m Coming Home” followed by an encore of “No More Tears.” For a final encore, Ozzy brought it back to his roots and played the title track from the 1970 Black Sabbath album Paranoid, largely considered the band’s magnum opus.
Osbourne’s act was defined largely by a genuine warmth and “kumbaya with hairspray” sort of vibe from Ozzy and his bandmates. Maybe it was his age or maybe the jetlag, but Ozzy didn’t seem to resemble the demon that terrorized a million suburban mothers in the US in the 1980s. In those days, before he had an MTV reality show, he was sculpted into some sort of menacing, bat-eating figure in pop culture, whose song “Suicide Solution” was sure to herald a wave of teen suicides, with thousands of cul-de-sac self-immolations set to take place on top of hastily-crafted pentagrams.
Ozzy showed Tuesday, in no uncertain terms, why he’s been a success for four decades, and how a 62-yearold man can still hold thousands in the palm of his hand, barking at the moon on a crazy train to nowhere.