Ozzy Osbourne, Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson, Jonathan Davis, Body Count, Zakk Sabbath, DevilDriver, Wednesday 13: This was the lineup that rocked in the new year at Ozzfest New Year’s Eve 2018.
The festivities began in the parking lot of The Forum, located in (not so) sunny Los Angeles directly below one of LAX’s flight paths. The gloomy weather and high-flying airliners, however, were no match for the onslaught of heavy sounds so graciously provided by the fest’s openers: Wednesday 13 with their horror punk antics and crowd-dusting snow blower; Dez Fafara of Coal Chamber fame brought his current heavy hitting band DevilDriver and killed it as usual; and finishing out the outdoor portion of the fest was Black Sabbath cover band Zakk Sabbath, fronted by a purple-kilted Zakk Wylde.
Food trucks and booze lines were aplenty, including a personal favorite, Trejo’s Tacos, created by none other than scary badass and actor, Danny Trejo. The slim lineup and small outdoor venue paled in comparison to past Ozzfests, but the opening music sets were no let down, and as it turned out, neither were the remaining indoor bands.
The doors to The Forum were opened near the end of Zakk Sabbath’s set, affording patrons the chance to continue the party inside the cavernous venue. Several shout-outs were given during the second half, including Ice-T ragging on Donald Trump, Jonathan Davis paying respect to Aaliyah, and Rob Zombie admonishing people in the crowd on their phones during his set. Ice-T and his band Body Count kicked things off with some pretty heavy tunes, of which included a cover of Slayer’s Raining Blood and ’92 classic (and controversial) track, Cop Killer. Jonathan Davis followed with minimalistic red mood lighting and even moodier tunes.
Marilyn Manson changed things up by flooding the stadium with a dazzling light show, at one point asking the crowd to “show me your lights” as hundreds of cell phone LED lights (and a few lighters) snapped on. Rob Zombie showed off his unique stage presence with video screens, costumed characters, and a slew of tassels. At one point Zombie brought out Manson (the two had recently wrapped up their Twins of Evil tour) as well as Mötley Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx to perform a cover of The Beatles’ Helter Skelter.
Ozzfest’s namesake, the prince of darkness Ozzy Osbourne, made his appearance at about 11:30 p.m. and kicked into high gear with Bark at the Moon. 2019 was met with a barrage of confetti, fake snow, balloons and giant disco ball. Here’s to many more shows in this new year and many more Ghost Cult Magazine album reviews, artist interviews, and concert coverage.
WORDS BY JUSTIN RHOADS
PHOTOS BY MEG LOYAL PHOTOGRAPHY