Let the Madness Begin Once Again
Ozzy Osbourne at The Warehouse in Toronto, October 10, 1995
by: Alain M. Gaudrault
Ozzy Osbourne, former frontman for the once-mighty Black Sabbath, is showing the world in his own inimitable way that, as he puts it, "retirement sucks." Ozzy's previous tour was touted as being his last, the "No More Tours" tour, in support of his then current release _No More Tears_. Restless and bored, the madman of rock and roll put together a promotional tour in anticipation of his forthcoming release, _Ozzmosis_. Only appearing in small venues and clubs, and playing his most popular material, this is a mini-tour strictly for the fans.

As he has done in the past with groups such as Motley Crue, and most notably Metallica, Ozzy has brought along an opening act which he feels has great potential for major success. American death/industrial crossover act Fear Factory were the lucky recipients of this prized slot. Their 45-minute set showcased songs off both of their full-length albums although more emphasis on their latest, _Demanufacture_, was to be expected. While energetic and raw, the performance seemed not quite as focused as it has been in the past. This is perhaps due to the utter lack of audience feedback to their material, other than the occasional "we want Ozzy" bellows. Ozzy fans have been known to be rather intolerant of opening acts, and the crowd at the Warehouse was no different. Few cheers and little applause were all the thanks Fear Factory received before leaving the stage.

Of course, the crowd was eagerly anticipating those four trademark words ushering in another evening of musical mayhem: "Let the madness begin." Ozzy, ever the comedian, started the show with a video montage of himself spliced into various bits of film, including "Forrest Gump" and music clip footage of Elvis, The Beatles, and Madonna, among others. This served only to build the crowd's anticipation which exploded as Ozzy hit the stage, sporting both a hot new guitar player, and a legendary bassist, the ever-enigmatic Geezer Butler, also of Black Sabbath fame. The set list included Ozzy's greatest hits such as "Crazy Train," "Flying High Again," "Bark at the Moon," and his most recent hit, "Mama I'm Coming Home." Featured also were such Black Sabbath classics as "Iron Man," "Sweet Leaf," and "War Pigs." In fact, a full third of the show consisted of Sabbath tunes, not surprising since half of the band is comprised of ex-Black Sabbath members!

While Ozzy may not have the greatest singing voice, he sure knows how to pen a memorable hook, and goad his audience into a manic frenzy. And the latter he did at the Warehouse. The energy level was high from beginning to end, letting up momentarily for ballads such as "Goodbye to Romance" and "Mama I'm Coming Home." Ozzy himself seemed to be having a damn good time, and looked in much better physical condition than he did in the mid-1980s. The man is lean, mean, and ready to assault fans with yet another slab of goodies with the upcoming _Ozzmosis_. Should he come through your area in support of the album, I highly recommend checking it out, even if only for that warm, fuzzy feeling we all get when listening to those immortal songs from his previous band.

(article submitted 8/11/1995)

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