Ozzfest 2010—The Metal Madness has Begun!

By Jeff Owens

August 16, 2010

Our own intrepid Jackson journalist, Nick Bowcott, files this metallic missive from the first U.S. date of Ozzfest 2010 …

Metal Mike onstage at Ozzfest (photo by Mitch Lafon).

Late summer has always been a great season for metal, and 2010 is no exception; the almighty Lamb of God, Hatebreed and Rob Zombie already having crushed skulls all over the United States on the Mayhem Festival tour. Plus, Megadeth and Slayer are killing together as I type this. Then, to add further to the mayhem, they will be joined shortly by Anthrax to revisit the classic “Clash of the Titans” tour of the ’90s. Nice!

The metal mother of all such summer tours, however, is of course Ozzfest. And after a short hiatus, it’s back, it’s bad and it’s nationwide—sorta!

Yep, as you read this, Ozzfest 2010 is one gig into its short but savagely sweet six-show U.S. trek. The first date in California last Saturday was incredible, and it’s hardly surprising when you look at the brilliant bill Mr. and Mrs. Osbourne have put together—Drowning Pool, Nonpoint, Devil Driver, the irrepressible Zakk Wylde and Black Label Society, Mötley Crüe and two of the genre’s living vocal legends, both of whom hail from Birmingham, England—the Prince of Darkness and master of ceremonies himself, Ozzy Osbourne, and the Metal God himself, Rob Halford! Damn …

In keeping with his deserved Metal God status, Mr. Halford features another man with a (literally) metal name—shred-monster lead guitarist and defender of the faith “Metal Mike” Chlasciak, who had this to say about appearing on this monumental bill:

“Obviously, I’m excited—it’s Ozzfest for God’s sake! Plus, the talent is right up there. You’ve got incredible bands with incredible guitar players and singers. I mean, you get to hear Rob Halford and Ozzy Osbourne with their solo bands. Plus, you get to hear Zakk Wylde and you also get to hear one of the greatest heavy metal bands ever—Mötley Crüe. And that’s just the last few hours of the festival. I’m ready!”

As many of you know, Metal Mike is a loyal and longstanding Jackson user, to which the impressive arsenal of axes he currently plays on the road bears full-on horns-up testament:

Metal Mike's arsenal.

“Of course, I’ve got my Jacksons with me,” Mike roars with a grin. “My RRs have been with me on the road non-stop for the past 11 years. I’m sorry to say that back in 1999-2000, not many metal heads were playing flying V guitars in arenas across the United States, but I was! I had my Jackson Vs with me back then, throwing the horns at Madison Square Garden in 2000. And look how far metal has come in the past 10 years—it’s strong, man. Metal is king now. You can not kill it.”

“I’m proud to do Ozzfest and play my Jackson RRs with the Metal God,” Mike evangelizes. “It’s important to carry the tradition, and I trust my Jacksons. Out the case—boom, ready! Each one might sound a hair different, but they all play pretty much the same, giving me the best of both worlds—tone and playability. Let’s rock!”

Only five U.S. dates remain, and if you’re serious about metal, it’s not too late to grab a ticket and rock out with Metal Mike, the Metal God, Ozzy, Mötley Crüe (if you’ve never seen ’em live, do so, because Mick Mars has one of the biggest guitar sounds on the planet—it’s freaking huge) and Zakk. Dates, cities and venues are:

8.17 Tinley Park, Ill., First Midwest Bank Amphitheater
8.19 Burgettstown, Pa., First Niagara Pavilion
8.21 Hartford, Conn., Comcast Theater
8.22 Camden, N.J., Susquehanna Bank Center
8.24 Mansfield, Mass., Comcast Center