Ozzy Osbourne, Rob Zombie + More Ring in New Year at Ozzfest 2018
Ozzfest has taken many forms over the years, but on Dec. 31, 2018 it served as a way send out 2018 with a major location-based event and ring in 2019 with some of rock and metal's finest throwing a bash to remember.
Ozzy Osbourne, who months earlier had to postpone a Los Angeles concert due to health issues, returned to the concert stage at the Forum full of energy and ready to count down the final minutes of the year. But before that, a stellar lineup rocked fans inside and outdoors at the Forum during a brisk but sunny afternoon.
Wednesday 13 kicked off the festivities at 2:30PM, with a crew member getting in the spirit by shooting fake snow into the crowd. Their high energy set gave way to a more crushing performance from Dez Fafara and his DevilDriver crew. The moshpits started to form in the Forum parking lot as Fafara rallied the audience into a frenzy. The singer and guitarist Mike Spreitzer also showed their appreciation hanging around to meet with fans and take photos following their set.
As DevilDriver came to a close, the almighty Zakk Wylde rolled up on a golf cart, greeted fans and signed autographs as he made is way to the stage. Other than Osbourne of course, Wylde may very well have been on the most Ozzfests between playing with Ozzy and Black Label Society. Wylde, fresh off the "Generation Axe" tour, played an hour-long set with his tribute band Zakk Sabbath, riffing through classics like “Snowblind,” “Into the Void,” and “N.I.B.” With the sun starting to fade, it was time to move the show indoors for the remainder of the night.
Kicking off the main stage were L.A. natives Body Count. Ice-T, sporting an orange prison jumper, joined his group opening their set with a Slayer tribute of "Raining Blood" and "Postmortem." During “Bowels of the Devil,” Ice-T threw water on the crowd and on the next song “Manslaughter,” Ice-T showered guitarist Ernie C. with a bottle of water. As always the set was full of political and social commentary with songs like “There Goes the Neighborhood, “Talk Shit Get Shot,” “Cop Killer” and the final song “This Is Why We Ride” finishing out the performance. Though indoors, Ice-T wasn't exactly keen on the seating arrangement, telling the crowd, “This is the first time in 10 years I’ve ever played without a moshpit.”
Body Count gave way to Korn frontman Jonathan Davis, playing without his well known cohorts (minus drummer Ray Luzier who kept the beat throughout the set). Davis' set centered on songs from his recent Black Labyrinth album, with a few surprises thrown in. Among them was a rousing performance of "Forsaken," a track the singer initially penned for the Queen of the Damned soundtrack.
What better way to set the stage for the Prince of Darkness than sets from the "Twins of Evil?" Marilyn Manson was up first, opening his set with “Cruci-Fiction in Space.” The singer's set spanned his career, with only "Say10," appearing from his most recent Heaven Upside Down album. Manson's set came with cool production, including stylish outfits and a giant podium. The singer finished his performance strong with some of his biggest hits -- “The Dope Show,” “The Beautiful People,” “Antichrist Superstar,” and his cover of Eurythmics “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of These)." Manson wasn't done for the night though as he joined his fellow "twin of evil" Rob Zombie during the singer's penultimate performance of the night.
Zombie didn't skimp on stage production, providing a visual treat, curious creatures and more to go along with his high energy set. Making sure the crowd was in the moment, Zombie asked fans to put away their cell phones and forget about social media for three minutes while the band played White Zombie's "Thunder Kiss 65." “If you see someone around you that still has their phone out tell them to put it back in you pussy,” Zombie ordered the crowd.
Rob's set opened with the scintillating "Dead City Radio," featured White Zombie standout "More Human Than Human," as well as digging into some covers taking on Ramones' "Blitzkrieg Bop," Alice Cooper's "School's Out" and the Beatles' "Helter Skelter." During the latter performance, Zombie welcomed Nikki Sixx and Marilyn Manson onstage to help out. Before the encore, Rob treated fans to a preview of his upcoming 3 From Hell film, then finished out the night with a performance of "Dragula." Had Zombie not mentioned it during the set, you might not have known he'd been under the weather just hours earlier. Rob confirmed he had been "puking, puking, puking" and thought his New Year's Eve was done for, but he managed to not only make it onstage, but jumped into the crowd during the set.
While the stage was being set for the night's main attraction, fans were treated to a video presentation featuring Ozzy throughout the years. The group took the stage at 11:30, giving them a chance to have the audience fully engaged by the time the countdown came. Osbourne, befitting of a "prince," sported a shiny purple coat, eventually doffing it for his all black ensemble. He opened the set with "Bark at the Moon," rocked out Sabbath's "Mr. Crowley" as fake snow rained down over the crowd, and got in "Suicide Solution" and "Fairies Wear Boots" before it was time to ring in the New Year.
A giant disco ball descended from the middle of the Forum and Ozzy Osbourne confetti covered the venue when the clock hit midnight. After the big moment, Osbourne's energy level rose further as "I Don't Know" became Ozzy's first song performed in 2019. "War Pigs" allowed Zakk Wylde the opportunity to venture into the depths of the Forum crowd during his solo. That led into a medley of “Miracle Man / Crazy Babies / Desire / Perry Mason,” as Wylde’s solo came to an end and drummer Tommy Clufetos took a turn in the solo spotlight. “Crazy Train” concluded the body of the set, with Ozzy returning for an encore of “Mama I’m Coming Home” and “Paranoid" bringing the festivities to a close and sending fans home with plenty of memories to start off 2019.
See our photos and some fan-shot videos from the 2018 Ozzfest event below.
Ozzy Osbourne Performs "Shot in the Dark"
Ozzy Osbourne Performs "War Pigs"
Rob Zombie Performs "Dragula"
Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson + Nikki Sixx Perform "Helter Skelter"
50 Best Hard Rock + Metal Live Acts of All-Time