Wednesday, January 2, 2008

A New Year at Places Parallel...

Hi everyone,

I hope you all survived the holidays. I did--but just barely. I meant to post a lot during my Christmas break, but the whole time I was behind the 8 ball in cleaning and shopping and baking and decorating and all the rest of it. Remember when Christmas was the most fun time of the year and not the most stressful? I think I was eight years old then.

Anyway, one of my New Year's Resolutions is to do a lot of writing of all kinds, including our rather Trent-heavy discussions here at Places Parallel. That's why I bring to you now a belated review of a Rob Zombie/Ozzy Osbourne concert I attended on December 16th.

It was kind of a strange coincidence that brought me to the Allstate Arena that night. I have one of those awesome friends who always seems to have free tickets to Bulls and Blackhawks games from work (skyboxes, even!), and she happened to get free tickets for this concert from the United Way (errr?). I was unenthused at the prospect initially, given that I've seen both acts before with Mr. Maise. Ozzy is always lovable, but he's not really my genre. And I do enjoy Rob Zombie, but the last time I had seen him, he was opening for (ugh) Godsmack and was apparently drunk off his ass. It didn't help his performance, as he spent the entire show forgetting lyrics and trying to get the audience to sing for him. It was rather depressing, actually, and I wouldn't want to see a repeat.

However, Mr. Maise really wanted to go, and who am I to deny him, given that he traveled halfway around the world to see two NIN shows with me and my equally obsessive online friends? All aboard the crazy train, then!

Fortunately, we missed whatever dreadful opening act was there that night. I think we heard the last few notes as we bought beer and looked for our seats, and they were deafeningly loud and tuneless. As we found our seats (presumably in the United Way section), I was alarmed to find myself surrounded by 10-year-old boys. The hell? Look, I know Ozzy Osbourne is our generation's answer to Ward Cleaver, but no one could reasonably deem Rob Zombie's stage show (all gory exploitation movie clips and topless strippers) appropriate for children.

But you know, I don't really give a shit that this entire concert was wildly inappropriate for children. You know what *does* piss me off? That I had to be surrounded by the youth on my fucking day off. My second job these days involves working with kids, and I have to see them four fucking days a week. Don't get me wrong--I love the job, and I love the kids. But when I'm off the clock, I don't want to hang out with anyone under 25. Seriously. So given all the nudity and fake blood, I shouldn't have to worry that sitting behind me are going to be 10-year-old boys singing aloud at the top of their lungs, making "Living Dead Girl" sound like fucking Kidz Bop. It was infuriating.

Fortunately, I am happy to report that Rob Zombie was back on his game. I mean, if I had to hang out with Godsmack all the time, I'd probably drink myself into a stupor as well. But he performed all his old favorites with gusto and got the crowd into the show. He always has clips of his reprehensible films playing in the background, and you couldn't pay me to watch that celluloid trash (although Mr. Maise is a fan of "House of 1000 Corpses" and "The Devil's Rejects" for whatever twisted reasons). Although I do have to say that I laughed my ass off at the fake trailer he made for Quentin Tarantino's/Robert Rodriguez's "Grindhouse." It was entitled "Werewolf Women of the SS" and was just as tongue-in-cheek tasteless as you might imagine, but there is this priceless cameo by Nicholas Cage...and if you're curious, you can see it here. (NSFW...duh)

Some might call Rob Zombie a hack or misogynist or whatever, but I find him easy to love with his funk-influenced metal and his boyish love for terrible horror movies and boobies. (Did you know he worked as a technician on Pee Wee's Playhouse? I didn't. Thanks, Wikipedia.) "Superbeast" and "Living Dead Girl" are always standouts. I really wish he'd play "Spookshow Baby," though. Mainly because Mr. Maise and I change the chorus from "She's a killa, she's a thrilla, spookshow baby!" to "She's a chinchilla...she's a thrilla...Rollo, baby!" for our beloved rodent, Rollo, pictured below:

Okay, maybe you just have to be there.


After Rob Zombie had finished, some of the 10-year-old boys had their shirts off with their pants drooping down so that you could see their stupid boxers. YUCK.

Then Ozzy took the stage, and well...he's still fun to watch, but it's ever so slightly disappointing that he doesn't even TRY to be dangerous and scary anymore. He's fully embraced the self-parody. And I guess what else can you do when you're like 80 years old and still rocking? But, oh well. I just hope that certain 42-year-old rockers (who shall go unnamed) never go that route. He opened his show with a lengthy collection of spoof videos: Ozzy performing oral sex on QEII in a parody of "The Queen" (gross), Ozzy on "Lost" (who cares?), Ozzy participating in "Dancing with the Stars" (okay, that was actually pretty funny)'s rather entertaining, but it kind of killed the mood for me. Like when he hosed down the front rows of the audience with some kind of foam during "Suicide Solution." He played a lot of his favorites, but not enough Black Sabbath, in our opinion. Although God only knows what kind of legal issues surround all that. His voice wasn't especially strong that night, but he might have been sick, and he's like 80 years old or whatever. Regardless, we all love Ozzy, and it was a good time.

Oh, and for some reason, Ozzy is VERY demanding when it comes to audience participation. "I CAN'T FUCKING HEAR YA!" he'd grouse. Well, turn up your hearing aid, old man! Around 10 p.m., us working stiffs were starting to run out of gas (especially when Zakk Wylde gets a three-hour guitar solo), and the true fans were all too drunk, but we still weren't loud enough for him. Sheesh.

So that, my friends, is pretty much all I have to say about that. Stay tuned, as this weekend, Iris is once again trekking to my place, and she and Ro and I are going to see THE DRESDEN DOLLS. Whoo!


Ro said...

I've been a bad little blogger lately, but I promise 2008 will be the Year Ro Gets Her Shit Together. Glad to hear Rob Zombie is back in top form. I was worried about him there. And really, that man needs to stick with his day job. His movies suck ass.

Danny Angel said...

Finally, a review I can get my head around.

My X-mas/New Year's has sucked due to mayhem and family ilnesses requiring unexpected travel. Such is life.

I did find time to hit the main record stores in the East Bay in the Bay Area. I think I bought like 20 CDs. Carcass, Possessed, Decapitated, Coroner. All good.

maise said...

Well, Angelman, I hope things have settled down family-wise. It sucks to have crises during the holidays.

Hm, Carcass. Possessed. Decapitated. Coroner.

Let's play, Name Your Own Bay Area Heavy Metal Band!

My pick: Disemboweled

Anonymous said...

Put me down for Fistula.

Danny Angel said...

Only Possessed is from the Bay Area... Duh.

maise said...

Do you think Coroner would be pissed if I named my band Medical Examiner?

Anonymous said...

Wait a minute.

Can I change mine to Obstruction?

Danny Angel said...

I also got Opeth, Kreator, Fate's Warning, Mercyful Fate, Diamond Head, and more...!

Anonymous said...

Diamond Head? I climbed that when I visited Hawaii.

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