Review: Controversy Ruled The Day At OZZFEST

August 22, 2005

Paul Saitowitz of The Press-Enterprise has issued the following report:

Between the brutal metal assault from 21 bands and the 30,000-strong revelers who would have been just as at home at a professional wrestling match, controversy was the day's most interesting story at the Ozzfest.

IRON MAIDEN's set was the penultimate of the 14-hour festival held at Hyundai Pavilion at Glen Helen in Devore Saturday night. It was, however, plagued by a series of follies that led to an interesting conclusion.

The group came out blazing with Bruce Dickinson's operatic vocals and Steve Harris' scorching bass lines. But after the first song Dickinson lamented that someone was throwing eggs at the band. He was so incensed that he declared, "If I wouldn't get sued, I'd rip your (expletive) head off."

He eventually cooled down. As the band was hitting its stride on the metal classic "Run to the Hills", the public address system was cut off, making the song inaudible. The power came back after about 30 seconds, but went out again at the end of a blistering version of "Hallowed Be Thy Name".

Through it all, the band kept playing, proving that after more than two decades it still brings the metal better than anyone on the planet. There was a rollicking take on "Number of the Beast" that featured a large "666" lighting up in the background as the crowd chanted along. There was also a powerful rendition of "Iron Maiden", which featured a giant Eddie — the group's skeletal mascot — walking across the stage and toying with the band members.

Then strangely, as the band was taking its final bows, a voice came over the P.A. chanting "Ozzy" over and over again.

It got weirder.

As IRON MAIDEN exited the stage it was followed by Ozzy Osbourne's wife (and the tour's founder),Sharon Osbourne. She said into the microphone that "IRON MAIDEN is a fantastic band, but singer Bruce Dickinson is an (expletive)." Then she left the stage.
With bated breath, the crowd waited for retaliation. But by that point, BLACK SABBATH, led by Ozzy, was rocking the stage and the issue was dead.

Read the rest of the article, and check out photos, at

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