a couple things to note…
…although not mentioned in the original bit, this would have been about the tenth anniversary of me meeting randy.
09/08/2002: “doin’ lines at ozzfest 2k2”
ozzy got me wet. true story. see, when on stage mr. osbourne tends to get overheated. and when he does so, he runs to the side of the stage, and dunks his head in a five gallon bucket of water. he then runs over to the front of the stage, still dripping, and slings the bucket over the crowd, dowsing concert goers with the water he just dunked his own head in. would this mean i’ve been ozztized instead of baptized? but this was WAY late in the day, we’ve got a bit to cover first.
it was pouring when i got there, but stopped when i stepped out of my car. TOO cool. actually, to be a bit more accurate, NOT too cool. pretty fucking hot, actually…with the heat (in fine texas tradition) being only outweighed by the humidity. i was parked…and almost within TWO MILES of the door. see, for all the modern luxuries the verizon wireless amphitheater has it lacks one basic one…a parking area that’s more than 50% pavement. that means when it pours, more than half their parking becomes swamp land. not wanting to see cars bogged and sinking, they do a park-and-ride shuttle from near by retama park raceway. suprisingly, there was no big line of cars to get into the lot (or at least, it WAS moving pretty quick). likewise, there was no line at all to get on the shuttle bus (i have to say, for the amount of people they had to deal with, the ride there went quick…but the ride back? well…) then i got to the box office to get my ticket, and there was no line either. “they’re spoiling me”, i thought to myself. then i heard it. what i was really, deathly afraid of. the line i’m supposed to be SAYING, not HEARING.
“sir, i’m not finding any tickets here for you….how did you arrange these?”
first instinct was to pull out a business card…but flashing one of my business cards to a stormtrooper of the evil empire (i.e. ticketmaster) would be like showing your sugar’s uptown cabaret platinum v.i.p. card to your minister…it’s gonna do MANY things, but winning you favors AIN’T one of them. so, i hopped the phone (which i almost left in the car but due to the park-and-ride thing i decided that would be WAY stupid to do for just such an emergency). a few calls (and more than a few minutes) later i had my ticket, had signed my ($105) receipt, and was in the door. JUST in time for the second stage to be done and a few thousand sweaty, muddy folks to head my way. in the middle was a former star employee and her room mate, and thus started the first chunk of my non-alone time.
we stood in the concourse while mud people walked around us until they decided they wanted food. i wasn’t hungry, but wandered with them, and we got in line at the domino’s pizza counter. this was the first line of the day, and it took (no bullshit, and i only know ’cause i called chuck when i first got in line so i had the timestamp on the phone as a reference) FIFTY-FIVE minutes to get food. total cost for one small (as in small enough to barely hold four pieces of pepperoni) pizza and a thirty-two ounce (mostly ice, of course) coke? $9.00. and i missed adema. darn.
next up was tommy lee (in for texas-based drowning pool, who’s singer died last week of heart failure – no word on any drug involvement in said ailment…but they still sold more shirts than tommy, and they didn’t even play). i went to see tommy for two reasons:
a. when i met him at la zona recently he was VERY nice, personal, and cool…but i couldn’t stay for his show.
b. he opened with shout at the devil, including the full album intro track “in the beginning”. you HAVE to respect that.
but i was denied entry to the place. why? because i didn’t have a wristband. the $100 ticket stub didn’t mean SHIT without a wristband to get you on the floor. and they didn’t stop me till i was right by the floor, then told me to walk all the way back up to the venue entrance to get one, only to find out they were out and had to wait in ANOTHER line (fifteen minutes) of REALLY pissed off, mostly intoxicated mexican guys. this was NOT gonna get pretty. the cool thing was, i was the tallest (scary) and most intimidating (build-wise) one of the bunch. which meant that when one, slightly older, quite frightened security guy found he had a single wristband in his pocket, he motioned me over rather quietly and slipped it in my hand. MY wait was only fifteen minutes. everyone elses? more like about thirty. sometimes it helps to look harmful, i suppose.
next up was the “good vs. evil” portion of the day, i.e. p.o.d…the christian-based hard rock act. while they certainly would have fit in a bit more at the v.w.a. in about three weeks when creed comes to town (i wouldn’t look for me to even be in san antonio on THAT day…i’m not female, they don’t do much for me) they were part of the tour, and provided some background noise while most of us went to pick up merch. i went to the merch tent, WAITED IN LINE (twenty minutes) only to find out that they (supposedly as everyone else) had sold out of the ONE ozzfest shirt that came in xxl. they did, however, have what i think is THE best concert merch deal i’ve ever seen since the $10 t-shirts at the rage against the machine show at sunken gardens… a big, black, foam hand giving you the one-finger salute with “ozzy” written across the palm for only $5. needless to say these sold out FAST. i even talked to one guy who had bought FIVE. christmas IS only a few months away, you know (he seriously bought them as christmas gifts).
with only moments left in the p.o.d. set, i bolted to the merch booth on the OTHER side of the stage area to try my shirt luck. i was in line there for only about ten minutes, when some guy said, “oh man…they just sold the last foam finger”. when i told him they had them on the other side and he turned to thank me, i told him i was looking for the RAREST of the rare…the “satan stage diving” shirt HE was wearing, but in xxl. his girlfriend’s eyes LIT up. it seems that she worked one of the snack booths earlier, and since this was the second-to-the-last ozzfest of the year (the last being in dallas tonight) they were gonna run out of EVERYTHING. so, she sent a friend to get her “one large system of a down shirt and two xl ozzfest shirts”. well, she went and got the system shirt and a SINGLE ozzfest shirt in size 2xl (i.e. xxl). and they WOULDN’T buy it back. so she sold it to me (unworn, and neatly folded, i might add) for only $20 (versus the $32 they were charging) SCORE!!! and just in time for p.o.d. to shut the fuck up.
then on came rob zombie. (thus began the “sean goes deaf” part of the day). this was my fourth time to see him (second in sa) and he never seems to disappoint. he also never seems completely happy with his crowd response, but maybe that’s just me. last time i saw him in sa was at freeman with koRn, and i got to hang with him a bit after the show. SUPER nice guy, and not nearly as “dark” in person as you’d expect. after making my ears bleed for forty-five minutes he was off, and i went to hit the head. line number whatever of the day, for about fifteen minutes. but enough to kill off most of the twenty-five minute down time between bands and i was able to get back on the floor AND find my old college radio buddy (and they guy i used to go see a LOT of shows with in college) randy to hang with during system of a down.
what can i say? SOAD is just incredible live. no two words about it. and this was randy’s first time to see them (and see me smoke with him, if you know what i’m saying and i think you do…in college it was cigars, NOTHING more…not even booze. you should’ve seen the look on his face when i smacked his arm and gave him the ‘are you gonna pass that shit or WHAT?’ nod. he almost looked proud). well, randy “blew his load” on them, and decided that was it for him, as did apparently MOST of the floor, because by the time the opening film montage of ozz started, it was pretty empty down there compared to the system crowd…and never recovered. but that was okay, ’cause it allowed me to get close enough to read the “o-z-z-y” on his knuckles and get “ozztized”. then soaked by rig-mounted water cannons. then by ozzy’s squirt gun. many tunes (we all sung with), some drum work from his son jack, and a fatherly “don’t drive if you’ve been drinking” speech later, and we were off to wait in the MAJOR (forty-five minute) line to get BACK on the bus to go BACK to our cars to wait in the car line (ten minutes before a security guard lifted a cone for me and let me shoot out a side exit that wasn’t supposed to be used) and i was on my way home….wet, sore, and deaf. kinda like a lot of my dates end up, but never mind that now.
and no, i never did find junior. but THAT didn’t surprise me.