The Ultimate Sinner: Ozzy Osbourne at the Joint at Hard Rock

The Prince of Darkness Rocks Sin City - November 24, 2007

Posted by Chuckmonster

Ozzy Osbourne at The Joint at Hard Rock Las Vegas - November 24th, 2007

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21 years and hundreds of thousands of miles later, the Altar of Osbourne has set up its very own revival meeting inside The Joint at the Hard Rock. The lights go down as Carl Orff's "Carmina Burana" trumpets the beginning of this evenings mass and the high priest of hijinks, Ozzy Osbourne, begins his sermon with a trademark evil cackle from behind the curtain. The capacity crowd goes ape shit, raising devil horns, fists and cellphones in allegiance. The curtain raises and the band launches into "I Don't Wanna Stop" from 2007's Black Rain followed by Crazy Train from Blizzard of Ozz.

For the next two hours, Ozzy and his crack band - featuring drummer Mike Bordin (Faith No More), keyboardist Alan Wakeman (son of Yes' Rick Wakeman), bassist Rob 'Blasko' Nicholson (who was celebrating a birthday) and longtime guitarist Zakk Wylde (Black Label Society), tore through Ozzy's canon with reckless abandon. 'Suicide Solution', 'Mr. Crowley', 'Not Going Away', 'Road to Nowhere', 'I Don't Know', 'I Don't Want To Change The World.' The high point of the evening for me was definitely Zakk Wylde's phenomenal recreation of Jake E. Lee's amazing guitar solo to Bark at the Moon, one of the greatest metal guitar solos ever put to tape.


Despite his considerable talents, Mr. Wylde provided the low point of the concert with an incredibly noisy, sloppy, tasteless and entirely too long unaccompanied guitar solo. Sometime in the last eight or so years, Zakk has decided that he wants to be a Harley riding version of Ted Nugent. As a result his once stellar guitar slinging has devolved into caveman antics and lame performance histrionics that have little to no musical value whatsoever. Zakk attempted (poorly) to play Eddie Van Halen's 'Eruption' guitar solo - which I had seen the master perform not but a week before - then resorted to pseudo-patriotic nonsense with an abominable version of the Star Spangled Banner as a video of the American flag was super imposed over his guitar wankery on the projection screens on either sides of the stage. After 12 minutes of this lousy non-display of Zakk Wylde's talent he walked over to the other side of the stage, thumped his chest like a gorilla, spat a mist of beer into the air, then assaulted the audience with another 10 minutes of sloppy shredding and ham-fisted guitar pyrotechnics. The majority of the crowd ate it up, but looking around at the fans around me, most of them seemed disinterested by Wylde's guitar solo. If I didn't have such respect for Ozzy, I would've walked out.

Ozzy closed out the show with his biggest hits, Sabbath's 'Paranoid' and 'Mama I'm Coming Home' before sending the fans home with a (grand)fatherly warning to not drink and drive and a friendly reminder that 'God loves you all.' The crowd poured out of the Joint into the Hard Rock's casino where Ozzy was blasted on the PA system for the next hour or two before they reverted back to their standard late-90's alternarock soundtrack.

Miss Monkay and I did the rounds of the casino and settled at a bank of Wheel of Fortune slots where we discussed how great Ozzy sounded and what a true inspiration he still is. Zakk Wylde's lousy guitar solo rubbed both of us the wrong way and provided a good 20 minutes of analysis and disgust. Since most of the restaurants were closed, we decided to head up to the room and order some room service (more on that later). By chance, we ended up on the elevator with Ozzy's son Jack, who spoke about his plans to head over to "The Lux" after a quick stop in his room. It took everything in me to keep from interrupting his phone conversation with a suggestion that he tell his mom and dad to give Zakk Wylde a tongue lashing. Unfortunately, the lift reached our floor before I could force my opinions on the younger Osbourne, which is probably a good thing since he had two bodyguards with him.

Even though the Oz was great, I've got to say that I've probably gone to my last Ozzy Osbourne show unless he gives Zakk the boot. Ozzy is still a legend and if you've never seen him, you probably should go sooner rather than later.

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Comments & Discussion

Sounds like a mostly fun show! It would be cool to see a Black Sabbath reunion with Ozzy, Sweet Leaf is my fave. How was the Hard Rock? I have only been there once and that was a long time ago. PS Did the Ozzman play the theme from DOG - the bounty hunter? ;-)

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