Ozzy Osbourne, Marilyn Manson, Shinedown, and Wayward Sons, Download Festival - review and pictures
Brummie metal legend Ozzy Osbourne may be nearing 70, but the iconic singer put on a magnificent display at Download Festival as the event’s final headliner last night.
In the hours leading up to his set, festival-goers were treated to a day of blistering-hot sunshine and an array of top acts.
Wayward Sons were among those playing, as the five piece took to the stage at the packed-out Dogtooth tent. Temperatures may have been soaring, but lead singer Toby Jepson - formerly of Little Angels and Gun - gave an excellent performance with wonderful tone and range, as he and guitarist Sam Wood impressed with harmonic riffs alongside thrashing drum beats from the talented Phil Martini.
Taking to the main stage in the late afternoon was Florida rock band Shinedown, whose hour-long set was filled with rich harmonies, thrilling riffs, and a whole lot of love from the thousands-strong crowd.
Treating fans to 2008 hit Sound of Madness, rip-roaring guitar playing; hefty, solid beats; and deep, strong vocals from frontman Brent Smith signalled what was to come in their excellent show.
Superb renditions of songs such as Cut The Cord and State Of My Head also featured, as Brent fired up the massive crowd to wave their arms and jump in time with the beat; quite a sight to behold with so many packed into the audience for a fairly early-on set.
Second Chance also starred, displaying Brent’s stunning velvety tones and brilliant range.
Up next on the main stage was the mighty Marilyn Manson, whose early evening performance in the sun was among one of his best live concerts I’ve seen so far.
“Download, I want to thank you for coming out in utter daylight,” squinted The Pale Emperor, as he stood dressed all in black made-up with white foundation.
“Let’s make this a joint effort in the sun.
“What time did you guys wake up today to be here? Thank you for coming by the way.
“This is going to be very difficult but we can accomplish this.”
Despite his hilarious aversion to sunlight, the gothic icon soared through hit after hit, with top songs such as The New S***, Disposable Teens, Mobscene and Sweet Dreams all featuring; much to fans’ delight.
The 49-year-old Ohio-born frontman also gave a superb performance of 2017 number Kill4Me, before singing the chorus of I Don’t Like The Drugs.
“I’m totally lying and that’s why I wrote a song called The Dope Show,” he quipped, now donning a long, black feathered coat, before launching into the 1998 number.
The star ended his set with an excellent rendition of The Beautiful People, which was pitch perfect, gritty and thrilling.
His set was everything a Manson fan could have hoped for.
Following a wonderful afternoon of glorious weather and even better live music, the time had arrived for fans to hop on the Crazy Train for a ride with headlining Prince Of Darkness Ozzy Osbourne - and the Black Sabbath frontman was simply outstanding.
The set began with pictures of Ozzy as a child shown on the backdrop, followed by videos of the icon through the years, as the words ‘all aboard’ soared across the arena.
“Are you gonna go f***ing crazy tonight?” bellowed the Aston-born singer.
“I can’t hear you. Louder.
“Let the madness begin.”
With that, Ozzy kicked off his outstanding show with fan favourite Bark At The Moon, which saw the 69-year-old legend give out great, strong vocals, headbanging alongside his stupendous band and howling like a wolf.
Ozzy, who was already very impressive, was joined by the most talented line-up of musicians in his live band - including Black Label Society guitarist Zakk Wylde and son of keyboard icon Rick Wakeman, Adam Wakeman, on keys.
And Zakk was phenomenal from start to end, playing jaw-dropping solos on his awesome range of outlandishly-designed guitars; impressing in particular on hits such as I Don’t Know and Mr Crowley - the latter of which also saw Adam give an excellent performance.
Hits came thick and fast in the tremendous set, including awesome renditions of Black Sabbath’s Fairies Wear Boots, Suicide Solution and No More Tears.
When Sabbath announced their intention to stop touring with their final run of shows on The End tour in 2016 and 2017, I feared it may be our last opportunity to see Ozzy live; so was thrilled when it was revealed he would headline Download this year. Despite this, I worried he may not be up to the challenge - and how wrong I was.
Dressed all in black with his trademark eyeliner, Ozzy was fantastic from start to end; raring up the crowd at every given chance, jumping around the stage and singing into the audience.
War Pigs and Shot In The Dark also featured in the stellar set, before Ozzy treated fans to a tremendous rendition of Crazy Train, featuring astounding guitar solos and powerful, thunderous drums.
“Thank you, God bless you all,” beamed Ozzy in his thick Brummie accent, before launching into Mama, I’m Coming Home; Paranoid; and Changes, as huge fireworks shot into the air.
An incredible set which sent fans away on The Road To Nowhere, beaming from a fabulous ending to a wonderful weekend, as Rock ‘N’ Roll Rebel Ozzy proved he’s Not Going Away any time soon.