Sooner or later, as this summer wore on, I knew my son would get around to asking me the question. One of those age old questions about life that a teenage son asks his father sooner or later. "Are we going to Ozzfest this year?" My son is going on fifteen and goes to mostly all shows with me now, but has never been to Ozzfest. I've only been to one, last year cause Slayer was there and what the hell, you gotta go to at least one Ozzfest. I really don't favor big outdoor events. I like small, sweaty indoor places. But, ya know, Ozzfest. Freakin' Ozzfest. The kids gotta get to an Ozzfest. Well, I didn't really want to go, but we both really wanted to see Rob Zombie, so I held a hope that Rob would play some Ozzfest offdates and we would be able to catch him at maybe The Roseland in NY or The Electric Factory in Philly. Then one magical afternoon, I came across some news, purely by accident, online, that Mastodon was doing offdates with Rob Zombie. I went to the Ticketmaster site and quickly punched it up and Yes! Dates were up!! I scanned quickly for NYC or Philly, but what the hell is this!!! A New York date. In Poughkeepsie!!!! No freakin' way!! I punched up The Chance Theater site immediately in disbelief and........shiiiiaatt!!!!!!On the calendar in small letters Rob Zombie/Mastodon - tickets 30 bucks! I contacted my best friend and assistant photographer, Donna, and informed her of the most urgent situation and tickets were almost immediately on their way to our grubby little hands. The Chance Theater is a tiny little theater three hours away, but it's worth the drive everytime. And Rob at The Chance Theater? I quickly informed my son that our hope had come true. But no, not The Roseland. Freakin' Poughkeepsie!! We'll be within arms reach. F**k yeah!
It was the dog days of summer and on the east, that meant hazy, hot, humid. Real humid this year. The humidity was high nineties for the last week. Ya know, when everything is just ...wet. I remember leaving work early to pick up the kiddies and Donna for the show and thinking "Man, I'm already soaked from head to toe and I haven't even LEFT for the show". Hmmm Hmmm. Bring some dry clothes and drink plenty of fluids on the ride up. Gonna be a sweat. And then some. It's funny.. three hours never feels that bad on the way to Poughkeepsie. We had a good, good ride. We arrived to the longest line at The Chance door that I've ever seen but....They were the people who were not getting in. The place was sold out , but comfortable, not being packed in against each other. The Chance sold a certain number of tickets and that was it. This is unbelievable! We walked in. WOW! We walked to the front of the stage. Shiiiaaattt! We all had those grins.
Mastodon came on and I realized it was just going to be the two bands, no locals, so I was hoping for extended sets from both. I got in with a couple of camera's, but security said, by order of Rob, no pictures. That sucks. What's worse is they demanded my camera and took it. It sucked , but it certainly wouldn't bring any rain on my parade. I was front and center at The Chance freakin' Theater for Rob Zombie!!Hell, I don't go to shows to take pictures. It's just something I do while I'm there. So, if I can't take pics, oh well, it's not my loss. I'm still right freakin' there! Mastodon never really excited me too much, but they were doing good. They're O.K. live and they got the kids going a bit. Got the sweat pouring, although just scratchin' your ass made you drip sweat tonight. The set started getting a bit long, but overall they did a good job. I just couldn't wait to see Rob. This place was gonna explode. However, he did make us wait for awhile. Zom-bie Zom-bie chants started going up. Yeah, we were waiting, eagerly and grinning at each other.
The band walked out and the wait was over and the crowd, including myself, went berserk! Rob ran out and they kicked into "Demon Speeding" and everybody was jumping all over the place! Oh man!! A slimmed down, dreadless Rob, jumping around in studded jeans, button down shirt and straw cowboy hat, looking fit and trim and full of energy! Hell yeah. It was an amazing opening. He asked if anyone wanted to hear any WHITE ZOMBIE and they blasted into "Supercharger Heaven". Can you freakin' believe that!!It was the shiiiaaat!!!But, only the tip of the iceberg. Every song he did was just an explosion of people jumping up and down and going crazy! "Superbeast"!! Yeah freakin' nuts!! "Dragula". Right within arms reach. The Chance floor is so small in front of the stage, that the kids can't really get a circle going so they just fly around bangin' from side to side. And oh! were they flyin'!"Never Gonna Stop", "Demanoid Phenomenon", "Spookshow Baby". Yeah. Imagine it, man. The sweat was pouring in my eyes so bad that they were burning and I could barely keep them open. And I had a bandana around my head! Rob got the Poughkeepsie ladies screaming, and then did "Living Dead Girl". He pleaded for us all to go see "The Devils Rejects" so that it makes more money than "The Bad News Bears". He said people asked him why the hell he is playing a shit hole like this and he said that they would just be sittin' around some hotel doing nothing all nite and they'd rather do this! That's cool! The rest of the band was awesome too. Lasko on bass and the other kids on guitar and drums. Kickin' ass! They did more WHITE ZOMBIE. "More Human than Human", "Black Sunshine". Oh Hell yeah! "House of 1000 Corpses". F********k! The place was a dripping wet sweatbox. They did some southern 70's stuff as a tribute to the new movie here and there. After they walked off and the place broke into shouting, stomping ZOM-BIE! ZOM-BIE chants, they returned for something truly amazing. I was standing there right in front just dripping and dripping and they kicked into "Sweet Home Alabama" which turned into "Thunderkiss 65"!! Freakin' pandemonium!!! Blew the roof clean off!!! They left and were brought back for a second encore by the screaming and chanting and stomping crowd. They came back and did a song from "Astro Creep 2000" that he hadn't performed in ten years and, although I don't even know the title, it was a truly amazing end to an amazing performance. A hot, humid, dripping sweat for an hour and a half with Rob Zombie!! I dripped for a half hour after the damn show ended!! It was nuts!! Oh, the pics I coulda had! Screw it! They're in my head. Ozzfest? Screw Ozzfest! My biggest hope of the summer had come true. The three hour ride home from Poughkeepsie is never that bad either. Freakin' Rob Zombie at The Chance Theater. Yeah, we left a few puddles there!!