Ozzfest Meets Knotfest – Day 1 (Ozzfest): Black Sabbath, Disturbed, Megadeth, Opeth, BLS + More [Photos + Recap]
There was something special in the air for night one of Ozzfest Meets Knotfest and it wasn't the dusty San Bernardino desert environment. Black Sabbath were not only playing their final California performance, but they were also headlining Ozzfest for their last time. For local concertgoers, you could tell from the moment you neared the San Manuel Amphitheater from the nearby freeway that this was going to be one of the largest attended shows at the venue in years.
Sabbath took the stage with the titular track "Black Sabbath," greeted with large applause, before rocking out "Fairies Wear Boots" and "After Forever" to keep the momentum going. The Geezer Butler and Tony Iommi groove loomed large over "Into the Void" and the songs "Snowblind" and "War Pigs" sent the fans into a frenzy. Despite admitting to being under the weather, Ozzy Osbourne was ever the showman, leading the crowd in clapping and urging them to get up and sing along at times during the set. Meanwhile, drummer Tommy Clufetos was a beast behind the kit, wowing the audience with an impressive drum solo just ahead of "Iron Man." Finishing out the night, the band closed their encore with the classic "Paranoid." As Osbourne wished everyone a good night and the foursome took a final bow, it was a sea of raised "horns" from the audience while fireworks shot off in the sky.
Just prior to Sabbath, Disturbed delivered one of the top performances of the day. The opening number "Ten Thousand Fists" saw the crowd responding with fists raised, while tracks like "Stupify," their cover of Simon & Garfunkel's "Sound of Silence" and the set closing "Down With the Sickness" all got huge reactions, as well. The mix of energy and a visually interesting setup complete with pyro made for a must-see set. A grateful David Draiman finished out the night thanking the Osbourne family and Ozzfest organizers for helping them get their start many years ago and for putting on such a great event.
Also on the "Lemmy Stage," Megadeth sounded as tight as ever, as the addition of drummer Dirk Verbeuren felt strong in several songs. Emerging from a foggy stage, and delivering a set blending classics like "Hangar 18," "Sweating Bullets" and "Symphony of Destruction" with Dystopia highlights like "The Threat Is Real," "Fatal Illusion" and the title track, Dave Mustaine's crew showed why they're one of metal's top live acts.
Though they have a new album en route, Opeth used their short set for more well-known tracks like "The Devil's Orchard" and "Great Conjuration" and their sound was spot on. Black Label Society's Zakk Wylde had fists rising to the air with such favorites as "The Beginning ... at Last," "Heart of Darkness," "In This River" and the set closing "Stillborn," while the rest of the band seemed to truly be enjoying themselves. Meanwhile Rival Sons had audiences buzzing with their Lemmy Stage opening set with such standouts as "Electric Man," "Pressure and Time" and "Open My Eyes." Their energy and charisma shows the promise of a band on the rise.
Out in the fields on the Monster Energy and Nuclear Blast stages, Suicidal Tendencies were met with a chanting audience. Their frenetic sounds were a perfect match for the emerging circle pits and the crowd response was one of the biggest of the day. Though the band has added Dave Lombardo and other new members, the Mike Muir-led band didn't miss a beat.
Audience interaction was a big thing for several of the early day performers. Goatwhore were up close and personal, fist bumping with audience members while delivering a stellar set. Huntress and their captivating vocalist Jill Janus commanded the attention of the crowd. Meanwhile, Hatebreed had the hair whips down, while taking the opportunity to crowd surf during their set. Other highlights included a DevilDriver set highlighted by the song "Daybreak," while Dez Fafara rocked audiences with his Elvis-styled mic, a stellar performance from Allegaeon and raucous sets from Kataklysm and Still Rebel.
See photos from Day One of Ozzfest Meets Knotfest in the gallery at the top of this post and stay tuned for our recap and photo gallery from Ozzfest Meets Knotfest, Day Two.
(Reporting by Loudwire contributors Chad Childers, Kathy Flynn and Alex Kluft)
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