Where name recognition is concerned, Ozzfest the brand far outguns the tour's 2007 lineup. (Finnish GWAR knockoff Lordi on the main stage?) But then again, with a free concert, you get what you pay for and Ozzfest 2007, which is rolling across North America for the twelfth year, is doing so for the first time on a zero-dollars admission charge. (Corporate sponsors and merch sales pick up the slack.) It's a ballsy move by business maven Sharon Osbourne and husband Ozzy (who's headlining, again in defiance of God and time), although capacity crowds thus far prove the experiment is working. With the excellent Lamb of God and, well, persistent Static-X rounding out the main-stage roster, the tour's alternate stages are actually the places to be this year: Polish death-metal blasphemers Behemoth and Connecticut hardcore giants Hatebreed both provide reasons to camp out in front of the second stage, and from progressive death metal (Nile, DÅÅTH) to classic thrash (3 Inches Of Blood), the rotating cast of support acts proves that "cheap seats" don't always equal second-rate entertainment.
Lordi: Hard-rock hallelujahs and main-stage dreams.
Free. Tickets can be picked up at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre box office Monday through Friday, between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Tickets are also available at FYE, 3801 Hampton Avenue. 314-353-5551.
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