Quick, somebody notify Alamo security! Mr. Osbourne is back in town.
There is more to metal than changing your name to Vlad and forming a band called Csarbi Testicles. Metal portrays itself as fierce and brutish; its raw occult overtones contrast with the slick production of Justin Timberlake. But beneath the surface, metal is a more hideous beast - and few dare to acknowledge it.

Ozzy Osbourne has graduated from biting the heads off doves and urinating in front of the Alamo. Those dark pranks have given way to a deeper level of evil. Osbourne is now an MTV star who does Pepsi commercials, and he enjoys the company of Sylvester Stallone and Liz Taylor at Beverly Hills fundraisers. The days of doves and wiz are over.

Hard rock's once mean metal edge is now processed. At Ozzfest, apart from the 14-hour assault of monster music, fans will also face the marketing campaigns of Miller Lite and Sony Playstation2. A search for Ozzfest on Mix 96.1's concert calendar Web site opens a pop-up

Saturday, June 28
224-9600 or
Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
16765 Lookout Road
ad: "Win a pair of tickets to OZZFEST, courtesy of the U.S. ARMY!" Metal fans' worst nightmare has come true. They are just like everyone else: a target audience, functioning as a well-behaved consumer group. This is not the beast that metal had in mind.

San Antonio is the opening show for the Ozzfest 2003 tour. Sharing the headline bill with Osbourne are Korn and Marilyn Manson. What redeems Ozzfest is beyond the main stage. The Village of the Damned concourse is a metal head's fantasyland, a cluster of piercing booths, world-class tattoo artists, and a maze of video games. "The End," a twisted exhibit featuring the art collection of Korn's Jonathan Davis, claims to "examine the works of other artists who share the same dark obsessions with pain, anger, loneliness, and death." But the second stage, featuring the hottest new talent, is the real prize at Ozzfest. Without it, the original demon spirit of metal would be conspicuously missing. •


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