Page 2 of 3
· $5. Cost of a rain poncho, the day's second-most popular fashion statement. Brisk sales of this item allowed Sandstone to compensate for lost water bottle revenue, but the venue missed out on the opportunity to import a fast-sewing crew to stitch together some toasty-warm Slipknot-style jumpsuits, which probably would have sold out within an hour.
· One. The number of tattoos that read simply "Tattoo."
· 2.30 inches. The record rainfall on June 19, 2000, a year prior to this OZZfest. For anyone with a 2002 calendar, it's probably worth penciling in "dress warmly, bring an umbrella" on 6/19 to avoid baring the brunt of the annual monsoon.
· Two. The number of times the sun peaked through the dense cloud covering, resulting in the day's largest explosions of applause. The groups that benefited from these sun cameos, Union Underground and Mudvayne, seemed to be crowd favorites, and not just because their sets coincided with brief periods of respite from frigid misery. When Union Underground asked "How many of you out there are Union Heads?," they received the loudest response to that inquiry since the national organized labor rally. That group's crunchy grunge-tinged sendup of the music industry, "Turn Me On, Mr. Deadman," was one of OZZfest's most popular singalongs -- even moshers in the churning pit shouted the words as they crashed into each other. Bizarrely echoing the key attractions of lightweight women's magazines, Mudvayne entertained with make-up modeling (the drummer's head was on loan from the Blue Man Group; the bassist's combination of charred skintone with bushy facial hair brought to mind the unfortunate Ted Danson blackface incident; the guitarist was a dead ringer for Darth Maul) and helpful advice ("Always break stuff" and "Point your finger in their face and tell them, 'Don't question my relationship decisions'" being the most poignant).
· One. That's the number of equally musically and visually compelling acts at OZZfest. (Sabbath excluded). Marilyn Manson delivered a blistering set, opening with the incendiary "Irresponsible Hate Anthem" and breathing fire into a number of selections from his latest disc Holy Wood, including "The Love Song," which answered his hammering "Do you love your God, Guns, Government?" with a brainwashed "Fuck yeah!" His stage show included a brilliantly constructed cross made from firearms, in addition to a series of stilt-aided costumes that saw him standing more than thirty feet above the stage. But in addition to cementing his reputation as rock's premier showman (a title he more than wrestled away from Slipknot, whose performance offered little more than pop-gun explosions and hydraulic-mounted drumsets), Manson demanded new respect for his songs, which became undeniably powerful in a live context.
Slipknot's tunes, especially its death-metal inflected unreleased tracks, were strong as well, helping to distract attention from the fact that its jumping-lunatics-in-scary-masks schtick plays infinitely better in clubs. Godhead, an upstart group signed to Manson's Posthuman Records, did its Antichrist mentor proud with a suitably spooky set filled with eerie industrial beats and cynical societal observations. It headlined the third stage this year, but Godhead promises to rise through the ranks like similarly named Godsmack to become a genuine main-stage early-evening attraction. Hatebreed, which rivaled Slipknot as the fastest, most brutal band on the bill, pummeled early arrivals with thick riffs and double-bass-pedal-powered drumbeats, but as a representative of the punk scene, it eschewed the costumes and flashy logos so many of its tourmates employed.