THE LAND OF OZZ INVADES PENN'S PEAK!
THE LAND OF OZZ PENN's PEAK SATURDAY JUNE 27, 2015 CONCERT REVIEW
- (INTRO) "OFORTUNA"
- I DON'T KNOW (Blizzard of Ozz)
- STEAL AWAY (Blizzard of Ozz)
- OVER THE MOUNTAIN (Diary of a Madman)
- FLYING HIGH (Diary of a Madman)
- CHANGES (Black Sabbath- Vol. 4)
- RR. BLIZZARD OUTTAKE (MATT STANLEY SOLO)
- MR. CROWLEY (Blizzard of Ozz)
- PERRY MASON (Ozzmosis)- Audio Visual Effects
- NO MORE TEARS (No More Tears)
- MAMA I'M COMING HOME (No More Tears)
- DIARY OF A MADMAN (Diary of a Madman)- Audio Visual Effects
- DEE/TONIGHT (Blizzard of Ozz-Diary of a Madman)
- BARK AT THE MOON (Bark at the Moon)
- (ENCORE)- CRAZY TRAIN (Blizzard of Ozz)
THE LAND OF OZZ
Vocalist- Stephen Desko (Ozzy)
Bass- Paul Piccari
Drums- Tom Staszewski
Keyboards- Mike Vivial
Lead/Rhythm Guitar- Matt Stanley (Randy Rhoads, Jake E Lee, Zakk Wylde)
Guitar- Mike Stanley
On Saturday I had the opportunity to spend an entire day with the Ozzy tribute band, THE LAND OF OZZ, as they performed a double bill with LIVE/WIRE, an AC/DC tribute band that has been around for fifteen years. This is no slight on "Live Wire" but "The Land of Ozz" looked more like the band that had been together for fifteen years. Yes, "Live Wire" had all of the props including the big blow up doll for Whole Lotta Rosie and the cannons for the encore For Those About to Rock We Salute You. Yes, Live/Wire was a really good tribute band and I wish them continued success in their rock-n-roll journey. However; today I am here to talk about THE LAND OF OZZ, and their quick rise to stardom.
I am sure you are already aware of the band's background, and if for some reason you are not, check out my latest article in Out on The Town Magazine and also my live and uncensored interview with the band. So, let us get to the show. During my time with the band on Saturday, I was able to see a whole different perspective of what goes on at a live concert. The entire band welcomed me with open arms and made me feel like I was a part of the band. In fact, they even asked me to run the Audio/Visual effects for the show, by which I was blown away.
The day began with a road trip from Glen Olden, PA. Stephen (Lead Vocalist) and I droe together and let us just say the trip was in the words of Ozzy...CRAZY. Between the non stop downpour of rain and the weird routes portrayed on the GPS, it felt like we were in some kind of movie. Anyway, as we followed the yellow brick road, we arrived at the destination, PENN'S PEAK at approximately 2PM. All of the band members were there and began to unload their equipment. At this time, Stephen introduced me to Frank Kielb, their agent and the guy who put the entire show together. Let me just say, it was an honor to meet this gentleman who has been in the business forever and pulls no punches.
Anyways, after Live/Wire completed their soundcheck, it was time for Ozz to take their turn on the stage. I was able to observe all of the nuances and functions that go into setting up a band's work station as well as hooking up the equipment. To the novice, one might think that it's just bam, plug in a few buttons and be done. No, this process is very detailed and took good amount of time to accomplish. Ok...now it was time for sound check. The band performed a few of their songs including "No More Tears", which I must say sounded brilliant. Of course, the band also needed to make sure everything was tuned properly in order to be prepared for the show.
After soundcheck, it was basically a waiting game. As the time went on, I could see all of the band members get their game faces on. Then the entire band enjoyed a catered meal and beverages. This was pretty cool because both bands were able to interact and talk "shop." After dinner, it was time to prepare for the BIG SHOW. Stephen had to put on his Ozzy outfit. Matt and Mike were doing last minute fine tuning on the guitar. Tom and Mike were talking about the set list. And Paul, the most senior member of the band in terms of experience, was doing his final minute preparations for the show. As time continued to move on, the crowd began to file in. At one time, I peaked my head out and could see that the building was getting pretty packed.
In fact, the official final count of tickets sold this evening was 905. In my estimation, their were easily over 1,000 pumped up fans waiting to see the show. Now one thing that worked in the venue's favor was that it's an indoor arena. Just down the road, KID ROCK and JOURNEY were preparing to play a show as well. Unfortunately for them, that show was rained out. Fortunately for Live Wire and The Land of Ozz, many of those would be fans came to this show, as many of the fans were soaked and wet. Well, they say everything happens for a reason and in my estimation this was destined to happen.
Ok...now it was showtime! I took my position at the back of the floor and seating area with laptop in hand and setlist on point. After a brief announcement by the Venue emcee, The Land of Ozz was introduced and the lights went dim. Here we were, time to ROCK THE HOUSE OUT!!! I began the intro by tapping the play button on the computer and the rest was history. As "OFORTUNA" was playing and lightning and thunder were viewed on the big screen behind the stage, the momentum built at warp speed. And then it was here...the sound of drums, then bass, then guitar and SMASH!!!! The band opened with "I DON'T KNOW while the crowd quickly realized that this was no jayvee band. As Stephen put on the best Ozzy imitation that I have ever saw, the rest of the band was ferocious during the entire song.
And then it happened...a star was born!!! Matt Stanley, only 16 years old, had the crowd in total awe as everyone's jaw dropped to the floor. As Matt played song after song with precision and accuracy, the crowd became more frenzied to see what he would do next. As I was sitting in the AV booth, I could hear people saying, "OMG this kid is incredible!" Other people said..."There is no way this kid is 16 years old!" But let me tell you, I have saw this kid play at a smaller venue and at rehearsal so this was only my third time seeing him play in person. And I am telling you folks...we have the next guitar hero on our hands here...no doubt. Matt is a prodigy and he will only get better with experience and he is already gaining a stage presence that many musicians never see ever. The sky is the limit for this kid...as well as this band.
Although I was technically with the band on an inside perspective, I was able to observe them in a non-biased outside view. Let me just say, the results spoke for themselves. The energy of the crowd is the evidence that this band is going places. I have saw a few Ozzy Tribute bands in my lifetime and THE LAND OF OZZ, is by far the BEST ONE that I have ever saw! If I was to have to put a number from 1-10 on the performance of the band all considerations aside, I would say they had an 8/10 which was tremendous, considering this was one of the first shows they had done as a band. They will only get better folks. Going forward, I recommend any hard rock/heavy metal fan to attend at least one of their shows to form your own opinion. If not, that is your loss. Also, if you would like to see any of the video from the show, you can go to THE LAND OF OZZ on Facebook and you can also check me out @ Jason Vorhees/Facebook. Well, until next time, rock on MATES!!!!! GO SEE THE LAND OF OZZ...just follow the yellow brick road. Don't forget to check them out September 11th and 12th at Harrah's Philly as they play a double bill with LIVE/WIRE once again.