By Jason Voorhees, Special Contributor to PhillyRockRadio.com
There is local band that brings a new meaning to the word tribute taking the Delaware Valley by storm. The band formerly known as The Ozzman Cometh is now named The Land of Ozz. I had the opportunity to attend the Ozzman Cometh’s very last show at the Legendary Dobbs in Philadelphia on June 11. There are many great tribute bands throughout the world, however, you would be hard pressed to find a more realistic, or more accurate portrayal of an Ozzy Osbourne performance than the The Land of Ozz.
The band is fronted by Stephen Desko taking lead in the Ozzy persona. Desko not only sounds eerily close to Ozzy Osbourne, but he is a true Ozzy look-alike. The band also features bassist Paul Piccari, who was a founding member of the very popular Get The Led Out. Paul has been showcasing his talents since the 1970s as a member of Pop Goes the ’70s and the cover band Hit The Ground Runnin. Tom “Stewart” Staszewski is on drums and has played in tribute bands Pop Goes the ’70s and Like Totally ’80s. Keyboardist Mike “Viv” Vival is also from Pop Goes the ’70s. And last, but not least, we have the Stanley father/son combo. Rhythm guitarist Mike Stanley is an ex-member of Funhouse and can play with the best of guitarists. Finally is the tremendously talented, 16 year old lead guitarist Matt Stanley. I was impressed how well he channeled the late Randy Rhoads during the final Ozzman Cometh show.
Having been a huge Ozzy Osbourne fan growing up, I knew Ozzy always had top guitar players in his band. The situation is no different with The Land of Ozz, as they have a prodigy in Matt Stanley. Yes, you heard right, this 16 year old kid is playing Ozzy classics with precision and accuracy that would leave legends like Randy Rhoads, Jake E. Lee and Zakk Wylde gaping in awe. No exaggeration. Matt’s riffs and leads are almost an exact copy of the originals.
The Land of Ozz focuses on Ozzy Osbourne’s peak period with Randy Rhoads playing all of the greats from “The Blizzard of Ozz” and “Diary of a Madman.” However, they also play all of the Ozzy classics from the Jake E. Lee period and up through the Zakk era. When I say that this band is an exact copy of Ozzy; Stephen Desko looks, breathes, sounds and acts like Osbourne. He even has Ozzy’s mannerisms down too a “T”. And I cannot say enough about the young prodigy…Matt Stanley. The sky is the limit for this young gentleman.
If you are a fan of classic metal and want to see an authentic Ozzy Osbourne performance, check out The Land of Ozz. You will feel like you are back in 1983 hearing Ozzy chanting “Get your lighters out...and Let me hear you scream!”
You can catch The Land of Ozz at Penn’s Peak in Jim Thorpe, PA on June 27, Treasure Lake Music Fest in DuBoise, PA on July 10 and Rocky Gap Casino in Cumberland, MD on July 17. For more dates and information visit their website thelandofozz.com and to follow Jason Voorhees, read his blog Sports ’N Metal on PhillyRockRadio.com