Review Summary: 'It's just a hand in the bush'
Recorded during his stop at Nippon Budokan Hall on February 15,2002 during his 'Down to Earth' Tour, Ozzy and his band, consisting of his longtime guitarist Zakk Wylde, Robert Trujillo (soon to be Metallica's) on bass, Mike Bordin (Faith No More) on drums and 'a guy you never see' John Sinclair on keyboards, take Japan by storm
First of all I have to make a statement about the crowd: I think that the Japanese and Brazilian crowds are pretty much the best crowds when it comes to rock concerts. Here you have one big loud audience but when you watch the DVD you don't really see a bunch of die-hard metal fans moshing or anything like that, you see regular everyday normal guys. They don't look like an usual Ozzy Osbourne audience. They're really loud in-between songs and on a number of occasions they sing along but most of the time they just nod and pay attention to the music. For some people this may seem like a strange thing but I believe that this shows a lot of respect for the music.
The setlist is fairly good but nothing extravagant. The thing that really bugs me about Ozzy's concerts is that as soon as the new album is released he forgets about the previous one. There is no song from The Ultimate Sin, No Rest for the Wicked or Ozzmosis. I can understand that with every band there are some live standard songs that pretty much have to be in every concert but considering that he was going to release this performance you'd think he was going to try and play a 'Shot in the Dark', maybe a 'Bloodbath in Paradise' or a Perry Mason. He did all of those before, why not now? I know his voice isn't the same as before but he could find a song or two from those album that could fit his range. Hell, during the previous tour he sang 'Sabbath Bloody Sabbath'. It sucked, but just the fact that he played the song was great. Bottom line is that the set is good but I expected a little bit more.
The band is spot on. I like the fact that Robert Trujillo is high enough in the mix so you can really hear him and also Mike Bordin's drumming manages to cover a lot of ground, so much that there's really not an empty spot and it always catches your attention. Zakk's playing is as good as it always was. Sure he did a lot of pinch harmonics but you have to understand that that's his style. Take it or leave it. Although on every song he was really great I have to give him more credit for the songs 'Junkie' and 'Gets me Through' because I think they sound way better than on the album (especially 'Junkie') because on the album they're more produced, here they are free and it really elevates the song making it more heavy.
As far as Ozzy's voice goes you have to admit that he was never this amazing singer, although he had a bigger range in the past. He got where he is because his voice is unique and that's what makes him interesting. I don't know how much of this album was later retouched in the studio but his voice sounds pretty good actually. It's nowhere near perfect but has it ever been perfect? Overall he put out a great performance and that's what really matters.
No More Tears