Ozzy Osbourne: No longer dangerous but still a little batty
I'm afraid when Ozzy Osbourne takes the stage these days, but not in the same way I was nearly 30 years ago. Back then all-things-Ozzy were synonymous with faux-Satanism and his concerts included some ritual sacrifice of biting the head off a bat or stomping puppies with his boot heel.
These days I'm just afraid that Ozzy, Prince of Darkness — now 62 years-old but scuffling and mumbling as if he's not a day over 80 — will break a hip.
(For the record: The puppy thing is an urban myth. The bat-biting did happen once in 1982, but he thought the bat was rubber. No one was probably more upset by that incident then Ozzy once he realized that he just munched on a rabies-infested winged rat.)
As a rule, the more hard-core the music, the less gracefully it ages. It's no wonder then, that after 42 years of turning the misdirected rage of his teenage fans into head-banging chants like "War Pigs" and "Crazy Train" — first with Black Sabbath in the late 60's and 70's before going solo in 1980 — Ozzy's consciousness level is somewhere between Mr. Magoo and the Crypt Keeper.
The truth is that Ozzy is not very dangerous anymore. If he tried to bite the head off a bat these days my guess is that his Polident would give before the bat's spine did.
That does not mean, however, that he is not a still an entertaining showman. And it certainly doesn't mean that this member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (inducted with the rest of Black Sabbath in 2006) and his airtight band of youthful henchmen don't have a lot of music to offer. Recent setlists have included Sabbath favorites like "Fairies Wear Boots" and "War Pigs," as well as solo nuggets like "Mr.Crowley" and "Shot In The Dark."
Bonus: Get there early, because heavy metal guitar maestro Slash (he was the sane member of Guns n' Roses) opens for Ozzy and his self-titles new album is one of the better hard-charging blues-based metal albums to be turned out since the hey-day of AC/DC.
7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Toyota Center