Besides for the headliners, no one was better represented at Ozzfest’s one-show stint at Pizza Hut Park than the late “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott, who was killed onstage at a Damageplan show on December 8, 2004 in Ohio. For most of the day, that was in the form of T-shirts, tattoos and the virtual army of men in baggy cargo shorts and pink-dyed goatees. But following the set by Hellyeah, featuring his brother Vinnie Paul on drums, Dimebag’s music was there, too.
“Mouth for War” — with Hatebreed’s Jamey Jasta on vocals and Mudvayne’s Gregg Tribbett on guitar — kicked off the tribute set, and brought with it the first big moment of the festival that didn’t involve a girl pulling aside her bikini top. “A New Level” followed, with Max Cavalera and King Diamond sharing vocals and Anthrax’s Scott Ian on guitar. An acoustic cover of Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” headed by Jerry Cantrell served as a palate cleanser, before Slayer’s Kerry King appeared with Hellyeah/Mudvayne singer Chad Gray for “Fucking Hostile.”
Because the two giant screens on either side of the stage were filled with video clips and still photos of Dime rather than footage from the stage, it was difficult to make out who was performing. It was a nice touch, but it helped blunt the power of the all-star jam. It was nearly impossible to make out that Metallica’s Lars Ulrich played drums on the cover of “Wish You Were Here,” or that the woman singing along with Cantrell on that cover was Pearl Aday, Meat Loaf’s daughter and Ian’s fiancée. Squinting only takes you so far.