The high only hit 102 degrees on Saturday, making for a relatively mild Texas afternoon at Ozzfest’s second stage. Adopting Warped Tour’s model of switching the action between two stages (one dedicated to Texas bands) to eliminate downtime, the old stop-start dynamic of Ozzfest was effectively turned into one big, rolling performance, with concertgoers only having to turn their heads to keep seeing the rock.
Rigor Mortis, the reactivated band that initially spilled the beans on this year’s Ozzfest, played an appealingly dirty and ragged set of classic thrash, proving again how bizarre it is that Capitol Records made them one of the first major label thrash acts in the Eighties. Kingdom of Sorrow, a collaboration between Hatebreed’s Jamey Jasta and Crowbar’s Kirk Windstein, was exactly the sum of a Hatebreed-plus-Crowbar equation, with Windstein adding Louisiana metal sludge grooves to Jasta’s East Coast hardcore bark. DevilDriver raised the day’s biggest dust storm, as frontman Dez Fafara (formerly of Coal Chamber, and perhaps the veteran of the most Ozzfests besides the festival’s namesake) called for circle pit after circle pit, and the reddening crowd obliged each time.
The Texas stage was closed out by the Sword, and armed with the knowledge that they would shortly be announced as Metallica’s opening act for their entire upcoming tour, threw down 30 minutes of locked-in, righteous Master of Reality-esque tunes. The band drew equally from its pair of releases, giving songs like “Barael’s Blade” and “Maiden, Mother & Crone” their due without the crowd-baiting of the day’s previous acts.