Los Angeles Roxy Theatre

Hard rock is back. Mothers, hide your children...

Decades of sweat waft from the walls. The testosterone dewdrops of many a young man have found a permanent place at the Roxy. And tonight many more will share theirs for Slayer and Ozzy Osbourne. But first we endure Marilyn Manson's first label signing, Godhead and their goth industrial cover of 'Eleanor Rigby', which wouldn't be so bad if it were possible to overlook the singer's conceited effort to become Uncle Fester, and a spidery Cousin It in rubber-beating guitar.

Slaves On Dope and (Hed) PE, doing five songs each, manage to stir our bowels, or at least our eardrums, with the kind of guttural vocals that surely must leave them with haemorrhoids. But they're merely filler for the guest-list-only radio programmers of America and supermodel-cum-metal-head Rachel Hunter, (now we know why she dumped Rod), 'cos we want Slayer.

Frontman/bassist Tom Araya comes out with lines like "Are you guys ready to get mean? Are you guys ready to get angry?" like a history tutor, and giddily smiles in between every song like he's secretly letting farts fly. But with the gusto of the swarming moshpit that immediately springs up, it's obvious Slayer RAWK with the balls of giants. Sugar Ray's resident beefcake Mark McGrath thinks so too. Though he's not quite angry enough to join the brotherhood slam bash on the floor to 'Here Comes the Pain' and 'Stain of Mind' he's beating the railings and nearly scaling them, gagging for his piece of the action.

It's a torturous, head-banging, Fight Club convention in the making, when up steps old coot Les Claypool, still trodding the stage like he lost his fishing pole up his arse, with Primus to bore us to death.

Before they get a chance though, Birmingham's in the house and the man himself, Ozzy Osbourne jumps out from behind the curtain, sooooo LA in shades, man, even though it's well past midnight. It soon becomes Primus who? as the Oz ploughs through his one and only song of the night, 'N.I.B.'. "C'morrrrrn!" he screams, between stage antics which take the form of jumping jacks, until one punter who realises this is actually his 15 minutes of fame dives on stage, and gives Oz a hug which resembles an American football tackle. He then stands there, until security mosh him back to where he belongs. Another one tries it, and lucky for Oz, the song is almost over. "Thank you and goodnight. God bless you all," he utters before being rushed back to the batcave.

Hard rock is back. Mothers, hide your children.

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